Columbia women finally make the Pirates walk the plank

Abbey Hsu led Columbia to a win over Seton Hall Thursday that avenged the Lions’ WNIT loss to the Pirates last season, notching a team-high 19 points, including a 4-for-6 three-point shooting performance. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

It took 234 days, but Columbia women’s basketball got its revenge on Seton Hall, the team that came out victorious in last year’s WNIT Quarterfinal, in a 83-76 victory on Thursday night.

“I’m so proud of our team. We’ve had this game circled on our calendar for a while, since March 28,” head coach Megan Griffith said in a postgame interview. “It was just an opportunity for us to come back and battle with a really great Seton Hall program.”

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Columbia women take down Memphis on opening night

Returning over 96% of the team’s points, rebounds and minutes from last year’s WNIT quarterfinal team, expectations are high for the Columbia women this season.  The Lions took their initial step toward the program’s first ever NCAA Tournament bid with a 77-69 victory over Memphis at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on Monday night.

The game was knotted at seven halfway through the opening frame, but the Tigers finished the quarter on a 11-2 run.  Down eight with just over a minute to go, the Lions returned the favor and ended the half on 8-2 run to cut the deficit to two.  Memphis extended the lead to four, 54-50, after three quarters.

But the game would quickly turn in Columbia’s favor.

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2022-23 IHO Women’s Preseason Poll

It’s still Princeton’s conference until another Ivy proves that it isn’t. Our contributors are united in believing that the Tigers will stay on top in 2022-23, with Megan Griffith’s ascendant Columbia program again placing second.

But there wasn’t consensus on how the rest of the top half of the league will fill out.

Penn could break back into the Ivy League Tournament after missing it for the first time last season, but we expect the Red & Blue to draw stiff competition from Harvard and Yale in their first years under new coaches.

Will #2bidivy happen in the league for only the second time in conference history? It very well could, and the bottom half of the conference is likely to be substantially stronger this season as Brown and Dartmouth return more experienced rosters under coaches that now have a year of Ivy play under their belts.

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Princeton women ranked No. 24 in AP preseason poll, poised to be class of Ivy League again

Carla Berube’s Princeton Tigers extended an impressive run of greatness in the 2021-22 season which began over a decade ago under Courtney Banghart.
The Tigers spent most of last season nationally ranked en route to an overall record of 25-5, ending with a near-upset of Indiana in the NCAA Tournament round of 32. The Tigers defeated Kentucky, the SEC Tournament champion, in the first round.
Now the Tigers are ranked again, placing 24th in the Associated Press’ Top 25 released Monday. Princeton was also projected to finish atop the Ivy League in the conference preseason poll released Monday.

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Ivy hoops roundup – A new Floor, opened coaching doors and promotions galore

Before commencing with the rest of the Ivy hoops roundup, a note of sorrow about the passing of James “Booney” Salters, the 1980 Penn grad whose dynamic scoring and passing made him one of the best guards in men’s program history.

Salters died July 7. He was 64.

Penn made the NCAA Tournament in all three of Salters’ three seasons with the Red & Blue. The Penn Athletics and Philadelphia Big 5 Hall of Famer captained the often overlooked 1979-80 Penn team that advanced to the second round of the Big Dance, leading the squad in scoring and sinking the game-winning shot to triumph over Princeton, 50-49, in an Ivy League playoff matchup.

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Yale women’s basketball names former Princeton assistant Dalila Eshe its new head coach

Dalila Eshe is the new head coach for Yale women’s basketball after three years as an assistant coach at Princeton. (Yale Athletics)

The Dalila Eshe era has begun in New Haven.

Yale Athletics named Eshe head coach of Yale women’s basketball Monday, 17 days after Loyola Chicago announced that Allison Guth was leaving Yale to take over there.

Eshe comes from Princeton, where she was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for three seasons under Carla Berube.

Eshe will be introduced at a press conference Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., inside John J. Lee Amphitheater, Yale Athletics announced.

Guth had won 99 games in six seasons, during which the Bulldogs set the single-season program win record twice during her tenure at Yale.

Now it’s up to Eshe, a former WNBA Draft pick, to build on that success.

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Carrie Moore returns to the Ivy League as Harvard’s new women’s basketball coach

Carrie Moore comes to Harvard after two stints at Princeton as assistant coach (2016-19) and director of basketball operations (2008-10) that yielded three Ivy League championships. (Harvard Athletics)

Carrie Moore, a long-time Princeton assistant for Courtney Banghart, was named the fourth coach in the history of Harvard women’s basketball on Tuesday afternoon.  The Western Michigan and Detroit Country Day alum takes over for legendary coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, who presided over the Crimson team for the last 40 years.

“I am so incredibly humbled and excited to be the next head women’s basketball coach at Harvard University,” Moore told Harvard Athletics. “A very special thank you to Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith for building such a tremendous foundation here and for your long history of fighting for women. Congratulations on your retirement. I am absolutely thrilled to lead these incredible young women and move this program forward.”

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Columbia women to host Boston College in WNIT Sweet 16

Columbia fans will get another chance to see their team led by sophomore guard Abbey Hsu (20) play at Levien Gym Thursday night when the Lions take on Boston College in the WNIT Sweet 16. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

After a road triumph at Old Dominion in the second round of the WNIT, Columbia is coming home.

The Lions will host Boston College in the Sweet 16 round of the WNIT Thursday at 7 p.m.

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Ivy Madness reporter’s notebook: Day 3

Princeton women’s basketball’s post-Ivy League Tournament final press conference was one of several revealing pressers during Ivy Madness. (photo by Rob Browne)

 

“This is the business we’ve chosen.” – Brian Earl and Hyman Roth

“We played for, I would say, a good 15 minutes tonight, but that’s not good enough against a good program.” – Columbia head coach Megan Griffith, following the Lions defeat to top-seeded Princeton

No matter what the coaches who did not earn victories on Saturday thought, I felt there were three really good games of college basketball on display at Lavietes Pavilion, including a fantastic opener that saw Princeton escape an upset big from Cornell, 77-73.  Hopefully, West Coast fans woke up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning to catch it.

Here are some random thoughts and observations from the Ancient Eight’s Super Saturday:

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