Week seven for the Ancient Eight saw Yale avenge its shocking opening day loss at Columbia and move into a tie at the top of the conference leaderboard. After a close half that saw the Bulldogs holding onto a slim 31-26 lead, the Bulldogs outscored the last-place Lions 58-32 for the dominant 31-point win. Yale, winners of six straight, had 13 different players in the scoring column and shot 65% from the field.
Ivy men’s week six roundup: Ancient Eight’s Top Ten
The opening games of the second half of the Ivy slate ended with sweeps by Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown. The Ps did their traditional double wins from home, while the New Englanders were able to earn their victories on the road.
On Friday, the Tigers welcomed Cornell to Jadwin Gymnasium in a match between the league’s top two teams. Prior to the start of the contest, Princeton honored its championship teams from 1996 to 1998, which included Tigers head coach Mitch Henderson and Big Red coach Brian Earl. The Orange & Black overcame a 13-point second half deficit to claim sole possession of first place. The win gave Henderson his 200th career victory.
A day later, the Tigers gave Henderson win number 201 with a comfortable 22-point victory over Columbia, the last-place team in the Ancient Eight.
Yale showed it has completely rebounded from its opening losses to Columbia and Dartmouth by extending its winning streak to five.
The Bulldogs were hot on the offensive side in the first half at Harvard, opening up a 17-point halftime lead. The Crimson tightened the defense in the second half and cut the lead to five with 2:25 to go in regulation, but a 0-for-6 effort the rest of the way ultimately doomed Harvard. With the victory, the Bulldogs completed their second straight season sweep of their Boston rivals.
At Leede Arena, Yale used a 13-0 run to close out the first half and take an 11-point lead into the locker room. The visitors never let the Big Green get closer than 10 and cruised to a 19-point revenge win that gave them sole possession of second place.
Against Columbia on Friday night, Penn took an 18-point advantage at the 13:15 mark of the second half, but the Lions clawed their way back and made it a five-point contest with two minutes on the clock. Similar to Harvard against Yale, Columbia closed the game 1-for-6 and the Quakers came away winning by nine.
Saturday’s matchup between Penn and Cornell was an offensive slugfest with 10 lead changes over the first 30 minutes of action. The Quakers eventually opened up a nine-point lead with 7:19 to go and held on against the never-say-die Big Red. The win, which split the season series, gave Penn its fourth in a row and its 46th all-time sweep of the Empire Ivies.
The Big Red, meanwhile, dropped from the top of the leaderboard to a tie for third after the lost weekend.
In Friday’s game in Hanover, Brown tied a season high with 13-made three-pointers on their way to a season sweep of Dartmouth. Although limited to 24% shooting in the opening half, the Big Green got within seven points with 9:25 left in the contest. The Bears used a 10-2 run over the next four minutes to put the game away.
After four ties and five lead changes in a close contest between Brown and Harvard, Bruno used a 16-zero run to open up a 15-point lead almost halfway through the second half. For the second straight night, the Crimson battled back, eventually making it a two-point game with six seconds remaining. Brown made one of two free throws and the home team couldn’t convert the game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer.
Bruno’s win was the 133rd victory of head coach Mike Martin’s career, tying him for the program lead with Stanley Ward. It also avenged a 70-68 overtime loss to Harvard at the Pizzitola Center on January 6 and put the team in a three-way tie for third place with Cornell and Penn.
By late Saturday night, Dartmouth dropped to sole possession of sixth place, while Harvard, losers of three straight was alone in seventh.
Yale men hang on to best Brown at home, 81-78
Yale men’s basketball needed a strong performance from a shot-maker against Brown.
Junior guard August Mahoney provided that spark with a team-high 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting, including 4-for-5 shooting from deep, helping will Yale to an 81-78 victory over Brown in a near must-win situation at John J. Lee Amphitheater Monday.
“I know my shots are going to fall,” Mahoney said.
Brown men top Princeton off Lilly game-winner
KINO. LILLY. JUNIOR.@Kino_Lilly FOR THE WIN‼️ pic.twitter.com/DmLDMWFJUG
— Brown Men’s Basketball (@BrownU_MBB) January 14, 2023
Our George “Toothless Tiger” Clark on how a classic unfolded between the Princeton and Brown men at the Pizzitola Sports Center Saturday – setting up the game-winning shot from Kino Lilly Jr. and resulting in the Tigers’ first Ivy loss:
Ivy men’s hoops observations as league play approaches
With conference play in the 2022-23 Ivy League men’s basketball season fast approaching, let’s take a look back at the nonconference results for each team and examine each program – listed by season winning percentage:
Brown men defeat Bryant and Hartford to extend winning streak to four
Despite missing two of their starting five for this weekend’s games, the Brown men came away with two convincing road victories against Bryant and Hartford.
The Bears (5-4), winners of four straight wins and five of their last six, are playing their best basketball of the year as they head into the last and hardest stretch of their nonconference schedule.
2022-23 IHO Men’s Preseason Poll
Only five points separated the top three teams in the Ivy League Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll, and our final tabulation was even tighter. Just three points separated the team atop IHO contributors’ preseason poll.
Yale gets the slight nod here, with our contributors trusting James Jones to lead the Bulldogs to their fifth Ivy League title in an eight-season span in a bid to represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament for a third straight time. Penn, the Ivy League preseason poll’s top team above Princeton by a single point, also finished a single point above Princeton in our standings. Our contributors saw potential for success in a roster that returns most of the key players from last year’s squad that placed third in the Ivy standings. We’ve got Princeton pegged to finish third, aided in their quest to repeat as Ivy League champions by returning 2021-22 Ivy Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan but losing significant backcourt production from last year’s conference title team.
Harvard was the clear No. 4 finisher in our poll, a showing that would improve upon the disappointing sixth-place result that locked the Crimson out of the Ivy League Tournament on its home floor last season. We have Cornell ranked slightly ahead of Brown as the Big Red look to build on last season’s overachieving Ivy League Tournament berth and the Bears look to bounce back from an underachieving sixth-place finish (tied with Harvard) a season ago. Columbia and Dartmouth tied in our voting tally at the bottom of the standings as both programs look to secure their first Ivy League Tournament appearances.
2022-23 Ivy season lookahead with Brown men’s coach Mike Martin
Brown men’s coach Mike Martin joins Ivy Hoops Online contributor Steve Silverman and reflects on his being on track to become the all-time winningest coach in program history and his team’s disappointing results in close Ivy games last season (2-5 in games decided by four or fewer points). Martin also details his hopes for more late-game “unpredictability” on offense this season, considers the future of Ivy back-to-backs, explains why he favors expanding the Ivy League Tournament to include all eight schools and much more:
in case you missed it, check out Steve’s interview with Cornell men’s coach Brian Earl here and Cornell women’s coach Dayna Smith here.
Observations from Ivy Madness
From the notebook of IHO writer Richard Kent on the scene at Ivy Madness:
It’s unanimous: Clark Slajchert’s heroics elate Penn men and crush Brown
The winning play.#Whānau | #FightOnPenn🔴🔵🏀 pic.twitter.com/7WsovBNGuj
— Penn Men’s Basketball (@PennMBB) February 20, 2022
Even before the last-minute dramatics that resulted in a stunning road 88-87 win for the Red & Blue, everything about Saturday night’s game between Penn (12-13, 9-3 Ivy) and Brown (12-15, 4-8) was set up to made it a classic Ivy League showdown.