From the notebook of IHO writer Richard Kent on the scene at Ivy Madness:
No. 1 Princeton and No. 4 Cornell combined to give us one of the best games in Ivy League Tournament history Saturday.
But it was the Tigers who drew final blood against the Big Red, advancing to the tournament final, with Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan hitting the game-winning shot with 36 seconds left to push Princeton past a persistent Cornell squad in a 77-73 barnburner.
“As we battle in the WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association), they’re always talking about “create this environment.” Any time I talk equity with anyone, they always say there’s more pressure on a man because the gyms are full, and the bands are playing. The opposite is true. It’s much easier to play in a (packed) venue like this. It’s very, very hard for women all over the country and play in empty gyms without bands, fighting their schools for support to get the bands there and to get the cheerleaders there. There’s been huge growth at Harvard, but there’s such a long way to go. It’s really wonderful for the athletes to play in this kind of venue and it’s fun to watch as well.” – soon-to-be retiring Harvard women’s coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, talking about the boisterous atmosphere during her team’s 72-67 loss to No. 1 seed Princeton
Some random thoughts after two great days at the 2022 Ivy League Tournament:
“The expectations (for winning) are always there, they just felt even heavier this year (due to the pandemic). There should be several asterisks next to it (being at the Ivy League Tournament) and that’s true of all the teams.” – Princeton coach Mitch Henderson
Princeton and Penn closed out the regular season at The Palestra this evening in the only Ivy matchup involving teams that will play next weekend in the Ivy League Tournament.
Since the field was set prior to this weekend, the games had no impact on the seeding for the tourney. But the way the Tigers manhandled their traditional rival on its homecourt in a 93-70 shellacking must have been as unsettling for the Quakers as it was exhilarating for the Tigers.
The Princeton men’s basketball team has already notched the first big triumph of a wondrous season.
The Princeton Tigers clinched a share of the Ivy League championship with a heart-stopping 74-73 victory over the Harvard Crimson at Lavietes Pavilion Sunday afternoon. The title is the second in coach Mitch Henderson’s career following the undefeated Ivy season in 2017.
.@Tosan_Evb, For The Win!
— Princeton Men’s Basketball (@PrincetonMBB) February 27, 2022
Princeton-Harvard matchups in the Tommy Amaker era are usually exciting, closely fought contests, often with title or tournament implications for both teams.
For tonight’s Senior Night celebration, fans were invited back to the arena to bid fond farewell to an amazing group of players who were adversely affected by the COVID-19-imposed restrictions on their college careers: Ethan Wright, Drew Friberg, Jaelin Llewellyn, Elijah Barnes, Max Johns and Charlie Bagin.
Mitch Henderson is now into his second decade as skipper of the Princeton Tigers. Going into Saturday’s crucial meeting with the Yale Bulldogs, the only Ivy team to defeat the Tigers in Jadwin Gym, this season, Henderson had amassed 180 wins against 106 losses.
But the Tigers have struggled against James Jones’ Bulldogs, losing seven straight to them heading into their latest clash.