Ivy Hoops Online editor Mike Tony and IHO writer Rob Browne discuss memorable postseason runs for Princeton men’s and women’s basketball and Columbia and Harvard in the WNIT, the new “Big 5” (really City 6) Classic, the prospect and potential impact of athletic scholarships for Ivy hoopsters and much more:
Princeton women push back to power past Penn, 71-52
Editor’s note: Princeton-Penn is always a big deal, and our Toothless Tiger and Palestra Pete combine to recap Saturday night’s P vs. P action in audio and written form below:
It was The Kaitlyn Chen Show, but more than that, it was The Princeton Defense Show at Penn on Friday night, and the Tigers roared back (sorry) from a first-half deficit to beat the Quakers handily, 71-52.
In some respects, the game was meaningless: For weeks we’ve known that the top two women’s teams going into the Ivy League Tournament would be Princeton and Columbia, and that they would face Penn and Harvard in the first-round games. But pride counts, too, and Princeton knew it needed this win to get a share of its fifth straight regular-season title.
On the Penn side, too, the stakes were emotional: This was Senior Night, and Princeton was the only Ivy the graduating Penn players had never beaten. Truth is, they’d never come very close: The 15-point loss in January at Princeton was their closest score. Their best chance probably would have come in the COVID-canceled Ivy tournament of 2020, or more likely the canceled season that followed, when the career of Penn’s last dominant center, Eleah Parker, would have overlapped with that of forward Jordan Obi.
Three Quakeaways from Penn men taking care of business in win over Dartmouth
PHILADELPHIA — Penn is one win away from at least a share of the Ivy League regular season championship after a businesslike 89-79 win over Dartmouth at the Palestra on Senior Day.
The Quakers never trailed after the 16-minute mark of the first half, but there were some dicey moments along the way. At one point, a 9-0 Big Green run midway through the second half cut the visiting team’s deficit to 64-61 and forced Penn coach Steve Donahue into a timeout with 9:19 to play.
Coming out of the break, junior forward Max Martz proved to be Penn’s stopper.
Martz got a mismatch in the post against Dartmouth’s Ryan Cornish, backed down the guard and drained a righty hook to extend the Red and Blue’s lead back to five. He then went on to add two three-pointers from the corner and a second jumper over the next four-plus minutes to hold Dartmouth at bay. Martz finished the afternoon with 18 points and a team-high KenPom offensive rating of 163 points per 100 possessions.
Penn will need a performance like that from Martz next Saturday at Princeton in arguably the team’s biggest regular-season game in five years.
During the long wait, Quakers fans will have plenty to ruminate on, such as how …
Three Quakeaways from Penn men’s 90-69 Brown throwdown
Penn picked a good time to turn in its best performance of the season.
The Quakers (16-11, 8-4 Ivy) pummeled Brown on Saturday at the Palestra, 90-69, and vaulted themselves into a three-way tie for first place in the Ivy League standings.
Though neither Penn nor the league have provided official confirmation, analytics expert Luke Benz said postgame that the Red and Blue have now clinched a trip to the Ivy League tournament.
Usually, this writer uses the top of these articles to describe some pivotal moment where Penn seals either victory or defeat. The pivotal moment on Saturday was the opening tipoff. The Quakers shot out to a quick 9-0 lead and never looked back. It took a string of circus shots by the Bears (13-12, 6-6) in garbage time to trim Penn’s final margin of victory below 30 points.
Just how good were the Quakers on Saturday? BartTorvik.com, a KenPom competitor, assigns every team in Division I a game score of 0-100 for each game it plays. Think of the number as the probability a team will win through its performance on a given night.
Penn finished with a final game score of 97.
It’s all happy Quakeaways today after the Red and Blue pulled off their biggest Ivy weekend sweep in some time:
Three Quakeaways from Penn men eking out 66-64 win over Yale
Penn is on the verge of a trip to the Ivy League Tournament after pulling off one of its most thrilling victories in years.
The Quakers (15-11, 7-4 Ivy) took down Yale, 66-64, Friday night in a classic Palestra matchup between two teams that have now split their home-and-home series for six consecutive seasons. The two teams exchanged the lead 14 times. Neither led by more than six points.
Penn took the lead for good when sophomore guard George Smith hit an open three at the top of the key off a nice feed from Max Martz to give the Quakers a 52-50 lead with 7:19 to go.
The end was a sequence of events that likely gave Penn fans heart palpitations. The Quakers held a four-point lead with less than 13 seconds to go, but let Bulldogs (17-7, 7-4) guard John Poulakidas hit an open three with about 5.8 seconds on the clock.
Penn got the ball inbounds without issue, but normally reliable free-throw shooter Clark Slajchert split a pair at the line. Despite getting a chance to tie or win the game, Yale could not get off a final shot before the buzzer sounded.
There’s a lot for Penn fans to process ahead of a Saturday night tilt against Brown, such as how …
Yale men lose Knowling and tight defensive battle at Penn, 66-64
A key injury spelled doom for Yale at the Palestra in a 66-64 loss to Penn Friday.
With 18 minutes left in the game and the score knotted at 33-33, Yale leading scorer Matt Knowling rolled his ankle. He would not return to the game and his status for tonight against Princeton is questionable.
Penn hung on in a defensive struggle featuring 14 lead changes in which Yale converted just three field goals in the final 5:26. The visitors’ fate was sealed when a fallaway shot landed off base after Yale got the ball back down two with 5.1 seconds left following a 1-for-2 trip to the foul line by Ivy League free-throw percentage leader Clark Slajchert.
Penn women take revenge on Harvard, 70-64
Three Quakeaways from Penn men outlasting Cornell in 92-86 shootout
Penn picked up a potentially season-changing win on Saturday night.
By downing Cornell at the Palestra, 92-86, the Quakers (13-11, 5-4 Ivy) are now tied for third in the league and control their own destiny for an Ivy Madness berth. The win over the Big Red (15-7, 5-4) was also Penn’s first against a team considered a serious contender for the Ivy title.
The Quakers beat Cornell at its own game: a shootout. Penn hit 11 threes on 23 attempts, none bigger than the one sophomore guard George Smith hit off a feed from Lucas Monroe with 11:10 remaining to tie the game at 62.
After a few empty possessions for both teams, junior guard Clark Slajchert hit two free throws after he was fouled while shooting a three with 10:41 to play, which put the Quakers ahead for good.
Penn is now multiple games over .500 for the first time since the 2019-20 season. There will be plenty for the team’s fans to chew on before a Feb. 11 contest at Harvard, such as the fact that …
Three Quakeaways from Penn men pushing past Columbia
Penn’s Friday night contest against Columbia at the Palestra likely won’t be featured much in the team’s end-of-season highlight reel, but the Quakers got the job done with a 74-65 win that was a bit closer than the final score indicated.
Though the Lions (6-17, 1-7 Ivy) never led past the 17:43 mark of the first half, they managed to close a deficit that swelled to as much as 18 points to five at multiple instances late in the second half.
But Columbia could get no farther. Junior guard Jordan Dingle twice quelled Lions rallies, once through an and-one to push Penn’s lead from 60-54 to 63-54 with 3:41 to play, and a second time through a three-pointer from the left wing to turn a 65-60 advantage into 68-60 with 2:20 to play.
With six games left to play in the Ivy season, Penn (12-11, 4-4) has a clear — though far from automatic — path to Ivy Madness, one of a small handful of Quakeaways from the Red and Blue’s third consecutive win.