When Denham Wojcik hit his first basket of the night to put Harvard up 11 with 6:50 remaining, the Crimson looked well on their way to beating Dartmouth and securing their second straight Ivy victory. Unfortunately, their travel partner got a second wind and cut the lead to one with the ball in Aaryn Rai’s hands for one last shot.
In front of an enthusiastic yet sparse Saturday matinee crowd at the Palestra, the Penn men bounced back from last Saturday’s loss to Columbia to defeat Dartmouth, 78-68, and move to 3-1 in Ivy League play.
ITHACA, N.Y. — Dartmouth held a one-point lead at the half, but Cornell shot 60% in the second half and fended off several late rallies to win the Ivy League opener on Sunday, 79-71.
“It was exactly what the Ivy League is going to be like,” Cornell coach Brian Earl said. “[Dartmouth] knew exactly what we were going to do and we had to fight through it. They are a veteran team. It’s a pretty good win.”
Announcers and writers around the nation focused a lot of attention to the 600-plus days between games for the Ivy League. While many expected the teams to be a bit rusty out of the gates, the Ancient Eight acquitted itself quite well in the season’s first week.
Thirteen of the league’s 16 teams had at least one win, with the Princeton and Columbia women notching three victories each. The Brown men almost upset No. 19 UNC without their top player, and the Princeton men just missed out on winning the Asheville Championship.
Check out some of the highlights from a very successful and welcome week of Ivy hoops:
Two days after the Media Day for Ivy women’s hoops, the men had their turn at the virtual podium. A day prior, the results of the preseason poll were released. While five different teams earned top votes, the overall totals showed no changes from the last day of competition in 2020.
Yale, two-time defending Ivy champion, was again picked to come in first with 115 points and seven first-place votes. Harvard, the 2019 co-champion, was close behind, tallying 110 points and four first-place votes. Princeton, the 2017 title winner, closed out the top tier with 108 points and two first-place votes.
Penn, the 2018 co-champion, secured the last slot in the upper division with 93 points and two first-place selections. Brown, which last held the title in 1986, again found itself behind the Quakers for fifth place with 79 points and a pair of title votes.
Dartmouth, which last entered the winner’s circle in 1959, was tabbed in the six slot with 43 points, four points more than Cornell, which last held the top spot in the Sweet Sixteen season of 2010. Columbia, the 1968 champion, was projected to finish last with 25 points.
Recent Harvard graduate and Ohio State graduate transfer Seth Towns continued to protest in downtown Columbus Sunday, a day after he was detained following a nonviolent protest there in response to the death of unarmed black people at the hands of police officers across America.
Using a bullhorn, Towns, a Columbus native and 2017-18 Ivy Player of the Year, stressed the importance of protesting against racial injustice and led the crowd in a chant of “We have a voice.”
“This is not our choice,” Towns said. “This is our duty as people in a democracy … Everybody who I love has texted me and said ‘Stay out of harm’s way. While you’re out there protesting, stay out of harm’s way.’ But I’m always in harm’s way.”’
HANOVER, N.H. – Animated is not a word normally used to describe Tommy Amaker, but there he was Saturday night at Leede Arena exhorting his team on, almost screaming, at least as much as Amaker is capable of such a thing.
The timing seemed strange. Just past the midway point of the second half, his Bryce Aiken-less Harvard team had just started to put some distance between itself and a pesky Dartmouth team that pushed the Crimson fairly hard the week before at Lavietes Pavilion and was only a four-point underdog (sports gambling recently became legal in the state of New Hampshire, for those who care). Harvard wasn’t playing its best game, but it weren’t playing poorly, either.
One week later, and not much has changed.
Harvard once again came close to blowing a double-digit lead in the final minutes but again managed to hold on for just long enough to come away from Hanover its eighth straight win, 70-66, and a sweep of Dartmouth.
Saturday afternoon’s 64-60 loss to Bryant at Leede Arena left a bitter taste on the lips of Dartmouth as it breaks for the holidays.
And rightfully so. The Big Green (7-6) have overachieved for much of the first two months of this campaign, and if they are going to contend to compete in the Ivy League Tournament for the first time, they should be able to handle an NEC team – particularly a banged up one – at home.
Jordan Dingle’s 24 points in Penn’s 81-80 win at Alabama marked the highest scoring total by a rookie in his debut in school history.
Steve Donahue’s system of interchangeable players on offense has allowed rookies to be major contributors in any given matchup, so it’ll be interesting to see how much of the offensive load Dingle carries going forward. But the fact that Dingle scored 16 points in the final 12:40, including the game-winning shot with six seconds left, is impressive. Freshmen often fade late, but in his first ever collegiate game, Dingle became dominant instead.