Ivy League Roundup: Princeton continues free-fall; Harvard, Penn remain tied atop standings

Yale 82, Cornell 80

With its injury-prone captain Mikai Mason once again relegated to the bench, reportedly due to another practice mishap, Yale’s gutty performance pulled out a down-to-the-wire win at Cornell before 1,864. The Bulldogs (6-5) now hold sole possession of third place, a game ahead of Columbia, where it plays on Saturday.

There were 20 lead changes in Ithaca, the most important on a 3-pointer with 20-seconds left and Yale trailing by one. Sub Noah Yates connected from the baseline in front of the Yale bench, followed by an interception and a Trey Phills layup to give Yale an 82-78 lead. It was the third trey by Yates, a former Yale football player, in four attempts.

Two foul shots by Cornell’s Matt Morgan and his intentional miss made it a two-point game. As time ran out, a Cornell three-point attempt was unsuccessful and Yale had its crucial victory.

Blake Reynolds led the winners with 20 points. Phills and Yates each contributed 17. All of Phills’ came in the second half, which started with Cornell in front, 37-30. The Red’s Morgan had 23.

Penn 74, Dartmouth 46

In the friendly confines of its Palestra, Penn (10-1) had no trouble with last-place Dartmouth (2-9) to stay tied with Harvard for the league lead. The teams will break the deadlock when they meet on Saturday in Philadelphia, when many more than the 2,355 who attended the game tonight are expected to raise the roof.

Ryan Betley and Caleb Wood each had 12 points among the well distributed Quaker scoring. The Big Green missed all 18 of its 3-point shots, although Chris Knight scored 15 points.

This was the 20th win overall for Penn, the most by any Ivy team this season.

Harvard 72, Princeton 66 (overtime)

Princeton (3-8) continued to suffer from a unique meltdown, going from undefeated champion a year ago to its present seventh place standing. The Tigers have now lost seven straight Ivy League games, and its eight losses are one more than its total for the past three seasons. The only other time that Princeton suffered this many consecutive Ivy defeats was in 2008, when it lost nine straight.

Harvard extended to 10-1 to match Penn in first place. Those two face each other on Saturday.

With Princeton’s decline, the attendance of 2,739 was considerably lower than the norm for a home game with Harvard.

Miles Stephens had a career-high 33 points for the Tigers, who at one point led 41-31. Harvard’s Justin Bassey had 18 including a pair of threes that helped send the game into OT. The Crimson began the extra session with a 10-2 run.

Columbia 89, Brown 82

Columbia (5-6) led by 15 in the second half, although a 3-pointer by Brown’s Brandon Anderson with 1:27 left closed the deficit to four. Columbia sealed it with 9 of 10 from the line, and stayed on the heels of Yale, one game back of third place.

Desmond Cambridge, one of the Ivy’s most productive freshmen, registered a double-double (26 points and 10 rebounds) for Brown (4-7).

Mike Smith had 24 for the Lions, who face Yale at home in a crucial matchup on Saturday. The game in New York drew 1,611.

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