ROUNDBALL DAILY

Ivy Roundup: Columbia stuns Yale, Harvard tied with Bulldogs with a week to go

Harvard 66, Princeton 58

Harvard (16-9, 9-3) took over the favorite’s role for the No. 1 seed in the league’s post-season tournament, with a 66-58 win at home over defending Ivy champion Princeton (16-9, 8-4).

With Yale having been upset by Columbia, the Crimson and Bulldogs are now tied for first place with two games to go. By winning out they could end as co-champions, but Harvard holds the tie breaker for the top seed in the tournament, which is strictly for the purpose of determining the league’s representative in the NCAA March Madness.

Harvard’s Kale Catchings scored eight straight points after Princeton trailed by four late in the second half. The freshman from St. Louis has been starting in the absence of junior Justin Bassey, who was out for three-plus games after being injured in the loss to Brown.

Bryce Aiken finished with a game-high 22 points for Harvard. His close friend and mentor, Kyrie Irving, point guard of the Boston Celtic, was at this game to see him play. Irving and Aiken both graduated from The Patrick School in Elizabeth, N.J.

Myles Stephens had 21 points for the Tigers, who welcomed Coach Mitch Henderson back after missing the previous night due to illness. His place had been taken by associate coach Brett McConnell.

Columbia 83, Yale 75

It was one of, if not the biggest upset of the waning Ivy League season when 12-1/2 point underdog Columbia defeated Yale in New Haven, 83-75, to drop the Bulldogs back to a first place tie with Harvard, a winner over Princeton the same night.

The Lions were ahead by a startling 18 points in the second half, before Yale cut the margin to five in the last three minutes. This was to have been the last home game of the season for Yale (19-6, 9-3 Ivy), but having already qualified the night before for the league tournament on its home court, there will be at least one more, and possibly two, at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

While there is no sure way of telling, Yale may have inadvertently self-destructed from the opening tip. Keeping with his custom, Coach James Jones started his four-year veterans on Senior Night. It meant keeping the Bulldogs’ superstar and NBA prospect Miye Oni on the bench.

Columbia jumped off to a 12-0 lead before Oni entered the game, and Yale never caught up.
Columbia’s Quinton Adlesh and Blake Reynolds of Yale shared scoring honors with 19 each. Patrick Tape of the Lions had 16 and three other Yale players, including Oni, were in double figures.

The Lions held a 44-31 lead at halftime and shot 48.4 percent from the field for the game. The Bulldogs, who had been among the nation’s leaders in field goal percentage, were an uncharacteristic 38 percent.

Yale’s last gasp ended with 2:53 left when Azar Swain’s three-pointer closed it to 70-65. Adlesh then applied the dagger with an answering trey and the Lions led by eight with 50 seconds remaining.

Of Yale’s performance, Jones said “The shots just didn’t go down.”

The Bulldogs have what appears to be a tougher road ahead than Harvard. They play at Penn and Princeton next weekend, while the Crimson will be at Cornell and Columbia.

Pennsylvania 65, Dartmouth 51

Pennsylvania (17-11, 5-7 Ivy), holding only a three-point lead at the half, had runs of 14 and 13 in the second half to ease into a 65-51 victory at home over Dartmouth. Junior forward AJ Brooder, one of the league’s top scorers, led Penn with a double-double on 19 points and 13 boards.

The Quakers, leading by three at halftime, had two big runs of 14 and 13 after the break to coast home.

“Our defense has been great the whole weekend. I think we came in here and played — unfortunately, for three halves, we just didn’t play on the offensive end like we’re capable,” Penn’s coach Steve Donahue said.

James Foyer led the Big Green (11-17, 2-10 Ivy) with 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Dartmouth, the league leader in fewest turnovers, was forced into 17, and its 51 points scored were a season low. The Big Green has had a lot of close encounters, and until this game had not been behind at any time by double digits except to Yale.

Brown 75, Cornell 51

Brown (18-10, 6-6 Ivy) is still alive and breathing, and with a possibility of its first trip to the Ivy League tournament in two weeks, while Cornell (13-15, 5-7 Ivy) is in serious trouble of not making it two years in a row. Those are two of the take-aways from Brown’s 75-51 victory over the Big Red in Providence.

The Bears are now one game ahead of Princeton and Pennsylvania, their last opponents in the regular season, both games to take place on the road. An added incentive for the Bears is that one win will tie the school’s single season record, and two will establish a new one.

“It’s obviously going to be a great challenge for us going to down to play programs like Princeton and Penn,” said the Bears coach Mike Martin. “I like our chances.”

Brown senior Obi Okolie, with 14 points, went over 1,000 for his career. Cornell’s Matt Morgan, the second all-time leading scorer in Ivy history, had only 14, all in the second half. The night before against Yale, he was limited to 11. However, he now has scored in double figures in 80 straight games. He thereby broke away from two others he was tied with on the NCAA all-time list. The other two have completed their college careers, so Morgan is now alone in 11th place.

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