Ivy Roundup: Harvard grabs share of second; Princeton survives in OT

Harvard 59, Penn 53

It was a rematch of last season’s championship game of the Ivy League Tournament at the Palestra which Pennsylvania won over Harvard by three points, sending Penn to the NCAA’s March Madness. But in their most recent game on Friday the Crimson (15-9, 8-3 Ivy) beat Penn, 59-53, to clinch a berth in this year’s event, dubbed Ivy Madness, to be held in two weeks at Yale.

Four Harvard players were in double figures in the low scoring contest at the tiny and sold out Lavietes Pavilion to sweep the season series from the Quakers.

Penn (16-11, 4-7, which got 24 points from its most frequent scoring ace, AJ Brodeur, led for much of the first half. But recent history prevailed for the Quakers, who have not won at Harvard in the past seven seasons.

Harvard had a modest game-high 12 points and 10 rebounds from freshman Noah Kirkwood, first of his career. The Crimson were playing their second straight game without defensive star Justin Bassey, who was injured a week ago at Brown.

Harvard and Princeton are now tied at second place, each with 8-3 records, one game behind first place Yale with three remaining. The tie is bound to be broken Saturday when those two teams meet.

Princeton 77, Dartmouth 76 (overtime)

Was it the effect of learning, only a few hours before game time, that its high scoring captain, senior Devin Cannady (see earlier articles on is taking an indefinite leave of absence from Princeton? Did it make a difference that the Tigers’ coach, Mitch Henderson, was ill and relinquished his duties on the bench to assistant Brett MacConnell?

Or should we give credit to Dartmouth, then tied with Columbia in last place, which sent the game into overtime before Princeton (16-8, 8-3) won, 77-76, at Leede Arena in Hanover, N.H?

Cannady’s replacement, sophomore Ryan Schwieger, scored a career-high 26 points, including 11-11 free throws. The Tigers won their fourth straight game and qualified for the conference tournament the second weekend in March. Princeton remained tied for second with Harvard and one game behind first-place Yale.

Princeton led 60-52 with 1:22 remaining, but the Big Green (11-16, 2-9) closed regulation on an 8-0 run, climaxed by James Foye’s 3-pointer in the final seconds.

The Tigers’ Jaelin Llewellyn scored the first five points of the overtime, and they ended with their second one-point win over Dartmouth this season.

Earlier on Friday, senior guard Devin Cannady tweeted that he would not return to the University after taking a leave of absence last week to deal with a personal matter.

Yale 88, Cornell 65

Having qualified for the post season Ivy League Tournament, to be held on its home court in two weeks, there was no letup for Yale (19-5, 9-2 Ivy), which scored the first 12 points in an easy 88-65 win over Cornell on Friday.

Yale held its ground in first place, one game in front of Harvard and Princeton, which also won on Friday. There are only three games left in the regular season.

Cornell remained tied with Brown, which also lost on Friday, for the fourth and final conference tournament slot. Each is at 5-6.

Yale’s superstar, Miye Oni, with an almost perfect first half featuring a spectacular 7-of-9 triples and a total of 25 points, had 30 for the game, a career high.

When Alex Copeland made a 3-pointer late in the game, Yale became the first team in almost 25 years to score over 60 points in a half against Cornell.

Matt Morgan, usually Cornell’s big point man, was limited to 11 by the tenacious guarding of Trey Phills, enabling junior Josh Warren of Downington, Pa., to lead the visitors with 15 points. Morgan still extended his double figures consecutive game streak to 78, which puts him in a tie for 12th place on the NCAA all-time list. The two players he is tied with have completed their college careers, so another double figures performance on Saturday at Brown would move him alone into 11th place.

In addition to his 30 points, Oni had seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. Both Oni and Morgan are likely choices when the NBA draft takes place this spring.

Columbia 80, Brown 77

It was another “squeaker,” something that has become common place in the Ivy League this season. Columbia (8-17, 3-8 Ivy) edged Brown, 80-77, at the Pizzitola Sports Center in Providence, powered by back-to-back late 3-pointers by Gabe Stefanini who scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half. They gave Columbia the lead for good in the Lions’ 80-77 victory over Brown (17-10, 5-6 Ivy) on Friday night.

With four minutes to go Brown sophomore Desmond Cambridge tied the game, 67-67, on a pair of 3-pointers. Shortly after, Stefanini matched the back-to-back triples to put the Lions on top again, 75-69, with 53 ticks remaining.

Brown held a 39-37 lead at the half, and 52-45 early in the second. The Lions moved ahead 67-61 with 4:51 left.

“I thought that Columbia just executed better and played a little harder, especially in the second half” said Brown coach Mike Martin. “Columbia cut well, shared the ball and got to the free-throw line. Our backs have been up against the wall in the past, and the challenge is how we are going to respond after a disappointing loss.”

Patrick Tape led the Lions with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

Sophomore Tamenang Cho and Cambridge each had 25 points for the Bears. Cambridge fouled out with 3:10 left in the game.

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