Ivy Roundup: Doesn’t anyone want to win this thing?

Was it pressure or parity? With a game left, the three contenders, Harvard, Yale and Princeton, all lost. Doesn’t anyone want to win this thing?

By Joel Alderman

Cornell-72 Harvard-59

Cornell made it two out of two over co-leader Harvard (16-10, 9-4 Ivy), defeating the Crimson 72-59, and keeping them from clinching at least a tie for the Ivy championship. Cornell (14-15, 6-7 Ivy), despite the win, lost its chance to finish in the fourth qualifying spot for the tournament, making Saturday’s game the last of the season for the Big Red and its outstanding senior and pro prospect, Matt Morgan.

Morgan, from Concord, N.C., scored 31 points (9 out of 16 FG).

“Matt Morgan is a gifted offensive player, he makes you pay for every mistake,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said.

Morgan is 11th on the NCAA’s all-time list of those who have scored in double figures in consecutive games. This game extended his streak to 81 in his college career.

Harvard shot under 30 percent field goals. Bryce Aiken, although scoring 17 points, was only 4-of-18 from the floor, and an even worse 1-of-10 attempting threes.

“We just had a tough night shooting the basketball,” Amaker said.

The teams were tied 29-29 after twenty minutes, then traded nine point runs in the second half when Cornell built a double-digit lead. Harvard was hampered throughout by allowing 16 turnovers.

Harvard remains tied with Yale for first place, each with a game left. In terms of seeding for the league tournament next weekend, if they are still tied, the Crimson owns the tiebreaker.

Pennsylvania-79, Yale-66

Pennsylvania (18-11, 6-7 Ivy), needing a win to keep is Ivy League Tournament hopes alive, shot 49 percent en route to a 77-66 win over Yale at the Palestra.
Yale (19-7, 9-4 Ivy) remains in contention in the race for the title thanks to Harvard’s loss at Cornell. Both the Bulldogs and Crimson are 9-4, tied for first place and with one game remaining.

Alex Copeland paced Yale with 19 points. However, Miye Oni, the second leading scorer in the Ivy League, was held to eight shots and finished with a meager two points.

AJ Brodeur scored 24 points and Antoniio Woods had 22 to lead the Quakers.

Penn and Brown meet on Saturday with the winner joining Yale, Harvard and Princeton in the tournament, which this year takes place on Yale’s home court in New Haven.

The Quakers (18-11, 6-7 Ivy) raced out to an early 23-9 lead and were ahead 46-30 at halftime.

“I thought we played 40 great minutes of basketball on both sides,” Penn’s coach Steve Donahue said.

Meanwhile, James Jones, coach of the Bulldogs, felt “Our energy and effort rebounding the ball and playing together was not there, and that’s why you lose the basketball game.”

Brown-67 Princeton-63

Princeton (16-10, 8-5 Ivy) was guilty of what its coach Mitch Henderson said was a “horrific” 25 turnovers and lost at home to surprising Brown 67-63. The Tigers averted a potential blow out with a 13–2 run in the game’s final minutes to cut a large Brown (19-10, 7-6 Ivy) lead to two.

“Credit to Brown, but you can’t have more than 15 turnovers in any college basketball game” said Henderson. He could have added “even when your opponent commits 15,” which is what his team did.

Princeton was already without Devin Cannady who had left college in the midst of his well publicized legal troubles, saying he will declare for the NBA draft. Also missing was sophomore Ryan Schwieger, its new offensive star, who is recovering from a concussion.

The Tigers turned it over 16 times in the first half, and Brown took a 31-23 lead into the break.

Behind 60 to 47 with a little over two minutes to play, Princeton quickly got to 62-60 with 46 seconds remaining. But a breakaway from Tamenang Choh with 46 seconds on the clock enabled the Bears to hold on.

Princeton got 20 points from junior Richmond Aririguzoh. Brown a surprising 21 off the bench from junior Brandon Anderson on 8-13 field goals.

Princeton remains in position to clinch the third seed in the Ivy tournament with a win over Yale in the regular season finale tonight.

Columbia-70, Dartmouth-66

In the only game without playoff or league standings implications, seventh place Columbia (10-17, 5-8 Ivy) handed tough luck and cellar dwelling Dartmouth (11-18, 2-11 Ivy) another close loss at Levien Gym in New York, 70-66. Patrick Tape led the Lions with 19 points (9-of-11) and seven off the glass.

Sophomore Chris Knight’s 18 were high for the Big Green (11-18, 2-11 Ivy). Dartmouth’s misleading losing streak is now at seven.

Dartmouth trailed 40-30 at the half, then rallied to go ahead by three with eight minutes to play. The Lions got the lead back, 54-52, on Maka Ellis’s third 3-pointer of the game, then Dartmouth tied it 56-56 on an “and one” play by 6-6 Aaryn Rai, a Canadian from Markham, Ont.
The three point arc was no friend of the Big Green, which missed all 17 of its attempts from distance.

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