Sunday, January 23, 2011

And Then There Were Five...

The last Ivy team to have its season ended during the 2009-2010 campaign has become one of the first this year, as Cornell fell to Columbia 70-66 at home yesterday afternoon.

The Big Red joins Brown and Dartmouth on the bottom of the Ivy heap at 0-2, while the Lions, Harvard and Yale all sit at 2-0. Penn and Princeton will get underway in league play at home this weekend against the Bears and Bulldogs.

Thoughts: Looking Back

  • In a bit of a trend reversal, it was the shooters that abandoned Cornell yesterday, and the interior play that almost saved it. Aaron Osgood and Adam Wire had very efficient outings, combining for 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting, while Chris Wroblewski and Andrew Ferry hoisted 21 shots and made six.
  • Columbia survived an absolutely abysmal outing from Noruwa Agho (1-for-12 shooting, 3 turnovers), as Meiko Lyles scored 10 points on 3-for-3 shooting in his first Division I game and Brian Barbour recorded a career-high with 23 points. Barbour scored 44 points in the two travel partner games.
  • Cornell hopped out to a 10-point advantage in the first half and held a 32-23 lead with just over five minutes left. The Lions trimmed the margin to three by intermission, and the Big Red never could push its lead beyond five the rest of the way, allowing Columbia to hang around and take the game on late free throws.
  • In an incredibly bizarre contest in New Haven, Brown scored just 51 points on 71 possessions yesterday and its leading rebounder (with 11, all defensive) was freshman point guard Sean McGonagill. Shooting guard Garrett Leffelman went 0-for-11 from the field, but he managed to tie for second on the team in rebounds with seven.
  • Yale's Greg Mangano almost came up with a triple-double, scoring 17 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and recording seven blocks.
  • Brown scored 115 points on 138 possessions during the travel partner series, while managing to score 87 on just 76 possessions in the intervening Quinnipiac game.
  • There were three distinct games played in Boston yesterday and the team that controlled two of them, ultimately won the game. Harvard jumped out to a 15-8 lead, but only scored 13 points over the next 18 minutes, while Dartmouth poured in 32 to grab a 40-28 advantage with under 14 minutes to go. From there, the Crimson got 16 opportunities at the line (making 14) and outscored the Big Green down the stretch 31-10 for the 59-50 win.
  • R.J. Griffin had a career high 20 points on perfect 100% eFG shooting.
  • Dartmouth grabbed 15 offensive rebounds, but could only muster six second-chance points.
  • As happened at George Washington a week earlier, Oliver McNally took over down the stretch, scoring 11 of his 12 points and grabbing four defensive rebounds over the final 12:30.
  • Penn earned its first Big 5 win since 2007 last night, beating St. Joe's 73-61 (a team it hadn't defeated since 2005).
  • Tyler Bernardini had a career high 27 points on 61% eFG shooting. Jack Eggleston had 15 rebounds to anchor the frontcourt.
  • While it was a solid night for the fourth-year players, Penn's super freshman Miles Cartwright went 5-for-11 for 11 points, rounding out a disappointing Big 5 campaign with 39% eFG shooting over the four contests and four turnovers per game.
Thoughts: Looking Ahead
  • Next weekend will feature the first pivotal contests of the season, as 2-0 Columbia travels to Boston to face 2-0 Harvard on Friday night. Also, 2-0 Yale takes its undefeated mark on the road to Penn and Princeton.
  • The Bulldogs' schedule sets up well for a strong finish, but the next three weeks will be tough. Yale will have to find a way to steal a game during its trips to Penn, Princeton and Harvard in order to stay in contention for its four-game homestand at the end of February.
  • The Lions have a freebie visit to Harvard this Friday, as a road loss won't really hurt their chances, but a win could stake them to the Ivy lead through four games.
  • The Crimson needs to get off to a fast start if it wants to retain legitimate hope of winning the league. It gets the six of the seven statistically easiest games within its first eight contests before closing with two straight weekends on the road and Penn/Princeton at home. Harvard would still be alive at 6-2 through eight games, but it probably has to go at least 7-1 to be considered in the driver's seat.
  • Penn and Princeton kick off the Ivy season on Friday with two straight home weekends. The Quakers' visit to Jadwin makes it five straight games at home to start the season for Princeton, leaving just two home dates for the final nine games of the year. Penn will have three in that span. Neither team can afford an early slip up at home, as making up ground on the road is a tricky proposition.

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