With Yale faltering at Columbia, the Crimson gained sole possession of first place in the Ivy League with a weekend sweep of Penn and Princeton.
Harvard (9-1) kicked off its weekend with an 83-63 stomping of Penn (4-5) on Friday night. The Crimson, led by forward Steve Moundou-Missi’s 14 points, took advantage of 20 Penn turnovers and shot 50 percent on the night.
The following night, Harvard snapped its 24-game road losing streak to Princeton, downing the Tigers, 59-47, in a comeback effort. Harvard struggled out of the gate, committing eight turnovers in the first half, but was able to come out on top after holding the Tigers to 26.1 percent shooting and getting 12 points from Brandyn Curry in the second half.
With its wins this weekend, this season marks the first time in program history the Crimson have taken all four games from Penn and Princeton.
The middling Tigers (3-6) avoided falling victim to a comeback the previous night against Dartmouth, beating the Big Green, 67-57. Princeton used a 12-0 late first half run and 14 points from forward Hans Brase to seize its third conference win of the season.
Columbia (6-4) defended its home court over the weekend, taking down Brown and Yale.
The Lions used a variety of strong offensive efforts to outlast the Bears in a nail biter that featured 17 lead changes. Guard Maodo Lo continued to perform down the stretch, scoring 15 points and sinking a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left to give Columbia a 70-68 win. Forward Alex Rosenberg poured in 23 and Meiko Lyles contributed a career high 21 points, including five treys.
Columbia grabbed its most impressive victory of the season on Sunday against Yale, besting the Elis, 62-46, in a matinee to secure its first sweep of an Ivy weekend in five seasons. The Tigers built a sizable lead that would shrink but never disappear with a 9-0 mid-first half run. The Lions got a game high 18 points from Rosenberg, and a 17 point effort from guard Steve Frankoski off the bench. Armani Cotton, who scored 15, led Yale, which shot only 9-for-22 from the line.
Yale’s (8-2) loss on Sunday snapped a seven-game winning streak. The night before, the Elis were able to survive a 29-point barrage from Cornell guard Devin Cherry, and handled the Big Red 82-65. Bulldogs’ forward Justin Sears led Yale with 19 points, but sophomore guard Jack Montague was the biggest story in Ithaca. Montague took advantage of increased minutes, draining five threes en route to 18 total points. There was a great disparity in bench scoring, as Yale’s second unit posted 37 points to Cornell’s 10.
The Big Red (1-9) got another remarkable individual offensive performance - this time 34 points from guard Nolan Cressler - but came up short again on Saturday, falling to Brown, 81-75, in overtime.
Brown (6-4) forward Cedric Kuakumensah posted a gaudy line of 30 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks in the win over Cornell. He was crucial down the stretch, tying the game up twice in the final three minutes of regulation. The Bears scored the first five overtime points, and used a Sean McGonagill trey with 45 seconds left to seal the deal.
Dartmouth (2-8) extended its losing skid to six games, getting swept on its Princeton-Penn road trip. Dartmouth led Princeton by a slim margin late in the first half on Friday, but subsequently went cold for a stretch (it shot just 7-for-27 in the first half) and could not recover.
The Big Green failed to complete a season sweep of Penn on Saturday, as they fell to the Quakers 74-65. Dartmouth did not have an answer for the Quakers’ balanced offensive attack, which featured five players in double figures.
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