Ivy men's hoops weekend roundup: Nov. 17
The first Ivy League team to claim a top 25 spot in the preseason polls in 39 years opened up its season with a 73-52 victory against crosstown rival MIT. Although these schools may be more used to competing in the academic world, both teams showed they could compete on the court as well. Senior guard Wesley Saunders led the way for the No. 25 Crimson (1-1) to pick up the victory with 15 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals. However, Harvard could not follow up its performance on Sunday, falling to Holy Cross in a close battle, 58-57. With the loss, Harvard’s days in the top 25 are numbered.
In the first ever meeting between Dartmouth (0-1) and St. Bonaventure, the Big Green fell, 77-57. The loss didn’t come as much of a surprise as Dartmouth has failed to win an opener away from Hanover since 1999. Dartmouth stayed in the game in the first half, facing only a one-point deficit at the beginning of the second half, but the Bonnies ran away with it, forcing a total of 19 turnovers on the night.
Yale (0-1) opened its season with a thrilling yet disappointing double-overtime loss to Quinnipiac, 88-85. The game ultimately came down to rebounding as Quinnipiac dominated on the boards, finishing with 54 rebounds including 22 on the offensive end while the Bulldogs only had 38 on the night. Despite the loss, senior guard Javier Duren notched 26 points while junior forward Justin Sears posted a double-double.
Princeton (1-1) split the games on its opening weekend, beating Rider 64-58 on Friday but falling to George Mason 63-60 on Sunday. Overall, the team showed perseverance, overcoming a nine-point deficit against Rider to tie the game at 43 and go ahead with three minutes left. However, on Sunday, a cold first half in which the Tigers went 2-for-17 on field goal attempts spoiled the chance of a weekend sweep.
Brown (1-0) was the only Ivy League team to escape the weekend with an undefeated record, beating St. Peter’s, 70-58, at home. Junior forward Cedric Kuakumensah had a stellar performance on both ends of the court, shooting 7-for-9 from the field and blocking three shots, pulling him just one block shy of the Brown record.
Cornell (1-1) accomplished what Princeton couldn’t this weekend, taking down George Mason, 68-60, with an impressive defensive showing. Senior forward Shonn Miller, who missed all of last season, led the Big Red with a double-double while senior guard Devin Cherry nearly posted a triple-double. However, Cornell could not keep up the momentum on Sunday as it fell to Loyola (Md.), 76-71.
Columbia (0-1) joined the list of other Ivy teams that fell by a slim margin this weekend with a tough 57-56 loss to Stony Brook in its season opener. Stony Brook scored the go-ahead basket with only seven seconds remaining. However, there were several bright spots for the Lions, who shot 50 percent from floor in the first half and 43.8 percent for the game.