Sports | Men's Basketball

Harvard basketball remains atop Ivy League

In the sixth week of Ivy League play, Harvard (22-4, 9-1 Ivy) claimed sole possession of the top position in the standings by finishing the weekend undefeated. Both Columbia (17-10, 6-4 Ivy) and the Crimson went 2-0 this weekend, while Yale (14-10, 8-2 Ivy), Princeton (15-8, 3-6 Ivy), Penn (7-16, 4-5 Ivy), and Brown (14-10, 6-4 Ivy) all split their respective contests. Dartmouth (9-15, 2-8 Ivy) and Cornell (2-22, 1-9 Ivy) went winless. 

Harvard began its weekend with a commanding 83-63 win over Penn at the Palestra. The Crimson gained the lead in the first quarter with a 20-9 run and never looked back, forcing 20 turnovers and only giving up eight to the Quakers. Forward Steve Moundou-Missi led the Crimson with 14 points and five rebounds. 

The Crimson followed up the trouncing of Penn with a hard-fought win against Princeton. Though it trailed the Tigers at the half, the Crimson got back in it thanks to a clutch performance from guard Siyani Chambers, who gave Harvard the lead with a layup with 11:58 left in the second half. Chambers added 10 more points, allowing Harvard to pull away and take home a 59-47 win. After posting a strong weekend statline—22 points, 18 assists, and four steals—Chambers earned Ivy League Co-Player of the Week honors. 

Yale entered the weekend tied with Harvard atop the standings. The Bulldogs were able to pick up a win in their first contest against Cornell. Yale started out hot and held a commanding 45-31 lead at half. The Big Red had no answer for the Yale offense in the second half, and ultimately fell in Ithaca, 82-65. Forward Justin Sears led the way for the Bulldogs with 19 points and five rebounds, though the Yale bench also contributed 37 points to the effort. 

The Bulldogs’ seven-game winning streak came to an end on Sunday afternoon, however, when Columbia took down the Elis, 62-46. Yale now trails the Crimson by one game, but still controls its fate and will have a chance for revenge against Harvard in New Haven on March 7.

Brown had yet another exciting weekend, as both its games were decided in the final seconds. At Levien, the Bears were unable to retain an early 11-point lead and ultimately lost to Columbia, 70-68.

Brown played another thriller against Cornell the following day. The teams exchanged buckets throughout the second half, and neither team held more than a three-point lead, as Cornell held the ever-dangerous Bears guard Sean McGonagill to just seven points. 

But with 23 seconds remaining, Brown forward Cedric Kuakumensah hit a clutch layup to tie the game. Cornell had an opportunity to get back on top, but guard Devin Cherry was unable to hit a jump shot, and the game went to overtime. 

The momentum shifted in Brown’s favor in the extra period. The Bears got off to a quick start and never relinquished their lead, finishing off the Big Red, 81-75. Kuakumensah led the Bears by recording a double-double with 30 points and 14 rebounds. Guard Nolan Cressler posted 34 points for Cornell in the loss.

Dartmouth suffered another tough road weekend. It began with a 67-57 loss at Princeton’s Jadwin Gym. The Big Green could not get anything going offensively, and trailed by as many as 19 in the second half. Dartmouth limited Princeton’s lead scorer, guard T.J. Bray, to just seven points, but allowed four Tigers to log double-digit scoring totals. Princeton forward Hans Brase led the team with 14 points. 

Dartmouth finished the weekend with a 74-65 defeat at the hands of Penn. The Big Green got off to a stronger start than it had the previous night, and trailed by only four at the break. But in the second half, the Quakers took control to come away with the win. The Big Green has dropped six straight in Ivy League play.

Harvard, Princeton, Penn, and Dartmouth will play at home next week. The Crimson and Big Green will take on Columbia and Cornell, while Penn and Princeton will face Yale and Brown. Harvard will look to continue its four-game win streak and stay on top of the standings, while Yale will fight to remain in the running as it faces Princeton and Penn.

sports@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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Anonymous posted on

Since when are there quarters in college basketball? #specsucks

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