Harvard, Yale Highlight Ivy League Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll

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Harvard’s Bryce Aiken will be one of many players to watch on the Crimson this season. (PHOTO CREDIT: Boston Globe)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

The Harvard men’s basketball team was chosen to finish first in the Ivy League this winter, according to yesterday’s release.

Harvard, which collected six first-place votes, edged Yale by two points – the Bulldogs earned eight first-place votes, while tallying 118 points.

Princeton University, which is projected to finish third, garnered a trio of first-place votes for 114 points, while Penn and Columbia rounded out the top five.

Cornell, Dartmouth and Brown were projected to finish sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.

Harvard welcomes back a quartet of its leading scorers from a year ago, including sophomore Bryce Aiken, who was tabbed the Ivy League Rookie of the Year last season.

Aiken, a first-team All-Conference selection, paced the Crimson with 14.5 points per game last season, while tallying a career and season-best 28 points against Yale. As noted in his player bio, Aiken became the second first-year since Siyani Chambers to earn first team All-Ivy League honors.

Yale will certainly be a team to watch this season and should receive a boost from senior Makai Mason, who has been selected as the Ivy League preseason player of the year, per various outlets, including NBCSports.com.

Mason earned first-team All-Conference honors during his sophomore season (2015-16) – he became the fourth sophomore in program history to earn a spot on the conference’s first-team.

Against Baylor in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, Mason netted a career and game-high 31 points, including 11 free throws to lift the Bulldogs to an exciting first round win.

Both teams will commence their respective 2017-18 campaigns on Friday, November 10 with Harvard hosting MIT and Yale facing Creighton at the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.

Ivy League Football Notebook: Harvard Looks To Regroup Against Lafayette

Harvard Crimson Logo By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

It was a game that Harvard should have come back to Cambridge with a victory.

But Dave Archer’s Big Red had other ideas about the final outcome and walked off Schoellkopf Field with a well-deserved 17-14 upset over the Crimson.

Cornell, which had suffered through three dismal and turnover-plagued losses, committed just a single turnover while grinding out 233 yards on the ground to stun the Crimson.

Cornell’s strategy to focus on the rush paid off handsomely as the Big Red dominated time of possession (36:50 vs 23:10) which kept the Crimson offense off the field.

Chris Walker led the Cornell 1-3 (1-1 Ivy) ground attack with 93 yards on 19 carries.

Walker was joined by fellow running backs Harold Coles (68 yards) and Jack Gellatly (49 yards) in an impressive display of ground-and-pound football.

Meanwhile, Harvard’s offense sputtered, rushing for just 62 yards, while adding 162 through the air.

The loss left the highly-favored Crimson with a 2-2 record (1-1) and facing a non-league home game this week against Lafayette (2-4), in another of those games Harvard should put in the win column.

Saturday’s game, the 700th game in Harvard football history, will be the 20th all-time meeting between Harvard and Lafayette.

History is one Harvard’s side as they lead the series, 16-3. Harvard has won five-straight against Lafayette, and is 9-2 all-time against the Leopards in Cambridge.

The Leopards enter the contest with some momentum after last week’s come-from-behind, 14-10, win over Fordham.

The Crimson will have to deal with a passing threat in quarterback Sean O’Malley who passed for 256 passing yards and two TDs in the win over Fordham.

O’Malley has a favorite target in wide receiver Rocco Palumbo who had nine catches for 129 yards.

It will be interesting to see who Harvard will feature at quarterback as freshman Jake Smith was 8-of-14 against Cornell. Murphy had been rotating Smith and senior Joe Viviano, but Viviano did not appear in the stat sheet against Cornell.

Bob’s Prediction: It’s one of those less important non-league affairs, but the Crimson need to bounce back and gain some consistency. You can bet that the Crimson defense will be focused on stopping the Leopards ground attack. Prediction: Harvard 31, Lafayette 10 

Next week: The preseason favorites, Princeton and Harvard, will get after it on Friday, Oct. 20 under the lights at Harvard Stadium (7:30 p.m. NBCSN).

Around the Ancient Eight (Notes): The Ivy League is off to its best non-conference start since 1970 with a 15-5 record in out-of-conference play in 2017.

This week the Ivy League features a pair of matchups all critical to the teams who expect to remain in the hunt for a title.

Brown 2-2 (0-1) hosts Princeton 3-1 (0-1), which can be viewed on the Ivy League Network (ILN), while former Penn head coach Al Bagnoli leads surprising Columbia 4-0 (1-0) in to a potential trap game against the Penn Quakers 2-2 (0-1) on Eleven Sports and ILN.

Columbia might be guilty of looking ahead to next week’s contest with Dartmouth.

Bagnoli’s Lions were picked to finish seventh in the preseason polls.

Yale’s dynamic running back combo of Deshawn Salter and Zane Dudek have accounted for 12 of Yale’s 14 rushing TDs this season.

Dartmouth’s quarterback, Jack Heneghan, Ivy Offensive Player of the Week, has kept things all in the Ivy family. Father Lal was an All-Ivy tight end at Penn in 1984. He helped the Quakers to three Ivy League titles in his career.

Penn senior Justin Watson ranks sixth in Ivy League history in both receptions (232) and receiving yards (3,083). He is the sixth Ivy to surpass 3,000 yards and the first since 2002, when Carl Morris (Harvard), Rob Milanese (Penn) and Chas Gessner (Brown) accomplished the feat. Watson, who has caught at least one pass in 34-straight games, needs just one reception in each of his remaining six games to set a new Ivy League record for consecutive games with a catch.

(Report compiled from various Ivy League media sources).

Follow Bob on Twitter @WhitneyBob; like him on Facebook and Instagram.

Yale Men’s Basketball Picked To Capture Ivy League Crown

Yale Bulldogs

By NoontimeSports.com 

Yale University received a special honor on Wednesday as the Bulldogs were picked to capture the Ivy League crown, according to the league’s preseason media poll.

The Bulldogs earned the top spot in an extremely close vote – it is the first time Yale was pegged to finish atop the Ancient Eight since the preseason media poll began 31 years ago.

Yale garnered five first-place votes, earning 117 points, while Columbia University (six first-place votes) and Princeton University (six first-place votes) were picked to finish second and third, respectively.

Harvard University collected 96 points, which was good enough for fourth place, while Brown University was picked fifth, Dartmouth College sixth, University of Pennsylvania seventh and Cornell University eighth.

Last season, the Bulldogs were picked to finish second, but wound up sharing the Ivy League title with Harvard, which defeated Yale in a one-game playoff by two points (53-51). The Crimson then went onto compete in the NCAA Tournament, but fell in the second round to University of North Carolina.

“The vote was really close so the league is wide open,” Yale head coach James Jones said in a press release. “I feel good about where our team is [in the preseason], and it is nice to be recognized.”

Yale begins its season on Friday, November 13 when they take on Fairfield University in the Connecticut Six Classic with tipoff scheduled for 3:00 p.m. The Bulldogs will face Harvard twice this coming season with the initial meeting scheduled to occur on Saturday, February 13 in Cambridge at 7:00 p.m.

Mass. College Hoops: Siyani Chambers’ Jumper Lifts Harvard Past Columbia (VIDEO)

By Matt Noonan 

With the score knotted at 68-68, Harvard’s Siyani Chambers pushed the Crimson ahead for good by sinking the go-ahead jumper with 2.9 seconds remaining that sealed a 72-68 win over Columbia on Friday evening in Cambridge.

Columbia evened the score at 68-68 with a trifecta from Jeff Coby, but Harvard responded roughly six seconds later when Chambers dribbled down court and pulled up inside the arc from the far side.

Wesley Saunders, who was fouled following a Columbia turnover on the ensuing possesion, sank back-to-back free throws to secure Harvard’s 16th win of the season and sixth in the Ancient Eight.

Below is Chambers’ jumper, courtesy of the Harvard University Athletic Department’s YouTube Channel:

For a recap of the game – HOP HERE

Mass. College Hoops: Friday Evening Roundup

Temi Fagbenle registered a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds against Columbia! (Photo Credit: The Harvard Crimson)

Temi Fagbenle registered a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds against Columbia! (Photo Credit: The Harvard Crimson)

By Matt Noonan 

Another evening of college basketball is in the books and below are the local game summaries.

Men’s Basketball: 

Harvard 56, Columbia 51 – Siyani Chambers tallied a game-best 16 points, Wesley Saunders netted 15 points as the Crimson defeated the Lions and improved to 18-9 overall and 10-3 in the Ivy League. Harvard is now one-half game behind Princeton University in the Ancient Eight standings.

Women’s Basketball: 

Harvard 61, Columbia 44 – Temi Fagbenle finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, Victoria Lippert recorded a team-best 15 points as the Crimson topped the Lions and improved to 18-8 overall and 9-3 in Ivy League play.

Amherst College 47, Tufts University 42 – Hayley Kanner‘s game-best 12 points wasn’t enough to help the Jumbos as the Lord Jeffs defeated their NESCAC rival in third round of the NCAA Division III tournament and earned a spot in tomorrow’s quarterfinals against Widener. Bridget Crowley led Amherst with 10 points, while Marcia Voigt filled the stat sheet with 10 boards, seven assists, four steals and four points. Amherst led Tufts at the break, 25-17.

Williams College 64, Ithaca College 60 (OT) – Jennie Harding scored five of her 19 points in overtime, while Claire Baecher finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Ephs defeated the Bombers in the third round of the tournament. Ithaca College received game-high 22 points from Kathryn Campbell, but that wasn’t enough to beat Williams. The Ephs will return to the hardwood tomorrow when they host Whitman in the quarterfinals.   

Mass. College Hoops: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Feb. 15-17)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Friday, which means it is officially time to unveil our five college basketball games to watch this weekend. And as noted on this week’s hockey game post, make sure to check back throughout the weekend for recaps and roundups.

Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog) and Facebook (Facebook.com/NoonSports).

Men’s Basketball:

Princeton at Harvard (Saturday, 7:00 p.m.) – After last week’s shocker against Columbia, Harvard now has one blemish on their conference mark. However, they can certainly turn the page with back-to-back wins against Penn on Friday and Princeton on Saturday.

Princeton remains a half game behind Harvard for first in the Ivy League, and enters the weekend having won one of their last three games.

Harvard ranks 11th in the country in field goal percentage (.487%) and 94th in assists per game (14.2). Wesley Saunders has tallied 10 points or more in every game this season, as well as registered a season-high 27 points against Columbia.

WPI at Clark University (Saturday, 3:00 p.m.) – After earning two back-to-back losses to MIT and Springfield College, the Engineers will look to conclude their regular season with a victory against the Cougars, a squad that’s dropped two straight.

WPI was ranked second in the country last week, but their loss to Springfield dropped them three spots. The Engineers, though, are most likely not worried about their spot in the recent D3Hoops.com rankings, but instead, capping their successful campaign with a win.

Keep your eyes on Clark’s Brian Vayda (16.9 points per game) and WPI’s Marco Coppola (15.8), as both players will be the players to watch in tomorrow’s contest.

Mount Ida College at Anna Maria College (Saturday, 3:00 p.m.) The AMCATs enter the final weekend of the regular season with a 14 game winning streak. Coach Shawn Conrad told Noontime Sports that their game against Mount Ida College earlier this season was a turning point. And ever since their 72-62 victory against the Mustangs in Newton, the AMCATs have been unstoppable.

Anna Maria’s Anthony Clink ranks second in the GNAC (Great Northeast Athletic Conference) in points per game (19.5), while Mount Ida’s Kenny Jean ranks fourth in field goal percentage (55.4%).

Women’s Basketball:

Harvard at Princeton (Saturday, 6:00 p.m.) – Similar to the men’s game, this particular clash is very important too.

Harvard’s won three straight, while Princeton is on a seven-game winning streak. The Crimson’s only blemish in Ivy League play came against Dartmouth College on January 26.

Princeton ranks first in scoring, while Harvard ranks second with 68.6 points per game. The Tigers are first in scoring defense and have limited their opponents to roughly 54 points per game.

Excluding team statistics, this game will feature the league’s two best scorers – Princeton’s Niveen Rasheed (321 points) and Harvard’s Christine Clark (316 points).

Adelphi at Assumption College (Saturday, 1:30 p.m.) – This particular tilt is an important one for the Hounds, who’re currently tied for third place in the Northeast-10 Conference with UMass Lowell.

Last time Adelphi and Assumption met; the Panthers defeated the Hounds, 66-58. Assumption finished the contest 23 of 65 from the field, while Adelphia managed to connect on 23 of 52 shots.

Assumption will certainly lean on Gabrielle Gibson, who is third in the conference in points per game (16.8). Adelphi will counter with Jessica Kitrys, whose second in the conference in points per game (17.8). 

Mass. College Hoops: Harvard Tops Yale, Improves To 3-0 In Ivy League (VIDEO)

By Matt Noonan

The Harvard University men’s basketball team earned its third win in the Ivy League on Friday evening, as the Crimson defeated the visiting Yale Bulldogs, 67-64. Wesley Saunders recorded his first collegiate double-double in the win with 15 points and a career-high 11 assists, while Laurent Rivard netted 15 points.

Harvard led Yale at the break, 40-27, but the Bulldogs outscored the Crimson during the second session, 37-27. Armani Cotton paced the Bulldogs with a team-high 14 points, while Austin Morgan tallied nine points.

The Crimson finished the game 23 of 42 from the field, 8 of 13 from beyond the arc, 13 of 22 at the stripe and 24 rebounds. Below is a highlight package from the Harvard’s YouTube channel.