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Ivy League Notebook

January 27, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Ivy League Notebook

by Jason Haslam

Yale Grieves For Fallen Athletes

At approximately 5 a.m. on January 17, four Yale students were killed and five seriously injured while driving back to their campus from New York in their SUV, when they slammed into a flatbed trailer that had veered into their lane on Interstate 95. When Yale College administrators received the disturbing news that four of its students were victims in a fatal car accident, it was pretty transparent the Bulldogs league opener against Brown would be pushed aside as students and faculty began trying to cope with the unfortunate losses. By midday, flags were at half-mast as the college began delegating on how to respond and assist its students with counseling and announcing forthcoming memorial services.

Even more troubling has been the reasons for the accident. While no foul play has been indicated, links to the crash are being directed at Arrow Trucking, who is the company responsible for the vehicle involved in the crash. According to The Yale Herald, Arrow Trucking vehicles were given sub-par ratings by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), a division of the US Department of Transportation. Since the accident, the investigation has yielded some answers to the cause. No alcohol or drugs were involved, and both drivers were not exceeding the speed limit. Officials believe that a lack of lighting along a stretch of the highway played a part in the accident.

Since the tragedy, the Bulldogs have been unable to regroup, losing three straight, two to Brown, and the other to lowly Army. The Bulldogs came into this season with NCAA tournament aspirations. After finishing in a three-way first place tie for the first time since 1962, earning a birth in the NIT and claiming their first postseason win in school history, the Bulldogs were nothing short of sanguine coming into this season. Despite a tough non-conference schedule, a win for coach James Jones’ squad could be therapeutic as the healing process continues for this close-knit New Haven community.

Penn Falls In Its Big 5 Showdown

The Penn-St. Joseph’s game was tabbed as the marquee matchup for the Big Five this year. It turned out to be a flop. The Hawks continued to rely on tenacious perimeter defense that left the Quakers befuddled en route to a 66-48 victory at the Palestra, Saturday night. For those not privy, the Big Five is an unsanctioned agreement amongst the five universities in the Philadelphia-area; Penn, St. Joseph’s, Temple, La Salle, and Villanova all agree to play each other. Similar to conference play, the team with the best record in Big Five play is essentially crowned city champion. Last year the Quakers swept the competition to claim its first outright title in 28 years.

The Quakers (7-5) were unable to play with any cadence falling behind early and quickly succumbing to the Hawks, who are now in prime position to clinch the city title. For the fifth straight game, Quaker power forward Ugonna Onyekwe came off the bench, a tactic coach Fran Dunphy likes to use, so his star player could avoid early foul trouble. Onyekwe paced the Quakers with 13 points and six rebounds. Guards Andrew Toole and Tim Begley were stymied by the merciless defensive play of the Hawks, combining to shoot 2-for-11 totaling seven points and seven turnovers. The Hawks also held advantages in free throws, rebounding, and turnovers.

Dunphy and his squad will have little time to wait before their next game as they face La Salle, Tuesday night for their Big Five finale. The Quakers commence league play next weekend against Dartmouth. Many questions still abound with this team and it should be interesting to see how they react, mired with inconsistency, but loaded with experience and talent.

Other Ivy Leaves

Cornell freshman Lenny Collins won his third Ivy League Rookie of the Week honor as he leads all first-year players in scoring, at 7.8 points a game and grabbing 4.1 rebounds. He is also logging 29 minutes a game and has started eight games already . . . Brown guard Earl Hunt won Player of the Week honors as his squad began league play with two wins, including a 32 point performance over Yale. It was Hunt’s second game scoring 30 or more, and is leading the league in scoring at 19.5 points a game . . . Games of intrigue this week both involve Harvard who go on a weekend road trip. First stop Princeton on Friday evening and then follow that up the next night against Penn.


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