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Ivy League Notebook

February 27, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Ivy League Notebook

by Jason Haslam

The Penn-Brown Rematch: Win and In?

The Quakers (17-5, 9-0) have hit full stride at just the right time. The Quakers followed up their win over Princeton by dispatching Yale and Brown at the Palestra last weekend. Going into the Brown contest, both squads were undefeated with the winner usurping sole possession of first place. The Bears played solid throughout, but went scoreless the final 4:56 of the game to lose their first conference game of the season, 73-66.

Once again, Ugonna Onyekwe put together a dominating performance to as he netted 21 points along with 13 rebounds and four blocks, for his third consecutive double-double. The game opened with the Bears looking confident and hardly intimidated by the frenzied crowd. Bear senior center Alai Nuualiitia looked brilliant, however, was limited to just eight minutes because of three first-half fouls. In addition, the Quakers took advantage of the Bears 11 turnovers for a 40-34 halftime lead.

The second half saw nine lead changes and three ties as the Bears clawed back to take their largest lead of the game 66-61 with 4:56 left.

Quaker guards Dan Klatsky and Jeff Schiffner nailed back-to-back threes giving them the lead. With under a minute left and up two Klatsky finished off the Bears with another three pointer as the shot clock expired causing pandemonium throughout the Palestra.

“At the start of the second half we were not very good,” coach Fran Dunphy said. “Ugonna had a couple of turnovers, we just didn’t come out with any kind of intensity and fire, and I don’t know whether or not you can look to the fact that we had three difficult games this week.”

“It’s a position you always want to be in to hit that shot and I liked it a lot, so if you get the chance to knock it down it felt good.”

“Not a lot of coaching goes on during those last couple minutes I can guarantee you that. You just hope that someone like David can make a shot or Ugonna can grab a rebound.”

For the first time in 10 games the Bears were outshot from the free throw line and coach Glen Miller was seething after the game and allude to the press that
Penn and Princeton are treated favorably by the referees.

“You can’t go to Penn or Princeton and get a fair shake. Our guys outplayed them the entire game, we got jammed up our asses by three officials,” Miller
said.

“No response, no response. Coach Dunphy can hold a press conference down here. Coach Thompson III can hold a conference down here. Coach Miller from Brown: no respect. Brown University: no respect,” Miller added.

Miller’s claims were a little presumptuous considering that the night before his Bears shot 18 more free throws in their historic win, that ended a 52-game skid at Jadwin Gym. Against the Quakers the Bears were outshot from the line 21-7.

Since the loss the Bears have put together two straight wins and a rematch with the Quakers looms this Friday at Brown. With Princeton literally out of the picture due to the abrupt exit of star forward Spencer Gloger, this game will essentially decide whether the Quakers are NCAA-bound or if an Ivy title will be decided by another one-game playoff.

Another Ivy Star Declared Ineligible

Princeton’s Spencer Gloger, who leads the team in scoring and rebounding was dismissed from both the basketball team and university after being declared academically ineligible. The decision was effective immediately February 20. He will be eligible again in the spring semester of 2004.

Gloger is the second high profile Ivy League player to be ruled ineligible this month. Earlier this February Harvard guard Patrick Harvey, who was second in the conference in scoring, was dismissed from his school for inadequate performance in the classroom. The enigmatic career of Gloger ends prematurely. He arrived to Princeton in 1998 and as a freshman averaged 12 points a game, but after then-coach Bill Carmody’s decision to coach at Northwestern, Gloger decided to jettison the Tigers as well and move back home so he could attend UCLA. After more indecision Gloger opted to return back to Princeton and sat out yet another year due to NCAA regulations.

With the loss of Gloger the Tigers have managed to pull out two straight wins over Dartmouth and Harvard, but their chances of contending for the conference title are all but diminished now.

Columbia: Chasing Futility

The Lions are on the verge of losing all 14 league games, a feat that hasn’t happened since Dartmouth did it in the 1965-66 season. To say it’s been a tough season for the Lions would be an understatement. They have no player on their roster that averages double-digits in points and as we enter March they are still searching for their first win of the New Year.

Out of the 327 Division I-A basketball programs, the Lions are ranked last in scoring averaging only 50.5 points a contest and 324th in team field goal percentage. Ostensibly, offense is not this team’s strong suit. The most telling statistic about these Lions are the combined 13 freshman and sophomores on the team. The team is just not talented enough to win yet. Nevertheless seniors Marco McCottery and Chris Weidemann will do anything possible to keep the Lions from making history through futility.

McCottery leads the team with 8.8 points and 7.4 rebounds a game as the team’s lone bright spot.

     

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