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Ivy League Notebook

March 3, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Ivy League Notebook

by Jason Haslam

Ivy Round-Up

The Quakers maintained supremacy in the Ivy League and have all but locked up their fourth conference title in five years with wins at Brown 69-65 and Yale 80-75 this past weekend. Coach Fran Dunphy, the all-time winningest coach in Penn history is now on the verge of winning eight Ivy titles in his 14 years at the helm.

In a game that had critical implications on the Ivy crown, the Quakers displayed their experience in putting away the Brown Bears and extending their lead in the conference by two games, with just three left in the season. The Quakers (19-5, 11-0) shot a blistering 60 percent from the field, led by senior forward Koko Archibong, who was a perfect 7-for-7 from the field, totaling 17 points and four rebounds. Despite shooting just 40 percent from the field, the Bears (15-11, 10-2) kept the game close thanks in part to forcing 20 Quaker turnovers. Senior guard Earl Hunt, the league’s leading scorer, led all players with 26 points and six rebounds in front of a sellout of 2,800 at Pizzitola Center.

The Quakers next game is Friday when last-place Columbia visits the Palestra. In their first matchup, the Lions kept pace with the Quakers eventually falling 47-40. But the Lions will be playing for pride and a chance to spoil the Quakers pristine record. The Quakers have an RPI of 55 and by winning their final three games will only enhance their seeding in the NCAA Tournament, which will either be a number 12 or 13 seed.

Since the Quakers have all but locked up the Ivy title, their season finale showdown with Princeton will be lacking some of its intensity. Especially after the dismissal of Tiger star forward Spencer Gloger.

Following a win over Yale 61-52, the Tigers were dismantled by Brown 88-74, marking the first time ever that the Bears have swept the Tigers. The Bears finish their season on the road at Dartmouth and Harvard. If they manage to win both games, they will have 12 league wins, marking the first time since 1968, that a school other than Penn or Princeton had as many victories. Although the Bears have very slim chances of winning the league, coach Glen Miller should be a top candidate for Ivy League Coach of the Year, while Earl Hunt needs just 54 points to become only the fourth player ever to reach 2,000 points.

After winning their first two league games Cornell was 7-8 and in position to at least make things interesting in the league. However, the Big Red lost seven of the next eight thus falling out of contention. They lost those seven games by a margin of 14.4 points, yet on February 7 they almost stunned Penn, losing 70-67. The Big Red forced both Onyekwe and Archibong into foul trouble, and with just 11 seconds left were within a point of the Quakers. Though the Big Red fell to the league’s best, the youthful Big Red should go into this Saturday’s game knowing that they can stay with the Quakers, and it’s just a matter of them knowing how to win games together.

     

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