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Ivy League Notebook

December 17, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Ivy League Notebook

by Owen Bochner

While millions dug out of the weekend’s snowstorms in the Northeast, the arenas of the Ancient Eight remained relatively quiet, as most of the Ivy League’s schools took a break for exams. But the league’s players didn’t take time out to watch the snow fall. Few games on the schedule means teams are now resting up for a last spurt of non-conference activity before the “real” season starts in the coming weeks. And so the Ancient Eight sat on its snow-covered campuses, taking final exams and biding its time before the true tests begin.

Player of the Week

Dominick Martin, Yale

Martin, who transferred to Yale from Princeton a year ago, is wasting no time in showing how important a commodity he can be in the low post. He scored a team-high 14 points on perfect 7-for-7 shooting in the Bulldogs’ loss to St. Peters, also posting three rebounds, two blocks, and two assists. Eight games into the season, he leads the squad in scoring (14.7 ppg), rebounding (5.3 rpg), and shooting (55.0 percent from the field).

Rookie of the Week

Gerald Barrett, Columbia

Despite the Lions’ fourth loss of the season last Monday against Lehigh, Barrett continued to shine. He scored eight points with six rebounds in only 20 minutes of the Light Blue’s three-point home loss. The forward is averaging 6.4 points and 4.4 rebounds for the young team in limited action so far.

Brown Bears (2-5)

The Bears had the week off after returning from an eventful – though certainly not productive – trip to Ohio on Dec. 6. Senior guard Patrick Powers leads the squad with 13.0 points per game, and freshman Sam Manhanga leads all league rookies with 24.7 minutes per game. Senior guard Mike Martin, who has been sidelined since late last season, is hoping to make his return to the Bears on Dec. 21 against Holy Cross. It will be Brown’s first game back following its exam break. Following that, Brown will return home to host Wright State on Dec. 28 before closing out 2003 at Stony Brook on Dec. 30.

Columbia Lions (1-4)

With the pressure of ending a nearly year-long winning streak lifted with a Dec. 2 overtime victory over Sacred Heart, the Lions promptly lost their next two games heading into the exam break. But after Lehigh broke Columbia’s heart with a clutch three-pointer in the final 10 seconds of the game, Dec. 8, the Light Blue is confident it will be well prepared to enter its next portion of the season. The Lions again hit the court with visits to Stony Brook Dec. 20 and Villanova Dec. 22, before they head out to the Golden Bear Classic hosted by California-Berkley on Dec. 27 and 28. Columbia will remain out west to visit Washington on Dec. 30 to wrap up the year.

Cornell Big Red (3-3)

So far in this young season, the Red has looked pretty sharp, albeit against less-than-overwhelming competition. The schedule will only get tougher now, as Cornell will face its first in a series of tough tests on Dec. 20 against Lafayette. It will be the first of four matchups against Ancient Eight foes for the Leopards, who will also face Columbia, Princeton, and Penn later in the season. Senior guard Ka’Ron Barnes is second in the league with 18.5 ppg, and is tops in both assists (5.5) and steals (2.5). Junior forward Gabe Stephenson has been a pleasant surprise for the Red, averaging a league-high 8.0 rebounds in his return from two years plagued by injury.

Dartmouth Big Green (2-5)

Dartmouth, which unlike its Ivy brethren operates on a trimester academic calendar, returned from exams on Dec. 14 with decidedly unfavorable results. The Green shot an ice-cold 14.3 percent from three point land in its 56-45 loss to New Hampshire. The bright spot again was sophomore guard Mike Lang, who lead the team with 15 points off the bench. He was 7-of-12 from the floor on the night, and currently leads the team with 11.8 ppg. After Tuesday night’s 68-65 overtime win at Maine, the Green will host Lehigh on Dec. 20 before paying a visit to Ohio State on the 28th. Dartmouth will host Harvard on Jan. 3 in the traditional opener of conference play.

Harvard Crimson (0-8)

Things went from bad to worse for the Crimson last week, as it dropped consecutive contests to Boston University, Colgate, and Vermont by a combined total of 68 points. Harvard suffered its first loss in over a decade Dec. 9, when BU wiped the floor with the Crimson, 86-42. It was the most lopsided loss for the Crimson since losing to a Duke team that featured Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, and Bobby Hurley, 118-65, on Nov. 30, 1991. Junior guard Kevin Rogus has continued to be the lone positive for Harvard. He scored 29 points in the 78-60 loss to Colgate, a career-high. He has scored in double figures in ever game thus far and is third in the Ivy League with 16.5 points per game. The Crimson has continued to be plagued by second-half breakdowns and foul trouble, as the week’s losses extended the team’s losing streak to eight games. Up next is a visit to local rival Northeastern on Friday before the Crimson returns home on Monday to play host to Rider.

Penn Quakers (2-4)

The Quakers’ startling early-season woes continued on Dec. 9, with a 73-63 home loss to Big 5 rival Villanova. Senior center Adam Chubb led the team with 17 points, 13 of which came in the second half of the loss. Yet despite Penn’s struggles thus far, the team has played the most challenging schedule in the Ivy League, including games against three ranked opponents. The Red and Blue has also excelled from beyond the arc, shooting a blistering 40.5 percent, compared to 25.0 percent by Penn’s opponents. Senior Charlie Copp, junior Eric Heil, senior Jeff Schiffner, and junior Tim Begley are all among the top twelve three-point shooters in the league. Copp is second in the conference at .519. After an 11-day layoff for exams, the Quakers visit Bucknell on Dec. 20 in their return to action before participating in the ECAC Holiday Festival Dec. 28-29 at Madison Square Garden.

Princeton Tigers (4-2)

The Tigers returned from a short layoff on Dec. 13 to face its toughest test so far against Rutgers in the battle of New Jersey. Unfortunately for Princeton, a game-tying shot attempt at the buzzer by junior Andre Logan was off the mark, and Rutgers held on to a 51-49 victory. The story of the game was the return to significant action of Logan, who was sidelined in the season’s early going after suffering a self-inflicted hand injury following the New York Yankees’ ALCS victory over the Boston Red Sox. Logan, a Yankee fan, suffered some cuts from broken glass while he was attempting to put a Yankees banner on an eating club window. Logan scored a season-high 11 points in the loss to Rutgers.

Additionally, junior center Judson Wallace has continued his torrid pace, scoring 26 points in three of the team’s six games. The last Princeton player to score at least 26 points three times in a career was Kit Muller.

The Tigers will again face a stiff challenge in No. 4 Duke Wednesday night in a game televised on ESPN2. Princeton will then host Lafayette on Dec. 22 before completing 2003 on Dec. 29 at Loyola (Md.).

Yale Bulldogs (4-4)

The Bulldogs suffered their second disappointing loss on Dec. 11, this time at the hands of St. Peters. Yale fell, 80-78, in overtime despite one of the best shooting performances of the season. The team shot 58.9 percent from the field, including 10-of-19 from three-point range. Six different players scored three pointers for the Elis, including senior forward Paul Vitelli, who leads the team with 10 three pointers on the season. He is shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc. Junior center Dominick Martin has scored a double-double in every game so far this season, and is shooting 58.6 percent from the field.

Yale will face its third straight MAAC opponent on Dec. 20 when it hosts Niagra, before the team takes 10 days off for the holidays.

     

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