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Ivy League Notebook

February 11, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments



Ivy League Notebook

by Owen Bochner

The second weekend of Ivy-exclusive games proved once again that anything can happen. Cornell, for example, looked downright bipolar in the weekend’s action. Friday night, the Big Red demolished Brown, 96-81, leading by as many as 24 points. Twenty-four hours later, the Red looked flat, and Yale demolished Cornell, 67-48. And, by the way, Brown swept Yale earlier this year. Elsewhere, it took first-place Princeton two overtime sessions to beat last-place Harvard, Penn had a cheesesteak night at the expense of the Crimson, and Yale beat Columbia, 63-58, in the battle of the Jones brothers.

And, Tuesday night it got even better. The final pair of travel partners – the vaunted Penn and Princeton – finally met for a midweek showdown at Jadwin Gym.

How they stand

After Tuesday’s loss, Princeton fell a half-game behind Cornell in the league standings. This weekend will be crucial as the Tigers and Penn visit Ithaca, with the results possibly determining the league’s champion. Elsewhere, Brown sits in third place at 4-2, while Yale and Penn each improved to .500 with weekend sweeps.

Game of the Week

Princeton at Cornell; Fri., Jan. 13, 8 p.m. EST.

A match up between the top two teams in the league this season will have definite title implications. The post battle between Cornell’s Eric Taylor and Princeton’s Judson Wallace will be interesting to watch. The game will be made even more interesting as the two schools will square off in ice hockey next door.

Player of the Week

Pat Powers, Brown

The senior guard scored a total of 57 points in the Bears’ weekend split against Cornell and Columbia. In addition to his 23 points against Cornell, Powers had a career-high ten rebounds. He scored 25 first half points Saturday, finishing the game with a career-best 34 to lead the Bears to a 90-81 win.

Rookie of the Week

Leon Pattman, Dartmouth

Dartmouth continues to struggle but Pattman continues to soar. The freshman guard was the leading scorer both Friday night at Princeton and Saturday at Penn, scoring 40 points on the weekend. He also added nine rebounds and three steals on the weekend.

Brown Bears (8-11, 4-2 Ivy)

One year ago, Brown took over the position of “Best Non-P Team” with its sweep of Yale. Brown may have experienced a bit of the changing of the guard last Friday night in its 96-81 home loss to Cornell. Fortunately for the Bears, they were able to get over the shock of such a large home loss the next night, breezing by Columbia 90-81. Junior guard Jason Forte almost single-handedly pulled the Bears back into the game on Friday, scoring a game-high 30 points. He scored another 23 Saturday night to move into twentieth place on Brown’s all-time scoring list. Senior Pat Powers scored 23 points in the second half against Cornell, then 25 in the first half against Columbia for 48 points in consecutive halves. The Bears will begin a four-game road trip this weekend when it pays visits to Harvard and Dartmouth.

Columbia Lions (6-13, 2-4)

The match up of brothers Joe and James Jones lived up to expectations Friday night, as Columbia and Yale battled down to the wire in New Haven. Unfortunately for the Lions, James Jones’s Yale squad emerged with the 63-58 victory. Nevertheless, keeping the game so close for so long was a sign of Columbia’s vast improvement this season over years past. The Lions dropped another close game the next night to Brown, after Columbia came back from a thirteen-point deficit to lead by seven with under ten minutes to go. However, the Bears turned it on late to pull out the victory. Sophomore Dalen Cuff was particularly impressive for the Lions, scoring a game-high 23 points against Brown. The Lions return home this weekend to play host to Penn and Princeton.

Cornell Big Red (10-9, 5-1)

Despite reverting to pre-conference season form Saturday night at Yale, Cornell remains in control of its own destiny, with the toughest challenge yet to come this weekend. Guards Ka’Ron Barnes and Cody Toppert combined for 57 points Friday night against Brown in helping the Red to its second 90-point game of the season. It also gave Cornell a 5-0 start in Ivy League play, the best since the team went 11-0 to begin the 1964-65 season. After dropping a clunker to Yale the next night in New Haven, Cornell will be set to return home to Newman Arena for the first time in five games Friday night. The weekend will be a watermark for the Ivy season, as Princeton and Penn invade Ithaca.

Dartmouth Big Green (3-17, 1-5)

Leon Pattman has been downright dominant over the past three weeks. Battling an injury that held him out of the Green’s loss to Columbia on Jan. 30, Pattman has averaged 41 percent of his team’s scoring in his last five games. He continues to lead the team in scoring at 17.5 points per game and this week was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for sixth time this season. Unfortunately for Dartmouth, the team begins and ends with Pattman. The alarming lack of support has allowed the Green to drop its ninth and tenth consecutive games this past weekend, falling on the road to Princeton and Penn. The team will hope that this weekend’s Winter Carnival festivities will help change its fortunes, as it welcomes Yale and Brown.

Harvard Crimson (2-17, 1-5)

It took Princeton ten extra minutes to dispatch the Crimson Saturday night. The game came very close to becoming the biggest upset in the league so far this season. However, despite a brilliant effort by junior forward Jason Norman, the game eventually went the Tigers’ way and Harvard dropped its fifth straight game. It was a vast departure from the night before, when Harvard found itself on the wrong side of a 104-69 decision in the Palestra. Norman was the high man for the Crimson Friday, scoring in double digits for the ninth time in Harvard’s last twelve games. The Crimson will return home to host Brown and Yale this weekend as it hopes to break its losing streak.

Penn Quakers (10-8, 3-2)

The Quakers wanted to make a statement in their first game since suffering a league sweep two weeks ago. Against Harvard Friday night, they did just that. Freshman Ibrahim Jaaber scored a career-high thirteen points to help lead Penn past the Crimson, 104-69, at the Palestra. Senior center Adam Chubb scored seventeen points, hitting on all seven of his field goal attempts, while senior Jeff Schiffner and junior Tim Begley combined for fourteen three-pointers on the game. Strong foul shooting was the story on Saturday night, as the Quakers emerged with a more modest, 67-49, victory against Dartmouth. Penn completed its week with a 67-52 victory against rival Princeton Tuesday night. Schiffner led all scorers with 22 points in the victory.

Princeton Tigers (11-7, 4-1)

Princeton became the last Ivy League team to lose a conference game Tuesday night with its 67-52 loss to Penn at Jadwin Gym. The loss came after the Tigers swept their second straight league weekend, sweeping through Dartmouth and Harvard. Saturday night, it took Princeton two overtimes to beat the upstart Crimson, as sophomore guard Scott Greenman hit a late three-pointer to spark Princeton to the 58-50 win. Freshman Harrison Schaen made a significant contribution, scoring the game-tying basket with 23 seconds left in regulation. Despite scoring only those two points, he added two important steals and two blocked shots. This weekend, Princeton will hit the road for a match up with first-place Cornell followed by a visit to Columbia.

Yale Bulldogs (8-11, 3-3)

Yale beat Columbia Friday in the battle of the Jones brothers, then returned to the court Saturday night and completely dominated Cornell. Senior guard Matt Minoff shutdown Cornell’s Cody Toppert, limited the league’s second-leading scorer to just three points, while junior guard Alex Gamboa held the league-leader, Ka’Ron Barnes, to only fourteen. Meanwhile, junior center Dominick Martin scored fourteen points against both Columbia and Cornell, continuing to bolster his stellar field-goal percentage, which is ranked eighteenth nationally. The Bulldogs will travel north to visit Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend.

     

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