The second to last week of Ivy play tightened the race for the title, eliminating all but three teams. Penn (19-6, 9-2 Ivy) and Princeton (18-7, 9-2 Ivy) are tied atop the standings, a half-game ahead of Harvard (19-7, 9-3 Ivy).
On the road, Penn rolled over Brown (9-17, 3-9 Ivy) by a score of 70-54 before heading to New Haven, Conn. to take on Yale (12-14, 6-6 Ivy). There, the Quakers dominated Yale, 62-48. While shooting a respectable 41 percent on the weekend, Penn found that much of its success came from hard work under that basket, outrebounding its opponents by a combined margin of 91-59. Six-foot center Sydney Stipanovich led the way with 20 boards. With its loss, Yale saw its playoff hopes mathematically dashed.
Princeton first took on Yale, outscoring the Elis, 85-63, and then travelled to Providence, R.I. with the opportunity to take sole possession of first place with a win over the struggling Bruno. At their last match-up, Princeton picked apart the Bear offense, winning 81-70. But this time, Brown hung tough with the Tigers. After falling behind early in the first half, the Tigers began to rally, tying the game at 57 with under two minutes to play. But Brown forward Sophie Beutel hit a lay-up with just over a minute remaining to help lift the Bears to a 61-58 win.
After falling out of first place with last week’s loss, Harvard handily dispatched both opponents this weekend. Facing Cornell (14-12, 6-6 Ivy) in Ithaca, N.Y., Harvard regained composure after a shaky, turnover-ridden first half to ride to a 70-66 victory. The Crimson then travelled downstate where it notched its second win of the weekend, again overcoming a shaky first half to defeat the Light Blue, 64-51. Forward Temi Fagbenle exploded for the Crimson, sinking 31 points against Columbia and earning Ivy Player of the Week honors.
After losing to Harvard, Cornell has also been eliminated from title contention. The Big Red bounced back the following night, however, and stayed even at .500 with a 63-50 victory over last-place Dartmouth, thanks to 20 points from forward Allyson DiMagno and 19 from guard Stephanie Long.
The Big Green took on Columbia at Levien, and surprised the Lions by posting a season-high 82 points. Dartmouth guard Nicola Zimmer knocked down 23, and the Big Green shot 61 percent as a team from the field on the way to a 82-75 win. On the Light Blue side, first-year forward Tori Oliver shined despite the loss, pouring in 33 points and earning Ivy Rookie of the Week honors.
To close the season, Brown and Yale visit Harvard and Dartmouth, while Penn and Princeton host Columbia and Cornell. Princeton also hosts Penn in the final game of the season on March 11.