Photos courtesy of Columbia Athletics Communications and Princeton Athletic Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- With two back-to-back weekends to go in the regular season, the title race for Ivy League men's basketball has tightened with Yale and Princeton tied in the loss column with one defeat each with Columbia just behind with two losses in conference play.
• Yale senior forward Justin Sears is one of 10 finalists for the 2015-16 Senior CLASS Award in men's collegiate basketball. Sears is the Ivy League's first finalist since Penn's Zack Rosen in 2011-12.
• Only 11 teams have swept the Penn-Princeton weekend since the Ivy League went to the Friday-Saturday travel partner series in 1961-62 -- though nine teams have done so in the last eight years after just two did over the first 46 seasons.
• Recent history has shown that the team to record the most weekend sweeps in a season will most likely win the Ivy League title. Dating back to the 2010-11 season, Harvard swept four weekends each season during its current five-year title run. Princeton swept four weekends in 2010-11 when the Tigers shared the title with Harvard and went on to defeat the Crimson on a buzzer beater in the one-game playoff to determine the League's NCAA Tournament representative.
• Cornell freshman guard Matt Morgan and Dartmouth freshman forward Evan Boudreaux continue to lead an impressive group of freshmen in the Ivy League this season. Entering the week, Morgan (19.1 ppg) and Boudreaux (17.6 ppg) are in a battle to earn the title as the top freshman scorer in conference history. Brown's Earl Hunt (17.0 ppg, 460 points in 27 games) in 1999-2000 currently holds that distinction.
• The League has another busy broadcast schedule this weekend with its third and final regular-season game on FS1 and FOX Sports Go and two games on American Sports Network and The Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN). ILDN is set for live coverage of seven games with Dartmouth at Brown also available on ESPN3.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Columbia senior guard Maodo Lo (Berlin) had a pair of dynamic performances to help the Lions pick up wins over Harvard and Dartmouth to stay within striking distance of first place. Lo posted 22 points, on 8-of-13 shooting including a buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the first half , to go with five assists to pace Columbia to its first sweep of Harvard since the 2007-08 season. Despite a rare off-night from three-point range vs. Dartmouth, he attacked the basket and scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half to help the Lions turn a four-point halftime lead into a 19-point victory. Lo also added a game-high seven rebounds against the Big Green.
Lo's Statistics for the Week
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Princeton freshman guard Devin Cannady (Mishawaka, Ind.) came up big off the bench for the Tigers in critical victories over Yale and Brown. Cannady poured in a game-high 20 points in the showdown against the first-place Bulldogs. He hit three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to pull Princeton out of a 27-21 hole and the Tigers never trailed again. The next night vs. Brown, Cannady was one of four Princeton players in double figures with 10 points . For the weekend, he shot over 50 percent from the field (8-of-15, .533) from the field and from three-point range (5-of-9, .556). Cannady has 270 points this season, already the seventh-highest total for a freshman in program history.
Cannady's Statistics for the Week
Evan Boudreaux, Dartmouth (Fr., F - Lake Forest, Ill.)
22 pts., 18 rebs., 3 assts. at Cornell
16 pts., 7 rebs., 2 assts. at Columbia
Cedric Kuakumensah, Brown (Sr., F - Worcester, Mass.)
14 pts., 10 rebs., 2 assts., 2 blks. at Penn
18 pts., 7 rebs., 2 blks. at Princeton
Matt Morgan, Cornell (Fr., G - Concord, N.C.)
16 pts., 1 reb., vs. Dartmouth
27 pts., 3 rebs. vs. Harvard
Darien Nelson-Henry, Penn (Sr., C - Kirkland, Wash.)
19 pts., 9 rebs. vs. Brown
15 pts., 4 rebs., 2 assts. vs. Yale
Agunwa Okolie, Harvard (Sr., G/F - Ajax, Ontario, Canada)
20 pts., 5 rebs., 5 stls. at Columbia
16 pts., 7 rebs. at Cornell
Obi Okolie, Brown (Fr., G - Ajax, Ontario, Canada)
23 pts., 5 rebs., 2 stls. at Penn
15 pts., 5 rebs., 2 stls. at Princeton
Justin Sears, Yale (Sr., F - Plainfield, N.J.)
15 pts., 10 rebs., 2 blks., 2 stls. at Princeton
31 pts., 9 rebs. at Penn
Brandon Sherrod, Yale (Sr., F - Bridgeport, Conn.)
18 pts., 6 rebs. at Princeton
15 pts., 4 rebs. at Penn
Friday, February 26
*Columbia at Princeton, 6 pm [ASN/ILDN]
*Dartmouth at Brown, 7 pm [ILDN/ESPN3]
*Cornell at Penn, 7 pm [ILDN]
*Harvard at Yale, 7 pm [FS1]
Saturday, February 27
*Harvard at Brown, 6 pm [ILDN]
*Cornell at Princeton, 6 pm [ILDN]
*Columbia at Penn, 7 pm [ILDN]
*Dartmouth at Yale, 8 pm [ASN/ILDN]
*Ivy League Contests
ASN – American Sports Network; ESPN3 – ESPN3.com; FS1 – FOX Sports 1 (DirecTV 219, DISH 150, Verizon FiOS 83 [SD]/583 [HD], Cablevision/Optimum 56 [SD]/769 [HD], AT&T U-verse 652 [SD]/1652 [HD]); ILDN – Carried live on The Ivy League Digital Network