Photos courtesy of Cornell and Harvard Athletic Communications and Dartmouth Athletics Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Week four of the Ivy League
women’s basketball season saw three teams separate themselves
from the rest of the pack. Harvard (6-2), Princeton (5-2) and
Cornell (5-3) each went 2-0 on the week and are within a game of
each other in the standings.
The Crimson took down New Hampshire, 63-44, thanks to a pair of almost double-doubles by senior Victoria Lippert (21 points, 8 rebounds) and junior Christine Clark (13 points, 8 rebounds). Harvard then took on Hofstra, the team it defeated, 73-71 in the first round of the WNIT last season, and this year’s result was nearly the same, as the Crimson clawed out a 70-67 overtime victory. Lippert again scored 21 points and Clark finished with 14 points, five rebounds, five assists, three blocks and on steal. Harvard is 6-2 to begin the season for just the fourth time in program history and the first time since 1997-98.
Not to be outdone, Princeton picked up its first win against in-state rival Rutgers since 1976, ending a 14-game winning streak for the Scarlet Knights with a convincing 71-55 victory in which the Tigers never trailed. Freshman Alex Wheatley led the way with 17 points, while senior Lauren Polansky filled the stat line with four points, nine rebounds, a career-high tying seven assists and three steals. The Tigers then easily dispatched UMBC, 93-46, to give head coach Courtney Banghart her 100th career victory.
Meanwhile, Cornell picked up a pair of wins, defeating St. Francis (N.Y.), 74-56, and Morgan State, 77-73. Junior Allyson DiMagno continued her stellar play, averaging 18.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in the two games, including her League-leading fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 14 rebounds against the Terriers. Junior Shelby Lyan had a pair of double-figure scoring performances in the two wins, averaging 14.5 points per game while shooting 55.0 percent from the field (11-of-20), including 50.0 percent from downtown (7-of-14).
Penn picked up its first win of the season, beating La Salle in its only game last week, 65-56. Junior Alyssa Baron’s three-pointer with 8:24 remaining gave the Quakers a lead they would not relinquish and also pushed Baron over the 1,000 career points plateau, as she became the third-fastest Penn player to accomplish the feat (60 games).
Although Brown went 1-2 on the week, it ended on a high note with a 50-43 win over New Hampshire in the consolation game of the Brown Classic. The Bears fell to Rider, 57-47, in their first game of their home tournament. Prior to the Brown Classic, the Bears lost to Bryant, 81-58. Junior Lauren Clarke scored in double-figures in each game, averaging 15.7 points per contest, while sophomore Sophie Bikofsky scored in double-figures twice and grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds against Rider.
Columbia, Dartmouth and Yale each went winless on the week despite impressive individual performances. Big Green sophomore Abbey Schmitt scored a career-high 18 points in Dartmouth’s 91-64 loss to Syracuse, Bulldogs freshman Nyasha Sarju hit five three-pointers for 15 points as Yale fell at Army, 53-47, and Lions sophomore Caitlin Unsworth scored a career-high 16 points in Columbia’s 68-54 loss to Bryant.
Only six Ivy League teams will be in action this week but a number of big games await them. Penn will take on current Patriot League second-place team Bucknell on Monday, while Harvard will host BIG EAST team Providence on Tuesday. Princeton faces a pair of 2011-12 playoff teams, first against Hofstra on Wednesday and then at Delaware on Sunday.
CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Harvard senior Victoria Lippert (San Diego) and Cornell junior Allyson DiMagno (Fairport, N.Y.) were key figures in their teams’ undefeated weeks.
Entering this week, Lippert had yet to surpass 20 points in a game this season. Two games and two 21-point efforts later, Lippert had raised her average almost three points to 12.9 per contest. Lippert led the Crimson to a 63-44 win over New Hampshire with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-5 from downtown. She also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
In a rematch of last year’s WNIT first round game between Harvard and Hofstra, won by the Crimson, 73-71, Lippert again scored 21 points, including seven in overtime, to lead her team to a 70-67 victory. The senior guard shot 7-of-14 from the floor, 3-of-7 from three-point range and recorded three rebounds, three assists and one steal. For the week, Lippert shot 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
Lippert earns her second Player of the Week award of 2012-13 (Nov. 19) and the third of her career. Harvard has now received an Ivy League weekly award each week to start this season, as sophomore Temi Fagbenle was co-Rookie of the Week on Nov. 12 and junior Christine Clark was Player of the Week on Nov. 26.
Lippert's Statistics for the Week
|vs. New Hampshire
DiMagno has yet to show any signs of letting up, as the junior
has been a force when it comes to scoring and rebounding. DiMagno
led the Big Red to a 2-0 week, averaging 18.5 points and 11.5
rebounds. She posted her League-leading fourth double-double of the
season with 18 points and 14 rebounds in a 74-56 win at St. Francis
(N.Y.) and finished one rebound shy of her fifth double-double of
the year with 19 points and nine boards in Cornell’s 77-73
win over the Lady Bears.
DiMagno was just as impressive from the free throw line, hitting all 10 of her free throws against the Terriers and shooting 11-of-12 against MSU. For the week, the junior shot at a 95.5 percent clip from the charity stripe (21-of-22).
DiMagno is the first Cornell Player of the Week since Lauren Benson shared the award with Harvard’s Emily Tay on Feb. 2, 2009.
DiMagno's Statistics for the Week
|at St. Francis (N.Y.)
|vs. Morgan State
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Dartmouth sophomore Abbey Schmitt (Winnetka, Ill.) posted double-figures in all three of the Big Green’s games last week, but not in the same category. Schmitt finished with eight points and 10 rebounds in her team’s 80-45 loss to Northeastern, then netted a career-high 18 points while grabbing five rebounds in Dartmouth’s 91-64 loss to Syracuse. She closed out her week with a seven-point, 11-rebound performance at Old Dominion as the Big Green fell, 73-59.
Schmitt earns her second Rookie of the Week honor this season after sharing the accolade with Harvard’s Fagbenle on Nov. 12. She becomes the third Big Green in the past two years to receive the award twice, as Tia Dawson (Jan. 16, Feb. 6) and Milica Toskovic (Jan. 23, March 5) accomplished the feat last season.
Schmitt's Statistics for the Week
|at Old Dominion||31||3-8||.375||0-1||.000||1-2||.500||11||2||0||3||7|
Alyssa Baron, Penn (Jr., G – Miami)
15 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal, 1 block vs. La Salle
Sophie Bikofsky, Brown (So., G – Newton, Mass.)
14 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 100.0 FT% vs. Bryant
6 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 50.0 3FG% vs. Rider
15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 55.6 FG%, 57.1 3FG% vs. UNH
Lauren Clarke, Brown (Jr., G – Colts Neck, N.J.)
16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 50.0 3FG%, 87.5 FT% vs. Bryant
15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 40.0 3FG%, 87.5 FT% vs. Rider
16 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals vs. UNH
Sarah Halejian, Yale (So., G – Wyckoff, N.J.)
11 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 66.7 3FG% vs. Quinnipiac
12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 66.7 3FG% at Army
Niveen Rasheed, Princeton (Sr., G – Danville, Calif.)
15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists vs. Rutgers
12 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 100.0 FT% vs. UMBC
Keiera Ray, Penn (Fr., G – Aurora, Ill.)
7 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal vs. La Salle
Nyasha Sarju, Yale (Fr., G – Seattle)
5 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal vs. Quinnipiac
15 points, 1 rebound, 62.5 FG%, 71.4 3FG% at Army
Taylor Ward, Columbia (Jr., G – Oregon City, Ore.)
11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals at Army
9 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 4 steals, 42.9 3FG% at Bryant
Alex Wheatley, Princeton (Fr., F – Upper Holland, Pa.)
17 points, 2 rebounds, 66.7 FG% vs. Rutgers
8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 50.0 FG% vs. UMBC
Nicola Zimmer, Dartmouth (Jr., G – Chevy Chase, Md.)
3 points, 4 rebounds at Northeastern
15 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 75.0 FG%, 75.0 3FG% vs. Syracuse
17 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 60.0 FG%, 66.7 3FG% at ODU
Monday, December 3
Bucknell at Penn, 7pm
Tuesday, December 4
Columbia at Colgate, 7 pm
Fordham at Yale, 7 pm
Harvard at Providence, 7 pm
Wednesday, December 5
Dartmouth at New Hampshire, 5:30 pm
Hofstra at Princeton, 7 pm
Penn at St. Francis (N.Y.), 7 pm
Friday, December 7
Iona at Columbia, 7 pm
Saturday, December 8
Yale at St. Francis (N.Y.), 2 pm
Sunday, December 9
Hartford at Dartmouth, 2 pm
Penn at LIU-Brooklyn, 2 pm
Princeton at Delaware, 2 pm