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Women's Basketball Preview for February 7-8

Complete Women's Basketball Weekly Release in pdf format

Photo courtesy of Cornell Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- With five teams essentially tied for first-place in the Ivy League women’s basketball standings, each game becomes a playoff matchup as we hit week two of the Friday-Saturday back-to-back portion of the 14-Game Tournament.

Two of the biggest matchups this weekend will be in Ithaca, N.Y., where Cornell (11-7, 3-1 Ivy) will host Penn (12-5, 2-1 Ivy) and Princeton (11-6, 2-1 Ivy). The Big Red is 3-0 in home Ivy games this year and 7-3 at Newman Arena overall. The Tigers and Quakers will have to deal with Cornell freshman Nia Marshall, who is averaging 16.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in conference play.

In fact, Friday’s matchup features two players who shared both Player and Rookie of the Week last week in Marshall and Penn freshman Sydney Stipanovich. Princeton, meanwhile, has four players averaging double figures in conference play in sophomore Alex Wheatley (12.7 ppg), fellow classmate Michelle Miller (11.3 ppg), junior Blake Dietrick (10.7 ppg) and senior Kristen Helmstetter (10.0 ppg).

The other matchup between current first-place teams will occur on Saturday, when Harvard (13-5, 3-1 Ivy) travels to take on Yale (9-9, 3-1 Ivy). The Crimson has won the last three in the series, including a sweep of the Bulldogs last season. Yale has been led by junior Sarah Halejian, who is averaging 14.9 points overall, but just 12.5 points in Ivy play.

The Crimson is coming off a tough loss to Penn last week and looks to get back in the winning column. Junior Temi Fagbenle, who is shooting 51.6 percent from the field overall, is connecting at a 45.5 clip in conference play. Senior Christine Clark is averaging 16.0 points and 6.8 rebounds in League action. Harvard will face Brown (7-11, 1-3 Ivy) on Friday, where it will have to deal with Bears senior Lauren Clarke, the League scoring leader (17.1 ppg).

Dartmouth (3-15, 0-4 Ivy) and Columbia (4-14, 1-3 Ivy) have each lost three straight and five of their last six. Another similarity between the two squads is that they each have been led by freshmen. The Lions’ Tori Oliver is coming off a weekend in which she averaged 17.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.0 steal and 1.0 block, while her fellow classmate Carolyn Binder has three 20-point games under her belt so far this season. The Big Green, meanwhile, feature Fanni Szabo, whose 15.5 points per game ranks third-best in the League.

The Lions will take on Princeton and Penn, while Dartmouth will face Yale and Brown. Columbia's game against the Quakers on Saturday will also be PLAY 4KAY NIGHT, part of an initiative to raise awareness and funds for cancer research, honoring former NC State head coach Kay Yow. on the same day, Cornell's game against Princeton will also be a PINK ZONE, with all proceeds benefiting the Cancer Resource Center.

All eight games are slated to be carried live on The Ivy League® Digital Network.

Harvard (13-5, 3-1 Ivy) at Brown (7-11, 1-3 Ivy)
Date: Friday, February 7 – 7 p.m.
Location: Pizzitola Sports Center • Providence, R.I.
Live Broadcast: The Ivy League® Digital Network
Harvard-Brown Series: Harvard leads, 43-33
Last Meeting: Harvard 77, Brown 71 • 2/22/13 • Cambridge, Mass.
Live Stats | Harvard Game Notes | Brown Game Notes

Dartmouth (3-15, 0-4 Ivy) at Yale (9-9, 3-1 Ivy)
Date: Friday, February 7 – 7 p.m.
Location: John J. Lee Amphitheater • New Haven, Conn.
Live Broadcast: The Ivy League® Digital Network
Dartmouth-Yale Series: Dartmouth leads, 51-21
Last Meeting: Yale 66, Dartmouth 55 • 2/22/13 • Hanover, N.H.
Live Stats | Dartmouth Game Notes | Yale Game Notes

Princeton (11-6, 2-1 Ivy) at Columbia (4-14, 1-3 Ivy)
Date: Friday, February 7 – 7 p.m.
Location: Levien Gym • New York
Live Broadcast: The Ivy League® Digital Network
Princeton-Columbia Series: Princeton leads, 42-16
Last Meeting: Princeton 98, Columbia 36 • 2/22/13 • Princeton, N.J.
Live Stats | Princeton Game Notes | Columbia Game Notes

Penn (12-5, 2-1 Ivy) at Cornell (11-7, 3-1 Ivy)
Date: Friday, February 7 – 7 p.m.
Location: Newman Arena • Ithaca, N.Y.
Live Broadcast: The Ivy League® Digital Network
Penn-Cornell Series: Penn leads, 50-19
Last Meeting: Penn 67, Cornell 40 • 2/22/13 • Philadelphia
Live Stats | Penn Game Notes | Cornell Game Notes

Dartmouth at Brown
Date: Saturday, February 8 – 6 p.m.
Location: Pizzitola Sports Center • Providence, R.I.
Live Broadcast: The Ivy League® Digital Network
Dartmouth-Brown Series: Dartmouth leads, 50-33
Last Meeting: Brown 59, Dartmouth 39 • 2/23/13 • Hanover, N.H.
Live Stats | Dartmouth Game Notes | Brown Game Notes

Princeton at Cornell
Date: Saturday, February 8 – 6 p.m.
Location: Newman Arena • Ithaca, N.Y.
Live Broadcast: The Ivy League® Digital Network
Princeton-Cornell Series: Princeton leads, 46-20
Last Meeting: Princeton 59, Cornell 34 • 2/23/13 • Princeton, N.J.
Live Stats | Princeton Game Notes | Cornell Game Notes

Harvard at Yale
Date: Saturday, February 8 – 7 p.m.
Location: John J. Lee Amphitheater • New Haven, Conn.
Live Broadcast: The Ivy League® Digital Network
Harvard-Yale Series: Harvard leads, 44-30
Last Meeting: Harvard 69, Yale 66 • 2/23/13 • Cambridge, Mass.
Live Stats | Harvard Game Notes | Yale Game Notes

Penn at Columbia
Date: Saturday, February 8 – 7 p.m.
Location: Pizzitola Sports Center • Providence, R.I.
Live Broadcast: The Ivy League® Digital Network
Penn-Columbia Series: Penn leads, 37-18
Last Meeting: Penn 66, Columbia 48 • 2/23/13 • Philadelphia
Live Stats | Penn Game Notes | Columbia Game Notes