After winning both of its games against Harvard (8-11, 3-3 Ivy) and Dartmouth (5-14, 2-4), the University of Pennsylvania (11-7, 4-0) now has a substantial lead in the Ancient Eight, leading the other schools by at least two games. Cornell (9-10, 4-2) holds the runner-up position after beating Yale (5-12, 1-3) and Brown (9-9, 2-2). Columbia (12-7, 3-3) fell to third after dropping games against the Bulldogs and Bears.
Pennsylvania 70, Harvard 57
The Quakers extended their winning streak to six Friday evening, taking down the Crimson at the Lavietes Pavilion.
Penn point guard Tim Begley led the strike, scoring a game-high 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Quaker guards Ibrahim Jabaar and Eric Osmundson added to the assault scoring 12 and 10 points respectively.
Penn broke away early in the game, taking advantage of Harvard’s poor 32.1 shooting percentage and high turnover rate to take an 18-7 lead with over 12 minutes remaining in the half.
The Cantabs managed to close in on the Quakers so that they only led 35-29 at the break.
Harvard opened the second half with a 6-0 run to tie the game, but Penn responded with an 11-0 run to take a lead from which the Crimson would never recover.
Forward Matt Stehle led Harvard with 14 points and seven rebounds, followed by Crimson guard Jim Goffredo with 10 points.
Pennsylvania 68, Dartmouth 44
Three Quakers scored in the double-digits Saturday evening at the Edward Leede Arena, including Begley, who scored 14 points to reach 1,000 career points. Quaker guards Mark Zoller and Osmundson scored 12 and 10 points respectively.
Already leading 34-16 at the break, Penn opened up the second half with an 11-0 run to take a 47-16 lead and never looked back. The Quakers led by as much as 34 points late in the game, but the Big Green pulled up a late 12-4 run to cut the lead down by the end of regulation.
At the start of the game the Quakers took up a 13-0 run to take a 16-3 lead. Dartmouth got within nine points of Penn, but that was the closest the Big Green would get for the rest of the game.
Dartmouth guard Steve Callahan and forward Johnathan Ball both led the Big Green with 11 points each.
With their seventh consecutive win in the bag, the Quakers are not only undefeated in the Ivy League, but are the only team in the league with fewer than two Ivy losses.
Dartmouth 50, Princeton 42
The Big Green had a little more success Friday night by pulling off an upset against Princeton.
Dartmouth guard Mike Lang led his squad with 16 points to break its seven-game losing streak.
With less than five minutes left in the game, the Tigers had maintained a 41-32 lead. But the Big Green fought back with a dramatic 18-1 run to recover from the deficit and take the game.
With over a minute left in regulation, Dartmouth had just taken the 43-41 lead, when Princeton was sent to the free throw line with a chance to tie the game. The Tigers hit only one and Dartmouth answered with seven more points to close out the game.
Princeton guard Noah Savage led the Tigers with 10 points.
Harvard 61, Princeton 57
To make up for the loss to Penn the previous night, the Crimson snatched a win of their own to break even at 3-3 in the Ivy League. This win against Princeton was Harvard’s first versus the Tigers since Feb. 20, 1999.
Cantab guard Kevin Rogus led the Crimson to victory with 17 points, followed by center Brian Cusworth and Goffredo with 10 each.
The game stayed close the entire way, as there were 10 ties and 10 lead changes, the largest lead being only seven points.
Harvard took a six-point lead into the break and led by as much as seven in the second half. Savage then sparked a 7-0 run for the Tigers to tie the game 29-29.
The game was tied at 50-50 with 2:15 left in regulation, but Cusworth reclaimed the lead by tipping in a missed shot.
After a series of free throws Harvard had a 59-54 lead, but Princeton center Judson Wallace closed the gap, hitting a shot from downtown with six seconds left. Stehle was fouled on the ensuing possession and sank both free throws to close the game.
Wallace led both squads with 23 points.
Cornell 76, Brown 75
Cornell guard Cody Toppert sank both of his free throws with 3.5 seconds left in regulation to take the exciting 76-75 win as the Big Red hosted the Bears Friday evening at the Newman Arena.
Toppert scored 22 points, including five three-pointers, to lead the Big Red to its win over Brown. Cornell guard Lenny Collins also chipped in 20 points.
Bears guard Jason Forte scored a Newman Arena-record 36 points despite the loss to Cornell.
The Bears jumped out to a 20-8 lead early in the first half, but the Big Red fought back and tied the game 27-27 at the break.
Brown took advantage of Cornell not being sent to the free throw line for the entire first half, giving the Bears a 19-0 edge in free throw attempts. In the last 10 minutes of the second half, the Big Red went to the line 17 times and got some help from the bench to take a 74-73 lead.
Brown responded with a lay-up to take back the lead before Toppert was sent to the line.
Brown 54, Columbia 52
Brown obtained a bittersweet victory Saturday night by beating Columbia on the final shot of the game from Jason Forte.
As the shot clock wound down, Forte held the ball at the half court line until nine seconds left and charged the net, crossed over a defender and sank a 19-foot shot to take the 54-52 lead with three seconds.
The Bears had a sluggish start, trailing 27-16 at the half. But they soon got their act together and outscored the Lions 21-10 to tie the game 37-37.
Both teams stayed with each other neck-and-neck and were tied 52-52 with 34 seconds left before Forte took the game-winning shot.
Forte finished the night with a team-high 15 points, followed by guards Damon Huffman with 11 and PJ Flaherty with 10.
Lions guard Dragutin Kravic led Columbia with 16 points.