PHILADELPHIA, PA. 3/11/2018 – Ivy League Madness had its Championship Sunday. On the men’s side the University of Pennsylvania men’s team will be going dancing as they held of the Harvard Crimson. The Quakers were hoping for a sweep, but the Princeton Tigers stormed out to an early lead and earned the Ivy League women’s championship.
It must have felt strange for Penn to be wearing the visitors colors and not sitting on the home team bench, but that is better than not being here.
The Red and Blue will go to the NCAA Men’s Tournament for the first time in 11 years. The women’s team will await a WNIT invitation.
#2 Penn 68 #1 Harvard 65
The University of Pennsylvania men’s team wins the Ivy League Championship in a thriller over the Harvard Crimson. It was a game where no lead was safe, and the Crimson had two opportunities at the end to tie the game.
Harvard had it going early. They used a 16 – 0 run over 6:14 in the first half to 26 – 13 lead with just over six and a half minutes remaining until halftime. Momentum was firmly in the Crimson’s corner. With 5:06 to play there was a shift. Penn held Harvard off the scoreboard and behind a 17 – 2 run the Quakers took a 34 – 32 lead into the locker room. Darnell Foreman was the catalyst for the Red and Blue scoring 19 first half points, his total for the game and 2 shy of his career-high. His three with a second left put the Quakers in front.
That run continued in the second half as AJ Brodeur and Ryan Betley pushed Penn to a 45 – 32 edge within the first four minutes. It was steady until the 7 minute mark. Momentum started to favor Harvard who took the lead at 56 – 55 with under 6 minutes left. Caleb Wood stepped up for the Quakers scoring 7 straight points to give his team a 63 – 60 lead. Betley, who scored 17 points, sank a three-pointer with just over two minutes left to give Penn a 66 – 60 lead. They would need all of those points as Harvard made a late charge.
Broduer posted 16 points and 10 rebounds, and was named the Most Outstanding Player. Wood added 12 points.
The Crimson had four players reach double-figures led by Chris Lewis with 16 points. Justin Bassey added 15 points while Seth Towns contributed 13 and Christian Juzang 11 points.
The Quakers are going dancing! They are a #16 seed and will play Kansas.
#1 Princeton 63 #2 Penn 34
This was decided early when the Tigers raced to a 19 – 3 lead after one quarter. That edge would extend to 35 – 16 at halftime. Princeton guard Abby Meyers hit back-to-back-to-back three-pointers, then ended the first quarter with a basket scoring 11 of her game-high 18 points in that stretch.
On the defensive end the Tigers held the Quakers to 12 of 54 shooting (22.2%). Bella Alarie, the tournament Most Outstanding Player, was instrumental on the defensive end blocking 6 shots and taking down a career-high 17 rebounds.
Michelle Nwokedi led Penn with 13 points, the only Quaker player to record double-figures. The 34 points was the lowest offensive output for the team this season.
Princeton reclaims the title and heads to the NCAA Tournament. Who and where will be revealed on Monday. Penn waits to see if there are more games to play. With a 21-win season, it is probable they will.
Written By: Glenn Papazian