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Around the Ivies: no clear favorite emerges in women's table

After three weekends of league play, the women’s side of the Ancient Eight remains highly competitive at the top of the table. As the so-called 14-game tournament moves toward its conclusion, fans will see a strong Harvard squad fight to end Princeton’s run of dominance, while the Tigers will look to earn their fifth-straight title. Here’s how the teams stand:

  1. Harvard (15-5 overall, 5-1 Ivy League): “Uneasy lies the head” at the top of the standings, as the Crimson had to overcome an eight-point deficit at the half to beat Yale in a 58-57 win. Forward Erin McDonnell led her team’s away effort against the Bulldogs. Her 17 points – 15 coming in the second half – and 11 rebounds gave her a career-first double-double.
  2. Princeton (13-6, 4-1): The home loss to Harvard still haunts the defending champions and winners of the past four Ivy titles. However, this past weekend’s convincing sweep of New York opponents Cornell and Columbia proved that the Tigers are not going anywhere. Three players on this squad have contributed double-digit points per game: sophomore guard Michelle Miller (11.0 ppg), junior guard Blake Dietrick (14.8 ppg) and senior forward Kristen Helmstetter (11.0).
  3. Penn (14-5, 4-1): Having thoroughly dominated the Crimson the previous weekend, the Quakers remained on track with away wins at Cornell and Columbia. Ivy League Player of the Week Alyssa Baron, captain, leads her team from the backcourt. Her sensational week saw point totals of 28 and 25 with a field goal shooting percentage of .552. Additionally, her performances garnered her the College Sports Madness Mid-Major National Player of the Week.
  4. Yale (10-10, 4-2): Had guard Sarah Halejian converted her attempted buzzer-beater against Harvard, the Bulldogs would be right at the top of the table. Halejian recorded 16 and 27 points against Dartmouth and Harvard on her home court. A road-trip to Penn and Princeton will provide steep challenges for this competitive Bulldog squad.
  5. Cornell (11-9, 3-3): A pair of home losses this past weekend strongly weakens the Big Red’s case for championship contention. Cornell’s continued effort against Princeton kept them within 10 points until late in the contest. Forward Nia Marshall recorded 13 points and 12 rebounds in 34 minutes of a losing effort against Penn, good for co-Rookie of the Week honors.
  6. Brown (8-12, 2-4): Point guard Lauren Clarke continues to lead the Bears’ offense. Her 16.9 ppg currently gives her the highest scoring average in the conference. The weekend’s win over Dartmouth saw Brown shoot at a season-high .556 from the field, and the offense has scored 70+ points in four consecutive games. However, the defense allowed 91 points on a scorching 30-47 from the field against Harvard.
  7. Columbia (4-16, 1-5): Five consecutive losses have followed an Ivy League opener upset over Cornell. The 24 points scored by forward Courtney Bradford were not enough to overcome the Quakers in a close 70-63 home contest. The Light Blue will begin a four-game away series this weekend at Harvard, where it is unlikely they will be able to contend with the league-leading Crimson.
  8. Dartmouth (3-17, 0-6): Not all was bad for the Big Green. Guard Fanni Szabo won a share of the Rookie of the Week honors, her third such award of the season. She managed 21 points in 35 minutes at Yale, including 4-5 from beyond the arc. But very little else has gone right for the Dartmouth women, who have lost five consecutive games by double-digit margins.
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