A few weeks into the season, Ivy League teams are getting a taste of life outside the Ancient Eight. Here’s how they’ve fared so far as they begin their seasons with non-league play:
1. Princeton (3-4): The Tigers are still the favorites to win the Ivy League for the fifth year running, though they’ve recently run into some tough opponents. The offense has picked up where it left off, putting up a stout 76.3 points per game, but Princeton has also been prone to allowing lots of scoring, giving up 75 points per game. These numbers may grow further apart once Ivy play begins.
2. Harvard (6-1): A six-game winning streak was finally snapped by St. John’s over the weekend, but the Crimson is still sitting pretty. Harvard leads the league in scoring offense while also topping the three-point shooting defense, a combination that makes it perhaps the most powerful threat to Princeton’s crown.
3. Cornell (4-3): With the second-best scoring defense in the league, the Big Red is tough to score on. Senior Allyson DiMagno, second in the league in steals and third in rebounds, spearheads that effort while also leading the offense with 12 points per game. Still, there is work to be done—Cornell did not defeat Princeton, Harvard or Penn last year and will need to play those opponents much tougher this season in order to shake up the Ancient Eight.
4. Penn (1-2): Don’t let the mediocre record fool you —the Quakers are a serious contender. Their two losses came in the form of a close loss to St. Francis Brooklyn and a 22-point defeat by one of the top-ranked teams in the nation. Though the sample size is small, Penn fans can start to get excited about freshman Sydney Stipanovich, whose 75 percent field goal percentage is currently the best in the Ivy League.
5. Brown (3-3): The Bears have had an impressive start despite not having reached double-digit wins last season. Long-range shooting has been huge for the Bears as they are a league-best 44 percent from beyond the arc. Ellise Sharpe and Sophie Bikofsky have led the team in this regard, having made a combined 28 from downtown and are both ranked in the top three in three-point field goal percentage.
6. Yale (3-4): The Bulldogs have lost three in a row since starting the season off 3-1. The team is fourth in the league in points per game despite only having one player ranked in the top 20 of scoring. While the depth is good for the Bulldogs, they will need guard Sarah Halejian, ranked sixth in the league with 14.3 points per game, to do even more to get a struggling Yale team out of its slump.
7. Dartmouth (1-4): The Big Green has had arguably the most disappointing start to the season among the Ivy League teams. Dartmouth was predicted to finish fifth in the conference in the preseason poll but has failed to even live up to those expectations through the first five games of the season. The Tigers are in a similar situation, but the Big Green doesn’t have the excuse of a really tough strength of schedule and also has not really been in most of its games.8. Columbia (1-6): The Lions only won five games last season and are not expected to do much better this season. They only won their first game of the season by three against a winless Long Island squad and have since lost six straight by at least eight points. The Lions do not play their first Ivy League game until the middle of January, however, so they will have some time to find their rhythm before the more important games.