Princeton’s Ivy League Tournament Hopes Dwindled by Harvard


Princeton Men’s Basketball took on the Harvard Crimson Friday Night at Jadwin Gym. Coming into the game the Tigers needed to protect their home court to keep their chances of making the Ivy League Tournament alive.

Harvard took command late in the second half and overtime to seal a 72-66 win to put them in position to win the regular season Ivy League title.

From 15:15 to 12:02 in the first half, Harvard (15-11, 10-1) matched Princeton (11-15, 3-8) with their own 7-0 run to close the gap to 10-9.

Harvard came out running full court man-to-man not to create turnovers, but to contain the Tigers and leave them with a short shot clock once they got into their offense in the half-court.

Sebastian Much ended the 7-0 Harvard run with a three at the 11:40 mark followed by a basket in the paint for his own personal 5-0 run.

At the 6:40 mark, Myles Stephens, had a nice drive to beat the shot clock to give the Tigers a 22-14 lead.

Harvard fought back with a 13-5 run capped by Chris Lewis’ steal and fast-break dunk to tie the game at 27-27 with 48 seconds remaining the first half.

Stephens wanted nothing to do with going into the locker room tied up at halftime as he hit a three at the buzzer to give the Tigers a 30-27 at the half.

After going 1-for-8 in the first half from the three-point line, Harvard came out shooting the ball much better from the outside.

However, Princeton started the second half on a 9-4 run with Devin Cannady getting into the mix giving the Tigers a 39-31 lead at the 15;50 mark in the second half.

Harvard wouldn’t let go once again as they matched the Tigers with another 6-2 run from the 15:50 to the 13:11 mark in the second half to close Princeton’s lead to 41-37.

The two Ivy League arch rivals kept the game close in the second half. Harvard’s Justin Bassey came up with a huge three to tie the game up at 58-58 with 2:49 remaining, then Amir Bell came up with a huge drive to the basket plus the foul.

This gave Princeton the 60-58 lead with 2:32 remaining the game, Bell was unable to convert the free-throw to make it a three-point game.

For the most part, the Tigers kept Harvard’s Seth Towns in check, but Towns came up with a huge drive to the basket with his left hand to tie the game up at 60-60 with 1:27 remaining.

The game came down to Harvard having the last full possession with only a 2.2-second difference between the game and shot clocks.

The Crimson gave the ball to Towns to isolate and end the game, but Towns was unable to create anything after Harvard let the shot clock run down.

Towns fumbled the ball and Harvard committed a shot clock violation leaving the Princeton Tigers 2.2 seconds to go full-court to win the game.

The Tigers were unable to get a shot off as the Crimson picked them up full-court man-to-man sending the game into overtime at 60-60.

In overtime, Harvard immediately went to Lewis down low for their first bucket to take a 62-60 lead. Princeton’s Stephens was fouled and converted two free-throws to tie the game back up at 62 a piece with 4:28 remaining in overtime.

Harvard then took command of the overtime period going on an 8-0 run to give the Crimson a 70-62 lead with 1:31 remaining.

The Tigers wouldn’t go away as Stephens scored four straight points to cut the lead to 70-66 with 1:05 remaining in the game.

Princeton had a chance to cut the lead to two or three, but Stephens muffled a defensive rebound which he threw to Devin Cannady.

Cannday preceded to go up the court and attempt a reverse through the legs dribble between three defenders to push the tempo that resulted in a turnover. There wasn’t enough time on the clock for the Tigers to overcome the deficit.

Princeton was led by Stephens with 33 points, five rebounds, and two blocks. No other Tiger scored in double-figures.

Cannady finished with seven points, six rebounds, and three assists. Much and Jerome Desrosiers each finished with eight points.

Harvard was led by Justin Bassey with 18 points and eight rebounds. Chris Lewis finished with 13 points and four rebounds. Danilo Djuricic was a nice spark off the bench with 12 points and four rebounds.

Even though Towns was held in check for the majority of the first half, he finished with nine points and nine rebounds.

With the Tigers now at 3-8 in the Ivy League, it will be extremely difficult for them to finish in the top four to qualify for the Ivy League Tournament. Their next match-up is against Dartmouth on Saturday night with a 6 pm tip-off.

With the win, At 10-1, Harvard puts themselves in a great position to walk away with the Ivy League regular season title.

UPenn also has a 10-1 conference record rivaling the Crimson for the number one seed in the Ivy League Tournament.

We at Basketball Society will be on hand for the Princeton versus Dartmouth match-up.

Postgame Press Conference

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