March 10, 2004

Princeton Claims Ivy Title

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With a 20-point lead against Dartmouth Saturday night, Princeton must have thought they had the Ivy League title and with it, a birth in the NCAA tournament, in the bag. Yet, it took eight Judson Wallace free-throws within the game’s last 1:58 to send the Tigers to a 64-59 victory and a ticket to the March tourney.

The Tigers fought off a Dartmouth comeback which cut their lead to four points late in the game. En route to their third Ivy League title in the last four years, Princeton was also victorious against Harvard on Friday night, led by Wallace’s 12 points and 16 boards. Wallace scored 24 points against Dartmouth.

“You know that this team is not going to quit,” Princeton coach John Thompson said of Dartmouth. “We knew they weren’t going to roll over.”

Knowing that they needed a Princeton slip-up to have a chance at the Ivy League title, Penn dominated the Big Green and the Crimson this past weekend — winning 81-59 and 77-56, respectively. The Quakers have won 10 out of their last 11 games and were led by guard Tim Begley, who scored 35 points over the two games.

In other Ivy League action, Columbia swept Brown and Yale — two teams who beat Penn earlier this season and virtually ruined the Quakers’ chances of receiving a second consecutive NCAA birth. The Bears had an outside chance of winning the Ivy title, but Princeton’s defeat of Harvard last Friday vanquished any hopes for Brown.

After winning 81-74 against the Bears, the Lions needed two-overtimes to defeat the Bulldogs, 88-79. Led by a career-high 35 points by forward Draqutin Kravic, first-year Columbia head coach Joe Jones split this season series with his brother, Yale head coach James Jones.

Archived article by Brian Tsao