February 14, 2006

Princeton Upends Harvard at the Buzzer; Penn Wins

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It’s past the halfway point in Ivy League basketball, and things are starting to fall into place. Penn remains unbeaten in the top spot after sweeping its road trip against Dartmouth and Harvard. Princeton also picked up two wins on the weekend and remains just a game behind Penn in second place. The Quakers and Tigers will square off tonight, in a pivotal game for the Ancient Eight. Meanwhile, things heated up within the middle of the pack as Yale and Cornell are now tied for third, with Harvard close behind.

Princeton 60, Harvard 59

For the second straight weekend, Harvard (12-9, 4-4 Ivy) lost a game at the buzzer, this time as Tigers’ Noah Savage hit a baseline jumper over the hands of the Crimson’s 7-0 center Brian Cusworth with just 0.2 seconds left on the clock to seal the 60-59 victory. Harvard was up by six with 1:17 to play, but two turnovers in the final minute set up Savage’s game-winner. Cusworth led the Crimson in scoring with 20 points, and Michael Beal was one rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine boards. For Princeton (7-12, 5-1), Kyle Koncs had 20 points, 18 coming from behind the arc. Savage and Scott Greenman both had 10 points apiece for the Tigers.

Penn 70, Dartmouth 51

Dartmouth (3-18, 1-7) hung around for as long as it could with the Quakers (14-6, 6-0), trailing by only eight at the half, 31-23. But a second-half surge from Penn pushed the game out of reach for the Green. Penn benefited from 10 steals on the night, forcing 18 turnovers from Dartmouth while giving up an uncharacteristic 19 of its own. Penn’s Ibrahim Jaabber led all scorers with 21. David Whitehurst also had 15 points and Eric Osmundson added 11 for the Quakers. Mike Lang was the Green’s only scorer in double digits with 14 points.

Yale 74, Columbia 67

The Bulldogs (13-10, 5-3) have firmly marked their territory in John J. Lee Amphitheater, emerging from the weekend with wins in 15 of their last 16 home games. Victory No. 14 came against the Lions (8-13, 1-7) on Friday night, as Dominick Martin scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Yale to a 74-67 decision. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but Columbia fought its way back, pulling to within four points with 1:49 remaining. However, two turnovers from the Lions and six made free throws iced the win for Yale. Ben Nwachukwu led Columbia with 18 points, while John Baumann chipped in 17. The Bulldogs, which connected on a season-high 10 3-pointers, also got 14 points from Eric Flato and 13 tallies from Caleb Holmes.

Brown 86, Columbia 75

The Lions second league win looked to be within reach on Saturday night in Providence, R.I., but the Bears (7-14, 3-5) used an 18-4 run in the middle of the second half to pull away for an 86-75 win. Columbia connected on 59 percent of its field goals in the first stanza to take a 43-39 lead into the break, but the Bears came out roaring after the break and pulled ahead, 72-56, on a three-point play by Nathan Eads with 5:14 left on the clock. Eads finished with a career-high 12 points for Brown, while Keenan Jeppesen had a team-high 25 points. Baumann paced the Lions with career highs of 19 points and five assists, while Dragutin Kravic added 16 points in the losing effort.

Princeton 52, Dartmouth 49

Perhaps the down-to-the-wire win over Harvard the night before was a little too draining for Princeton, or maybe it was the freezing temperatures of Hanover, N.H., that iced the Tigers – either way, the second-place team in the Ancient Eight narrowly held on for a 52-49 win over the last-place Green on Saturday night. After holding a 10-point lead with 10 minutes left in the game, the Tigers endured a scoring drought for eight minutes before Justin Conway hit a jumper in the lane put Princeton ahead, 46-40. Free-throw shooting and a steal by Conway with one minute left and Dartmouth trailing by three ensure that the Tigers finished the weekend with a sweep. Scott Greenman and Luke Owings had 16 points apiece for Princeton, while the Green was paced by Michael Lang’s 13 points.

Penn 81, Harvard 68

Penn tightened its grip on first place and Harvard fell to .500 in the league after the Quakers held off a second-half surge by the Crimson in Cambridge, Mass., for an 81-68 win. The Crimson trailed by 18 points at halftime, but cut the Quakers’ lead to 11 points repeatedly in the early going of the second half. Jaaber and Mark Zoller led a Penn offense that had an answer for every Harvard run, however, and the Quakers led by as much as 21 points as the minutes ticked away. Harvard had one last shot left, mounting a 10-0 run that came to a halt with a turnover under the its own basket. Zoller led the Quakers with a career-high 26 points, while Jaaber added 23 points. Matt Stehle had an heroic effort for the Crimson in the losing cause, ending the night with career-highs of 28 points and seven steals to go with 15 rebounds.

Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Assistant Sports Editor