With one weekend left to play on the Ivy slate, the race for the men’s basketball title is down to two familiar faces – Penn and Princeton.
Penn 74, Harvard 71 O.T.
After the Quakers lost Friedrich Edebe to a groin injury in the first half and Steve Danley to a broken nose early in the second, the showdown at the Palestra on Friday night turned into a five-on-five marathon. Five players on each team played more than 35 minutes, with Penn’s Mark Zoller earning ironman accolades for playing in all 45 minutes of the contest. The Quakers looked poised to run away with a victory before the Crimson went on a 9-0 run that tied the score at 54 with 5:49 left in regulation. A trey from Brian Cusworth – Harvard’s 7-0 center, who went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc – proved to be enough to send the game into overtime after Ibrahim Jaaber missed on an off-balance, 12-foot jumper. Harvard took two early leads in the extra session, but a trey from Jaaber with 2:27 left on the clock gave Penn a lead it wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the game. Both the Quakers and the Crimson saw some career performances, led by Jaaber, who tied his career-high with 31 points – including a career-best six three-pointers on 11 attempts. Zoller added 13 points and three steals to go with career-highs in rebounds and blocked shots, with 18 and five, respectively. Brian Grandieri came off the Quaker bench to play 37 minutes, and finished with 17 tallies and five boards. The Crimson were led by an outstanding performance from Cusworth, who finished with 22 points, 16 rebounds, and five blocked shots. Matt Stehle – Harvard’s other big man – contributed 15 points, nine caroms, and five helpers. Michael Beal rounded out the Crimson effort with nine points and 12 boards. The Crimson wiped the glass with the Quakers, finishing with a 48-37 advantage. However, Harvard gave up 22 turnovers compared to a season-low eight from Penn.
Columbia 68, Brown 56
The Lions continued to capitalize on their home court advantage Friday night, knocking off a third opponent in as many games with a 68-56 win over the Bears in the Levien Gymnasium. Justin Armstrong and John Baumann provided a deadly one-two combination for Columbia, teaming up for 37 points on the night – including 23 in the second half. Dragutin Kravic hit a 3-pointer at the halfway point of the first half to give the Lions a lead they would not give up for the rest of the game. Columbia led by as much as 16 points in the final period, using free throws in the closing minutes to ice the win. Keenan Jeppesen and Damon Huffman each finished with 20 points for the Bears. Armstrong and Baumann walked off the court with 19 and 18 points on the night, respectively, while Kravic tallied 13 in a supporting effort.
Princeton 63, Dartmouth 60
For 39 minutes, the Green were the victors in the showdown inside Jadwin Gym Friday night, but the Tigers took their second lead of the game with 33.9 seconds left on the clock and protected their advantage from the charity stripe down the stretch to claim a 63-60 win. Edwin Buffmire completed a 3-point play to give Princeton its second lead of the game, 59-57, outlasting a last-second three-point attempt by Dartmouth’s Jonathan Ball. The Green shot 59.1 percent from the floor in the opening stanza, and held an 8-point edge at the break. Free throws made the difference, as the Tigers shot 19-of-21 from the line but the Green managed just 8-for-15. Mike Lang had 12 points for Dartmouth, while Scott Greenman had a game-high 22 tallies for Princeton.
Penn 68, Dartmouth 52
The Quakers seemed well on their way to celebrating Senior Night at the Palestra on Saturday with their 10th league win, but the Green made a late charge before falling behind and settling for the 68-52 loss. After opening up a 16-2 lead in the first nine minutes of the game, Penn allowed Dartmouth to pull within seven at the break. Lang cut this deficit to three after executing a four-point play, but the Quakers went on a run to pull ahead by 10 soon thereafter and held on for the win. Dartmouth shot just 37.9 percent from the field, not nearly enough to counter Penn’s 51 percent-shooting performance. Mark Zoller recorded a double-double for the Quakers with 17 points and 11 boards, while rookie Dan Biber led the Green with 14 tallies.
Yale 71, Columbia 65
Columbia ran out of gas at the wrong time Saturday night, falling to Yale, 71-65, inside the Levien Gymnasium. The Lions jumped out to an 11-point lead in the first stanza behind shooting from Mack Montgomery, who had 11 tallies before the break. Montgomery slowed down in the second half, however, and the rest of the team went quiet as well, shooting 23.3 percent from the floor after connecting on half its attempts in the opening period.
The Bulldogs came out strong after the break, opening with a 7-0 run and taking the lead for good on a Dominick Martin free throw at 7:55 that made the score 55-54. Martin finished with 18 points, while Ross Morin had 10 and Eric Flato connected for a game-high 22 points for Yale.
Montgomery finished with 15 tallies for the Lions, while John Baumann had 16 and Ben Nwachukwu added 10 in the losing effort.
Princeton 75, Harvard 48
Princeton’s long-range attack proved devastating against Harvard on Saturday night in Princeton, N.J., as the Tigers outshot the Crimson, 13-1, from downtown en route to a 75-48 victory. The hosts connected on nine treys in the first half, while Harvard managed just eight field goals. The Tigers shot a blistering 62.1 percent from the field on the night, handed out 21 assists, and outrebounded the Crimson, 26-15. Kyle Koncz led the Tigers with 23 points, while Scott Greenman added 11 tallies and six dimes. Jim Goffredo was the high scorer for Harvard with 14 points, while Matt Stehle and Michael Beal each added eight points.
Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Assistant Sports Editor