Best Domination of a Rivalry: Another efficient offensive performance from Harvard (1.22 points per possession) coupled with yet another lockdown defensive effort kept the Crimson in the driver”s seat. That”s 27 in a row at Lavietes and a season sweep of archrival Yale. This time, Harvard got out to a 35-15 first half lead, but Yale responded with an 11-0 run to close the half. The Bulldogs got within four early in the second half, but Harvard pulled away behind Curry”s scoring, Wright”s inside finishing, and Miller”s shooting off the bench.
For Yale, it was Mangano once again getting the buckets as the big man made it happen all over the court, knocking down 3 of 4 three point attempts and finishing with 22 points and 11 rebounds. A lack of depth hurt the Bulldogs (Mike Grace was not 100% after injuring his ankle) and Harvard did a great job of limiting Yale”s backcourt production. Austin Morgan and Reggie Willhite were held to 4-13 from the field and 15 points. For the Crimson, a balanced attack did the trick, though it was Brandyn Curry with
18 points and 5 assists leading the way. Wright finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds. It seems like we”ve had a game with serious title implications every weekend, and the Crimson will face one more when Zack Rosen and the 7-2 Quakers come to town on Saturday. One more sweep at home will virtually clinch the first solo title in Harvard history.
Best Off-the-Schneid Victory: Finally. Dartmouth rode a second half surge to a 58-53 victory over visiting Brown. The Bears led by 9 with 13 minutes to play, but the Big Green held Brown to three points in the final seven minutes, pulling ahead on RJ Griffin”s free throws with 1:45 left and holding on the rest of the way.
The Big Green are finally off the schneid in league play, and it was two non-freshmen leading the way on this night. Sophomore Tyler Melville (who on this team counts as a veteran) led all scorers with 15 points, while Griffin threw in 13 on 4-5 shooting. The freshmen who have been so instrumental for Dartmouth all season finally got to taste a conference victory with John Golden scoring 10, Maldunas with 8, and Brooks with 6. For Brown, the scoring came from the backcourt as Sean McGonagill and Matt Sullivan had 14 points each, while Steve Albrecht pitched in with 11. Both teams will have to work an upset in the final two weeks to avoid going winless against the league”s Top 6.
Best Revenge: Princeton avenged its early season loss in Ithaca by routing Cornell 75-57 at Jadwin. The Tigers took a big lead into halftime, scoring 44 points in the opening frame on 69% shooting from the field. and the game didn”t get any closer in the second half, as Princeton has now rolled off four straight victories to get to 6-3 in league play. TJ Bray had 16 points for the Tigers to go with 5 assists. Patrick Saunders had a good day, collecting 14 points, while Hummer and Doug Davis rounded out the double-digit scorers with 13 points and 11 points respectively. Princeton shot 55% for the game, while holding Cornell to 44%. For the Big Red, Chris Wroblewski dropped in 10 points and led the team with 5 rebounds. Galal Cancer also chipped in with 10 points in just 19 minutes.
Best Game Winning Play: Penn and Columbia played out a classic battle at the Palestra. The game seemed destined to go two overtimes, but Fran Dougherty collected and finished a beautiful inbounds alley-oop from Miles Cartwright with just 1.5 seconds remaining in OT to lift Penn to a 61-59 victory and second place in the league. Brian Barbour tied the game at 59 with four seconds to go by hitting two clutch free throws and Jerome Allen chose the interesting strategy of crossing midcourt and calling a timeout with just 1.5 ticks left. The decision paid off though, as Coach Allen drew up the perfect play while Cartwright and Dougherty executed it to perfection.
Columbia did a nice job limiting Rosen on this night to 14 points on 5-16 shooting. As usual, his impact was felt beyond the shooting line as the POY favorite also contributed 6 boards and 5 assists. Steve Rennard shot 5-6 and added 13 points. As a team, the Quakers were 10-19 from beyond the arc with Rosen and Rennard hitting three a piece. For the Lions, Meiko Lyles had 17 points, Mark Cisco had 12, and Brian Barbour finished with 6 points and 8 assists. Penn remains just one back of Harvard with a game at Lavietes looming large next Saturday.