Princeton and Harvard have matched up quite evenly this season. Each team has scored the same number of points as the other and, after last night’s contest at Lavietes Pavilion, each has a one point win at home. The rubber match, if it happens, will also take place at Lavietes during the Ivy League Tournament next month.
Last evening’s affair, while hardly an aesthetic success, was an intense, physical battle that was not resolved until the final buzzer sounded on a 61-60 Harvard victory.
The Tigers were minus starting forward Ryan Schwieger due to illness. His status for tonight’s game at Dartmouth is unknown. Jaelin Llewellyn picked up the scoring slack for Princeton, exploding for 14 of the first 16 points and a total of 17 for the half.
Princeton made a nice five-minute run late in the half to grab a nine-point lead. Stubbornly, the Crimson clawed back to cut the Tigers’ margin to 34-30 at the half.
Both teams ramped up the defensive pressure in the second half. Mason Forbes, in particular, stepped for the Crimson as Chris Lewis spent more than half the game on the bench. Forbes did a great job defending the paint, contributing seven rebounds and 11 points in 22 minutes.
The Tigers held the lead for the first 13 minutes of the second half. A Forbes offensive rebound which he turned into a layup finally gave Harvard the lead, 51-50 with 7:19 to go. Harvard’s final points came on a Christian Juzang layup with 3:27 remaining extending the lead to 61-57. Three Richmond Aririguzoh free throws drew Princeton within one at the 40-second mark.
A Harvard turnover gave Princeton a chance for the win with three seconds to go. The Crimson defense stiffened at the end, denying the Tigers a decent look. Harvard escaped despite missing nine free throws and committing 16 turnovers. Lewis and Forbes contained RA quite effectively, limiting the Tiger big man to just two field goals. Llewellyn led all scorers with 22 points.
Tip-off in Hanover is at 7:00 this evening. The Big Green stopped Penn last night and are hungry for a sweep at home.