Harvard returns favor versus Princeton with one-point win

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.

Mason Forbes was the KenPom game MVP of Harvard’s 61-60 win over Princeton Friday night, posting 11 points, seven rebounds, four blocks and two assists. | Photo by Erica Denhoff

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.

Harvard held Richmond Aririguzoh to two field goals on seven attempts and 11 points. The Tigers shot just 21-for-61 (34.4%) from the field. | Photo by Erica Denhoff

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.

2 thoughts on “Harvard returns favor versus Princeton with one-point win”

  1. Really tough loss for the Tigers. Not having Schwieger available probably was a difference maker, as has been the case pretty much all year. The Tigers don’t win when he’s not in the lineup. But what’s really disappointing about this loss is that the Tigers could have and should have won the game even without Schwieger. Harvard didn’t score during the final 3-plus minutes of the game, and Princeton had multiple chances to win but just couldn’t convert. RA’s missed free throw in the final minute was one huge missed opportunity, and his fumble of the ball right under the basket with a handful of ticks left on the clock was the decisive missed opportunity. If he handles that ball cleanly, the Tigers probably win the game. Princeton simply must win games like this to have a chance at a league title. I fear last night’s near miss was their last best chance to stay in contention. I hope they can put this behind them in time for tonight’s tough match-up at Dartmouth. The Big Green have been looking to upset someone all year and something tells me it could be our beloved Tigers who fall into their trap.

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  2. Tough loss for the Tigers. I did want to say thank you to Toothless Tiger for his coverage of the Tigers. I was not able to attend the game and very much appreciated your coverage. I always enjoy reading your follow ups to the games and think you do a great job. Accurate and very professionally written. Thank you and keep up the good work.

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