Princeton vs. Yale: A crucial showdown in New Haven

January 30 is a bit early for one of the three top most significant Ivy games of the year. But here it is. Princeton at Yale.

Last year, Yale beat Princeton on the road, 81-73, and smothered the Tigers at home in February, 81-60. Justin Sears had a total of 53 points on 19-for-26 shooting. Princeton simply had no one to contain him.

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Ivy 60 for 60: Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor '73 averaged 24.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in 51 contests for the Tigers.
Brian Taylor ’73 averaged 24.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in 51 contests for the Tigers. (Princeton Alumni Weekly)

Following our countdown of the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s men’s basketball history this summer, Ivy Hoops Online is delighted to continue celebrating the 60th anniversary of modern Ivy League basketball by honoring the top 60 players in Ivy hoops history (in no particular order). We’re further delighted to have Paul Hutter, author of The Golden Age of Ivy League Basketball: From Bill Bradley to Penn’s Final Four, 1964-1979, into the site’s fold to contribute recollections, along with several other staff writers, of the greatest players in the history of a great league. 

Brian Taylor, Princeton ’73: 6′ 2″ Brian Taylor was a McDonald’s-level high school All-American who not only went on to star at Princeton, but also establish himself as an outstanding professional. At Princeton, he was a two-time All-American before going to the ABA’s New York Nets after his junior year. He averaged 23.5 points per game as a sophomore and 25 points per game as a junior as the Tigers achieved a No. 14 national ranking..During this pre-ABA/NBA merger period, he was the subject of an intense bidding war between the Nets and the Seattle SuperSonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder, somewhat fitting as his game was very Russell Westbrook-esque). He was the 1973 ABA Rookie of the Year as Julius Erving’s teammate as well as a two-time ABA All-Star on a three-time championship team.

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Ivy Saturday roundup

Penn 50, Princeton 48

Any roundup of Saturday’s Ivy action has to include Penn’s white-knuckle win over Princeton on the women’s side. Penn (10-2, 1-0 Ivy) prevailed for its home win over Princeton (11-4, 0-1) since 2008 by shutting down the Tigers defensively, holding Princeton to just one field goal in the final 4:16 and turning the Tigers away twice in the final eight seconds of the game. Junior center Sydney Stipanovich finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and three assists for the Quakers, who Princeton to 17-for-62 (27.4 percent) shooting with a formidable 2-3 zone that Princeton coach Courtney Banghart curiously called a “junior high school” level zone after the game.

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Princeton survives Penn, 73-71, in overtime

As most of you well know, to stroll the outer corridors of The Palestra is to take a nostalgic journey across decades of college basketball memories. Teams, players, coaches, writers, broadcasters and Big Moments are proudly displayed. One particularly prominent plaque chronicles the win-loss record of Penn against its fellow competitor in The Rivalry. Yesterday, prior to the outbreak of hostilities for the 233rd time, the record was Penn 124-Princeton 108. The Tigers 109th win was one of the most memorable in the great series. May I still be here when we take the lead!

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Previewing Dartmouth-Harvard & Princeton-Penn

IHO breaks down the two games comprising Saturday afternoon’s Ivy conference play-opening slate:

Dartmouth at Harvard, 2:00 p.m.

Last season: The Big Green ended an 11-game losing streak with a surreal 26-2 second-half run en route to a 70-61 win, shocking the Crimson at Lavietes. Alex Mitola, who is no longer with the Big Green, led the way with 18 points, but Malik Gill sparked Dartmouth off the bench with nine points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals in just 25 minutes. Harvard’s Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers combined for 26 points on 7-for-20 shooting from the field, and the Crimson committed 18 turnovers.

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Tigers roll out the heavy Tidewater artillery

If General George McClellan used his offense in the Peninsula Campaign the way Mitch Henderson deployed his at Hampton and Norfolk State, the Civil War might have ended in a much quicker Union victory.

The Tigers rolled out the heavy artillery on Sunday at Hampton, scoring at will in an 89-59 romp. Four Tigers reached double figures, led, once again, by Henry Caruso with 14. All 15 players on the roster saw action, and 12 broke into the scoring column.

Tuesday’s Tidewater skirmish against the Spartans of Norfolk State did not start well for the invaders. The Spartans caught the Tigers back on their heels, racing out to a 9-0 lead. Once the Tiger infantry began to advance order was quickly restored. By the end of the first half the Tigers were comfortably in control, 40-31. Shooting at a better than 50 percent clip throughout the contest, the Tigers led by as many as 21 in the second half. The Spartans closed the gap to nine against the Tiger bench. The final score was Princeton 83, Norfolk State 74. The Tigers took no prisoners during this campaign.

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Princeton outlasted by No. 13 Miami, 76-64

As the 2015 portion of the schedule winds down the pecking order in the Ivy League appears to be established along familiar lines. Ken Pomeroy ranks just one Ivy squad, Yale, in the Top 100 at No. 95. Harvard, on the strength of an excellent showing in Hawaii, has jumped to No. 109. The Tigers check in at No. 114, while Columbia remains in a holding pattern at No. 129, even while riding the crest of  a five-game winning streak. The only surprise has been the rapid maturing of the Crimson, whose relative inexperience was not an issue in wins against BYU and Auburn and a near miss against No. 2 Oklahoma. Many knowledgeable observers now predict a likely continuation of Harvard’s unprecedented domination of the Ivy League.

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Princeton thrashes Bucknell, gives itself a merry Christmas

The Tigers concluded the Jadwin portion of their out-of-conference schedule on a very positive note last night, dealing the Bucknell Bison a solid thrashing, 89-77. The final margin is somewhat misleading since the Tigers maintained a margin throughout the second half sufficient to allow coach Mitch Henderson to get playing time for every player on the roster.

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Princeton bows to No. 6 Maryland, 82-61

Maryland’s Terrapins played as one would expect the No. 6 team in the nation to play last night at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. The Tigers held their own in a gritty first half effort, at one point mounting a six-point lead, and were still in it at the break, trailing 35-31.

The bigger, stronger, faster and deeper Terrapin squad wore down its outmanned antagonists in the second half, cruising to an 82-61 win, a decisive margin for Maryland after a respectable wire-to-wire effort by the Tigers. Maryland coach Mark Turgeon had tried for several years to schedule a game in Baltimore to give its considerable fan base there a chance to see his club live and up close. More than 11,000 fans showed up at Royal Farms to welcome the Terrapins for the first time in 16 seasons. Maryland ran its overall record on this floor to 10-2.

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Princeton conceals Liberty, 77-72

Most Tiger fans viewed Thursday night’s contest with the visiting Liberty Flames as little more than a warmup for Saturday’s collision with No. 6 Maryland in Baltimore. This was especially the case after last season’s blowout at Carril Court, which preceded wholesale changes in the basketball staff.

Princeton coach Mitch Henderson knew better: “Ritchie McKay has won everywhere he’s coached, including his first stint at Liberty. This is a very young team (youngest in D1 actually) and they look much different now than they did just a month ago.” McKay coached the Flames for two seasons before joining Tony Bennett’s staff as associate head coach at Virginia. With the program floundering, McKay, whose daughter is a student at Liberty, was asked to return. His starters are all freshmen and sophomores.

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