Friday's Best

Kyle Casey led Harvard to the brink of an Ivy title with a big 20-point, 8-rebound performance against Princeton on Friday night. (Photo Credit:

Best Clutch Defense: The Crimson pulled this one out thanks to a late-game stretch of lockdown defense. Between 8:17 and 2:02 remaining in the game, Harvard held Princeton scoreless, a stretch during which a 55-54 Tigers lead turned into 59-55 Crimson advantage (Harvard wasn”t exactly lighting it up late in this one either). The Cantabs went 8-8 from the line down the stretch to seal the victory. The scoring was provided by the big men on this night, as Kyle Casey went for 20 pts and 8 rbs, while Keith Wright pitched in with 12 pts and 6 rbs. Brandyn Curry gave Harvard a key second half spark and finished with 15 pts, 6 ast, and 0 turnovers. Oliver McNally also added 13 including going 6-6 from the line in the final eighteen seconds. For Princeton, the scoreless drought doomed the Tigers, who stopped getting the good looks that had been so plentiful in the first half. The ball stopped moving crisply and the shots were contested, and they just didn”t fall. Ian Hummer and Doug Davis each had 14 and Patrick Saunders had 12 points in a huge first half, but didn”t get any looks in the second half. With the loss, Princeton falls out of the Ivy title race. Meanwhile, Harvard”s home win streak moves to 28 and the Crimson can now turn its focus to Penn. Harvard can clinch at least a share of the Ivy title with a win tomorrow night.

Best Individual Performance: We”ve been singing Zack Rosen”s praises all season at IHO, but he just continues to do things that make us shake our collective head. Rosen scored Penn”s final 16 points, including two huge free throws to push the Quakers” lead to three with 10 seconds to go, as Penn beat Dartmouth 57-54 in Hanover. This contest was eerily similar to the game between these two squads that played out at the Palestra a few weeks ago, a 58-55 victory on the back of a late charge from Rosen. Tonight though, Rosen was the only offense for Penn from 7:17 to the final buzzer. The Ivy League Player of the Year (he could sit on his hands for the final three games and the award is still his) finished with 27 points on 10-20 shooting. Rob Belcore chipped in with 14 points. For Dartmouth, this loss was yet another painful defeat in a season chock full of them. The Big Green were led by the freshmen, as Jvonte Brooks had 12 pts and 9 rbs, John Golden had 13 pts, and Gabas Maldunas had 7 pts and 10

rbs. The narrow victory keeps Penn alive in the 14-Game Tournament, as the Quakers head to Boston tonight to get some rest before tomorrow night”s big game against Harvard.

Best Attacking the Rim: Yale hosted a very entertaining game against Columbia tonight, winning 75-67 behind another huge night from Reggie Willhite. The Bulldogs got off to a quick start, leading by as many as 15 early, but Columbia fought back behind the steady hand of Brian Barbour, who finished with 21 points and 8 assists, and the tenaciousness of Alex Rosenberg. Rosenberg had 13 points and 8 rebounds, but it was his hustle and willingness to take the ball into the lane that got the Lions back in this game. Both teams, in fact, refused to settle for outside shots and drove to the bucket all night, resulting in Cisco and Osetkowski fouling out, as well as Mangano and Kreisberg picking up 4 fouls each. It was actually the two Yale big men whose absence due to foul trouble turned the game on its axis. With more room to roam, the Columbia backcourt went to work on trimming the Yale lead, using an 13-3 run to get within one at 52-51 with 7:23 remaining. The game stayed close down the stretch until Brandon Sherrod made a few big plays for the Elis down the stretch, allowing Yale to put the game out of reach with free throws. Greg Mangano had a good night shooting the ball, finishing with 22 points and Austin Morgan took care of the ball and knocked down some big shots of his own, scoring 14 points. Yale stays alive in the title chase, two back of Harvard with three to play. They”ll be rooting for Penn to pull the upset tomorrow night, but they”ll have their hands full with a Cornell team that knocked them off in overtime in Ithaca a few weeks ago.

Best Box Score: Weird game out in Providence tonight. Cornell beat a fading Brown team behind zero bench points. Wroblewski is really in a groove now, scoring 24 points and grabbing 11(!) rebounds. Shonn Miller had a huge first half to stake the Big Red to a big lead, and finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Ferry had 14 and Gray had 12 as Cornell held on late, after leading by as many as 17. Brown, on the other hand, got 23 points and 17 rebounds from Dockery Walker. Huh? Where the heck did that come from? Walker has been buried on the bench all year due to a lack of restraint on defense (7.5 fouls committed per 40 minutes) and bad decision making on offense. Walker is very athletic and very strong, so he is capable of this kind of outburst, but wow. His line is a thing of beauty: 10-11 from the field, 8 offensive rebounds. If Sean McGonagill doesn”t go 0-8, the Bears may have been able to pull off the upset. Instead, Bruno falls to 1-10 with Columbia coming to town. Cornell moves to 6-5 with a great chance to finish with a winning record if they can steal one at Yale tomorrow night.