Brown blows past Princeton, 78-70

Princeton’s weekend road trip got off on a high note when the team learned that Devin Cannady was declared eligible to return to action on Friday. Even a loss at Yale could not diminish the significance of the good news. The trip ended on a sour note, however, as the Brown Bears overcame an early 12-point deficit to take total control of Saturday night’s contest in Providence, turning back the Tigers, 78-70.

A 23-9 run propelled the Bears to a 47-35 halftime lead, as they poured in a remarkable 39 points in the final 10 minutes of the first half. The Bears’ best player and leading scorer on this night came off the bench in a startling and wholly unexpected manner. Freshman George Mawanda-Kalema (and I thought “Richmond Aririguzoh” was a mouthful) blistered the Tigers for 19 points, by far his career high, and was a very active presence defensively. Such a performance reflects the depth of talent on every roster in the league.  Four Bear starters reached double figures, but Desmond Cambridge’s 10 were not decisive.

For the Tigers, Cannady climbed back in the saddle, leading all scorers with 24 points. He and Myles Stephens each grabbed nine caroms. Stephens added 15 points and was primarily responsible for holding Cambridge in check.

This was a hard game to watch for Tiger fans, but an inspiring one for Bruno. Once the Bears took control, they never let the Tigers raise any doubt about the outcome. It was a very nice win for Mike Martin’s crew, keeping the home team very much in the chase for Ivy Madness.

Columbia’s Lions learned the hard way, as the Tigers did last season, that losing a Friday road game in triple overtime can have  long term negative effects, particularly in the next game. The Lions’ loss in Hanover probably destroys their chances to reach Ivy postseason play. Harvard, the winner of the 55-minute marathon, showed that even the winner can pay a price. Cornell’s stunning upset at Lavietes Pavilion gave the Big Red a rare road sweep and vaulted them into a second place tie with Harvard and Princeton at 4-2.

Yale’s sweep at home solidified its status as the team to beat for the remainder of regular season play. Six teams have realistic prospects to join Yale in New Haven for the tournament. You won’t want to miss any of the action. Thanks to ESPN+, you need not.

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