Both Tiger teams fared well against their Dartmouth opponents Saturday.
The men had a very tough time in their first road game of the Ivy season, as they expected. The final was Princeton 84, Dartmouth 80, extending the Tiger winning streak to 10.
The women expected a much easier time of it. The final score was a laughable 78-35 as Carla Berube remains unbeaten in Ivy play and is on the crest of a six-game winning streak of her own.
On the men’s side, Dartmouth played very well, particularly in the first half. At one point the Big Green led by nine, 27-18, as Aaryn Rai completely dominated the paint, scoring 17 in the first 20 minutes. Tosan Evbuomwan turned in another stellar game, keeping Princeton close with help from Drew Friberg and Ryan Langborg. When warmed up, both teams scored in bunches. Dartmouth could not shake the Tigers, despite Rai’s and Brendan Barry’s best efforts.
Evbuomwan committed his second personal with about seven minutes to go, sending him to the bench. With just over three minutes remaining, Tiger skipper Mitch Henderson decided to roll the dice, putting Evbuomwan back on the floor.
Wrong move. A silly reach-in sent the Tigers’ best player back to the bench. Even without their big man, the Tigers hit more than their share of three balls to tie the score at the break, 41-41. Having withstood one of the better shooting halves of the year by the Big Green, the Tigers believed the second half would be theirs.
They were right, but it was a game that easily could have gone the other way. Ethan Wright broke out of his first-half funk to join three of his brethren in double figures for the game. Wright shot a sizzling 7-for-10 from the field, including 3-for-5 from deep, to go with a game-high 13 rebounds.
The teams traded the lead several times in the second period. Matt Allocco was quite successful in holding Rai down in the final 20 minutes to the point that he was not a factor. Once Evbuomwan got back in the game, he played effectively with the three personal fouls. He would not commit a fourth.
A Jaelin Llewellyn layup launched a 6-0 Tiger run to give the visitors a 72-67 lead with 7:25 remaining. Two gut-wrenching threes, one by Friberg and one by Wright, put the game out of reach at 80-74. Ryan Langborg went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final minute.
Evbuomwan and Langborg each contributed 19 points. Evbuomwan registered a game-high four assists. Friberg’s 11 points included three buckets from beyond the arc. Barry had 21 for the Big Green.
Both teams shot 49% from the field. The Tigers were a shade better from deep, 48% to 46%. Shutting Rai down was pivotal.
Jaelin Llewellyn left the game with an injury to his right leg in the second half. He was mobile but did not return.
The women were simply astounding against the hapless Dartmouth women.
Before the few fans in attendance got settled, the Tigers led, 16-0. At the end of the first quarter the lead was 25-3. At the half it was 45-11. Abby Meyers posted 23 points, just missing a double-double with nine rebounds. Julia Cunningham and Kaitlyn Chen pitched in 10 each.
Berube cleared the bench for much of the second half.
Mia Curtis had a very impressive 20 points for the visitors, including a 6-for-9 performance from beyond the arc.
Both teams will contend with the Yale Bulldogs next Saturday, the men at home and the women in New Haven.