Sometimes your worst enemy can be your best friend. Princeton (11-6, 4-0 Ivy) took sole-possession of the top spot in the Ivy men’s basketball standings this weekend, but only with the aid of arch-nemesis Yale (8-11, 3-3), which defeated former Ancient Eight leader Cornell (10-9, 5-1) Saturday night. The Tigers held their own end of the effort, downing Dartmouth (3-17, 1-5) and outlasting Harvard (2-17, 1-5) in double overtime to extend their unbeaten streak to four. Meanwhile, Brown (8-11, 4-2) guard Patrick Powers notched a career-high 34 points to lead the Bears over Columbia (6-13, 2-4) and Penn (9-8, 2-2) destroyed Dartmouth (3-17, 1-5).
Princeton 58, Harvard 50, 2 OT
In a low-scoring yet highly-thrilling game, the Tigers clawed their way to victory against Harvard in the first double-overtime game Princeton has ever played at the Jadwin Gym.
The win, along with Cornell’s loss to Yale in New Haven, puts Princeton in the lead among the Ancient Eight.
When the second overtime started, Tiger guard Scott Greenman had not found the bottom of the bucket for 29 minutes. But, Greenman snapped his scoring draught in dramatic fashion, accounting for seven of the 12 Princeton points in the second extra period to propel the Tigers to their fourth league win of the season.
With 23 seconds left in regulation, Tiger freshman forward Harrison Schaen, who had only scored four points the entire evening, hit a floater, tying the game at 42-42. Greenman actually had a chance to win the game, when Harvard’s Matt Stehle and Michael Beal miscommunicated on the ensuing inbound pass, giving Princeton the ball under its own rim. But Greenman failed to deliver the Tigers.
In the first overtime, the two teams exchanged baskets to keep the game tied at 46. Both teams had chances to seal the deal. With the clock winding down in the first extra session, Schaen blocked Harvard guard Jason Norman’s shot to prevent the possible upset. With 10 seconds remaining, Harvard turned the ball over on a shot clock violation. But Tiger forward Andre Logan dribbled the ball off his foot to send the game into double overtime.
But third time’s the charm. Only 10 seconds into the second additional period Schaen scored two free-throws to give Princeton the lead for the remainder of the game. On Harvard’s next two possessions, Schaen amazed the crowd again, stealing the ball twice, setting up Greenman for a walk-off 3-pointer that put the Tigers up by six points with only 1:40 left. Princeton then ran the clock out for the win.
This game for both teams depended more on defense than offense.
Harvard only shot 26 percent from the floor, but held Princeton to a equally dismal 36 percent and prevented the Tigers from making any threes for the entire second half. Princeton finished the day hitting only two of 16 threes.
Norman led the Cantabs with 15 points in the losing effort followed by Stehle with 14.
Brown 90, Columbia 81
Brown guard Patrick Powers scored a career-high 34 points on the day to head the Bears in their win over Columbia. Guard Jason Forte chipped 23 points, including 12-for-12 from the line.
The Lions roared into an early 24-16 lead in the first half of regulation, hitting six threes in the process. But Brown responded with 10 unanswered points to take the lead.
The two teams kept it close until 4:42 left in the half, when Brown overpowered the opposition with a 17-7 run to take halftime 51-40.
Down by nine points early in the second half, the Lions rallied back to tie the game at 57-57 with 14:20 left in regulation. Brown picked up a small 64-62 lead only to see Columbia guards Maurice Murphy, Dalen Cuff and Tito Hill land back-to-back-to-back buckets from downtown, handing the edge back to the Lions 71-64 with nine minutes left.
The Bears bit back with a 12-0 run, capped off by Powers’ three-point play. Hill and Cuff each hit a three to cut the Bears’ lead to one at 78-77 with less than four minutes to play, but Brown had the last laugh, using a 6-0 run to distance themselves from the Lions, who got no closer than three for the rest of the game.
At times it almost seemed as if it were raining threes inside the Pizzitola Center. The two teams combined for a total of 23 scores from beyond the arc, including six each from Powers and Cuff.
Pennsylvania 67, Dartmouth 49
The Big Green came into the weekend searching for its first win in 10 outings. When Dartmouth left the Palestra, it was still looking.
The Big Green’s freshman sensation guard Leon Pattman led his squad for the 10th time this season, finishing the day with 22 points. Guard Jeff Schiffner led the Quakers in scoring with 15 points along with guard Charlie Copp and forward Jan Fikiel, who scored 11 and 10, respectively.
Penn opened the game with a 7-1 lead that was quickly shortened to 12-8 after Dartmouth applied pressure on the Quakers’ offensive line. Despite the fact that Dartmouth outscored Penn 14-6 in the paint during the first half, the Quakers entered halftime with a 26-22 lead.
After the break, Penn opened up with an 11-3 run, including two 3-pointers by guard Tim Begley, giving the Quakers a 37-26 advantage.
Dartmouth closed within six at 39-33, but Penn guard Eric Osmundson, Schiffner and Copp each hit a three to ice the game. From that point on, the Big Green never got within six of the Quakers.
The Saturday night victory extended the Quakers’ domination of Dartmouth to 14 straight games.