Princeton (15-7, 8-1 Ivy) managed to hold steady at the top of the Ancient Eight this Saturday, after a close call over Brown (11-12, 7-3). Brown snapped a five-game Pennsylvania (13-9, 6-3) win streak Friday night. Harvard (4-19, 3-7) snatched a win from Cornell (11-12, 6-4) in Ithaca, N.Y., on Saturday. Meanwhile, in the Ivy basement, Dartmouth (3-21, 1-9) continued to show no signs of life, losing to Columbia (5-15, 4-6) on Saturday.
Brown 78, Pennsylvania 74
Good things come to those who wait.
Even though the Bears had to wait 13 years, they finally got their triumph, winning at the Palestra for the first time since Jan. 11, 1991.
Forte and Powers scored 29 and 22 points respectively in the historic Brown effort.
With 6:11 left in the game, Brown built up its largest lead of the night 71-56. But the Quakers chipped away at the Bears’ lead all the way down to one point, 74-73, reached on a layup by guard Ibrahim Jaaber with 46 seconds remaining. Forte hit two free throws to pull away again from the charging Quakers. Penn forward Mark Zoller went to the line next, but missed one of two free throws. Brown’s guard Mike Martin grabbed the rebound and immediately went to the free-throw line with 11 seconds remaining. He hit both of his shots to put the game away.
Trailing 30-28 in the first half, Brown finished an 8-0 run on a lay-up by forward Jaime Kilburn to take its biggest lead of the first quarter. Penn scored four more points before the break to finish the half down 34-36.
Forte’s 29 points on the day pushes him past Eric Blackiston to 16th place on Brown’s all-time scoring list, tallying 1,038 points.
Princeton 68, Brown 61
Sometimes second-best is just what a team needs.
Princeton’s backup point guard Max Schafer hit a late-game 3-pointer against Brown at Jadwin Gym Saturday night to secure the win for the Tigers in a battle for first place in the Ivies. With only five games left in the season, the Tigers now have two less marks in their loss column than Brown or Penn.
Midway into the second frame, Princeton was trailing 48-53 after a dunk by Bears guard Patrick Powers. The Tigers didn’t hesitate to respond, scoring the next five points to tie the game at 53 with 6:22 left. Brown missed two opportunities to break the tie, which then led to Schafer’s big three from the right corner to put Princeton up by a score of 56-53, a deficit from which Brown would not recover.
Martin led the Bears with 14 points on the day. Teammate Jason Forte played through an injury that he suffered in the first half, racking up 13 points in the effort.
Brown seemed to have had control of things in the first half, scoring eight straight points in a 1:30 span to take a 10-2 lead and would eventually increase the lead to nine at 27-18 with 5:15 before break. For the second night in a row, though, Princeton gained momentum from a late first-half rally to pull within one point of Brown, 29-28, at halftime.
Venable finished the day with 14 points for Princeton, which shot 44 percent from the floor against Brown’s 45 percent.
Harvard 81, Cornell 78
With five freshmen and no seniors on its roster this season, the Crimson had to rely on youth over experience.
With five players finishing the game scoring in double digits Saturday night at Newman Arena, it looks like the Cantabs’ gambit paid off.
Trailing 77-75 with 29 seconds left in the game, Cornell had no choice but to foul Harvard guard Kevin Rogus, who totaled 12 points on the day, and put him on the line to stop the clock. Rogus connected on both free-throws to put Harvard up by four.
Cornell guard Ka’Ron Barnes hit a conventional three with seven seconds left to cut the lead to one. But less than a second later, Crimson guard David Giovacchini — who was fouled immediately — hit a pair of foul shots to seal the deal.
Crimson forward Matt Stehle scored the last 11 Harvard points at the end of the first half to give his squad a five-point halftime lead.
The Big Red quickly vanquished that lead early in the second half, thanks to Barnes and guard Lenny Collins; the Cornell guards combined for 42 of Cornell’s 46 second-half points.
Harvard regained the lead later in the frame on a 3-pointer from freshman guard Jim Goffredo to put the score at 71-68. Collins led all scorers with a total of 31 points on the day, followed by Barnes with 27. Giovacchini finished with 14 points along with forwards Jason Norman and Graham Beatty who scored 13 and 10 points respectively.
Columbia 73, Dartmouth 58
So much for comebacks.
Columbia only needed 11 seconds after the opening tip-off to take the lead, an edge the Lions did not let out of their claws for the rest of the game.
Both teams were on fire in the first half, with Dartmouth hitting 11-for-17 from the floor and Columbia hitting 15-for-27. The Lions’ biggest threat came from their threes as they hit 6-for-15 from behind the arc to keep them ahead 45-34 at the break. Lion forward Dragutin Kravic scored all of his 17 points in the first half, yet he still led all scorers at the end of the day.
Both teams came out playing better defense in the second frame. Columbia held the Big Green to only 28.6 percent shooting in the latter half while the Lions did not manage to improve past 29 percent. But the Lions came up with 13 steals and forced 25 turnovers to keep their steady lead.
Forward Matt Preston finished the day for Columbia with 15 points while guard Tito Hill dropped in 11. Guards Leon Pattman and David Gardner led the Big Green, each with 12 points. This was Dartmouth’s 14th consecutive loss for the season. The last time the Big Green notched a league win was on Jan. 3 in its Ivy opener against Harvard.