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Wednesday News:

Georgetown vs. UConn - 7:00 pm ET - ESPN2
George Washington vs. Richmond - 7:00 pm ET

Princeton recruit Khyan Rayner was named 2012-13 Metro League Player of the Year.

There's a March 24 opt out in Chris Young's deal with the Nationals.

Kareem Maddox is happy to put his team first.

A trap game if there ever was one awaits Georgetown when they travel to UConn tonight. No matter what happens, John Thompson III held the Hoyas together when things could have fallen apart.

Richmond hosts GW.

The latest "Sit Down With Sydney" is embedded below.



Mercer 48 Burlington 47.

Postgame audio - Coach Howie Levy:

It was a comeback every bit as improbable as Princeton's 1999 Miracle at the Palestra and the only connection between the Tigers' rally from down 27 in the second half against Penn and what Mercer County Community College (20-9) pulled off with less time remaining tonight in the Region XIX quarterfinals versus Burlington was Howie Levy '85 on the sidelines.

"It brings back good memories," Levy said with a chuckle following his team's 20th victory of the season. "I've been on the right side of it both times!"

Lost offensively versus a switching zone, unable to score with any consistency for almost 30 minutes, lacking energy on several defensive rebounds and decisively trailing 38-19 with 10:03 to go, the Vikings unexpectedly found their rhythm, forced a number of steals in the half court and ran off the game's next 21 points uninterrupted to take a two point lead with 4:05 remaining.

"Holy cow. That was something else," said Levy. "These guys looked liked they were throwing in the towel. Somewhere, somehow - they figured it out. When they started playing hard and started playing together is when things started going our way."

Also like the 50-49 comeback in Philadelphia, Mercer caught the Barons with plenty of time remaining.

"When we got the lead I was chuckling to myself," Levy admitted. "I could not believe we got the lead."

"With about four minutes to go it became a basketball game," Levy added. "That's what you wanted."

While both ends of a one-and-one from MCCC's Mustafa El-Amin moved the home team in front three with just over a minute to go, a left wing falling down three pointer evened the score for just the third time all night.

Mercer was tied up in the post, which gave Burlington the ball back with :42.9 showing.

With seven seconds between the shot clock and the game clock, the Barons ran time down until Tariq Jett was bumped going to his left on the far baseline. At the line Jett put his team back in front by one but his second free throw was a touch long.

Andre Wilburn rebounded in traffic and as Burlington relaxed slightly on defense Tyliek Kimbrough was able to break open from Christopher Thompson cutting in the opposite direction on the left wing, take a long outlet and drive for a basket just beyond Jacob Ogenyi's reach with four ticks to go.

It was Kimbrough's only basket of the game after missing his first six attempts.

A deep right wing three by Thompson was off the mark at the buzzer and a small court-storming took place on the floor named after former coach Howie Landa as Mercer's players rightfully went berserk.

El-Amin scored 20 for Mercer, the only Viking in double figures. It was El-Amin who authored the comeback with a series of three point shots, shooting 7-15 from the field while the rest of his team went 11-34.

It sounds funny in retrospect but a key to the victory might have been MCCC holding the Barons to 18 first half points while Mercer was only mustering 13 of their own.

Otherwise the deficit might have been even larger, though perhaps it only meant the comeback that followed would have been all the more incredible.



Princeton 72 Cornell 53.

Box Score : HD Box Score

Cornell didn't get a lot of clean looks at the basket in the opening 20 minutes at Newman Arena on Saturday night and the few open shots they attempted uniformly came up short. It was a horrid 5-32 frame by the Big Red (15.6%) and a simultaneously stifling defensive performance from Princeton as the Tigers held Cornell to one field goal over a 7:05 span opening up a 33-14 lead at the break.

“I really liked the way we controlled the game with our defense early on,” said Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson following the Tigers’ first Ivy road weekend sweep since a visit to the Empire State in February 2011.

It looked like the second half would be more of the same as Will Barrett's three pushed Princeton up 22 when play resumed. The lead was a healthy 42-24 with 14:30 to go when Cornell mounted a very serious run, playing their penetrate-and-then-press game to run off 17 of the following 23 points and actually close within seven.

Chris Clement's lefty drive and kick to T.J. Bray for three out of the right corner returned the lead to double figures with 7:47 showing and from that point forward control of the contest was returned.

“Threes like that kill a defense and give us so much energy,” Bray said. “Denton [Koon] set a good flare screen on it too. Everyone made the right play.”

Come the final buzzer Princeton could look up and see an overall margin equal to where the game stood at halftime but it was as agonizing a 19 point win as conceivable.

Ian Hummer was superb throughout - 10-12 from the floor and 3-3 at the line for 23 points. Barrett added 13 and Koon 11. Clement topped his career high of six set the previous evening by a digit.

As a team Princeton went 22-25 from the stripe, 14-15 in the second half.

Shonn Miller was impressive for Cornell, scoring 23 by going 10-11 at the line with 10 rebounds.

A full recap plus postgame audio from Coach Mitch Henderson, Ian Hummer & T.J. Bray can be found after the jump.

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Princeton 65 Columbia 40.

Box Score : HD Box Score

If you have little choice but to win your final seven conference games in order to have a chance at the Ivy League title, the first victory is likely the hardest.

Someone forgot to tell Princeton that.

Bolstered by stellar defense off the bench from Chris Clement and holding the Lions scoreless for the final 4:27 of the first half and then nearly three minutes into the vesper frame while recording 15 consecutive points in the process, the Tigers led by as many as 31 down the stretch at Levien Gym.

“We were sort of alive on defense,” said Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson. “I thought all of the things that bothered us in the first game [a tense 72-66 Tiger victory at Jadwin Gym] we corrected.”

Denton Koon paced the way with a career high 23 on 9-13 shooting including eight straight to make it 61-32 Princeton.

Ian Hummer added 17 and five assists while Clement contributed a personal best six in addition to a block, a steal and his active hands creating multiple loose balls.

Maodo Lo totaled 15 for Columbia, 10 of which came in the opening 12 minutes. Beyond that no Lion recorded more than six.

Princeton's senior class will graduate a perfect 8-0 versus Columbia. The only real obstacle in the Tigers' way on the day was some serious tunnel traffic that caused the visiting team to arrive just 50 minutes prior to tipoff.

The rest of this recap plus postgame audio from Coach Mitch Henderson, Denton Koon, Ian Hummer & Chris Clement can be found after the jump.

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Harvard 69 Princeton 57.

Box Score : HD Box Score

"Sometimes you talk about '50/50' balls. It was like '90/10' [Harvard] tonight." - Princeton coach Mitch Henderson

The Crimson did all the little things better than the Tigers at Lavietes Pavilion, translated all the small plays into huge ones and on the heels of consecutive three point shots by Laurent Rivard that were both set up via controlling loose balls before the Tigers could snare them, took a lead late in the first half they would sustain throughout the final 20 minutes.

Rivard's second jumper was an absurd corkscrew blind turn-around three as time expired, but it would not have occurred if Princeton had been able to grab an Ian Hummer block that hung in the air pleading for two hands to snatch it. Rivard's unbelievable shot made it 32-28 Crimson at intermission.

The Harvard lead would extend to as many as 11 before five straight by the Tigers midway through the back stanza put them in position to make a run. However Princeton had three tries at the rim roll off and missed the front end of a one-and-one before the unexpectedly poised Crimson responded with four straight points from Kenyatta Smith and the Tigers were slowly submerged.

Smith, making his second straight start after 15 consecutive games coming off the bench, was 5-5 from the field with seven rebounds and six blocks, all in just 20 minutes. In addition to 14 points Saturday he swatted an unreal 16 shots on the weekend.

Steve Moundou-Missi added 14 off the pine, the only player on either side to score who wasn't a starter. Rivard's four threes gave him 12 and freshman Siyani Chambers added 11.

For Princeton, Ian Hummer fought his way to 18 somewhat quietly with T.J. Bray and Will Barrett adding 11. Hans Brase also had 10 before fouling out.

The rest of this recap plus postgame audio from Coach Mitch Henderson & Ian Hummer can be found after the jump.

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Princeton 73 Dartmouth 55.

Box Score : HD Box Score

It was all about the execution.

Princeton scored on 10 of their opening 11 first half possessions, shot 56.3% as a team on the night and were never legitimately challenged by Dartmouth after an even 10 minutes in Hanover.

Tied at 19 following a three point shot by Malik Gill, the Tigers went on a swift 15-3 run and made it to halftime up by 14.

To start the second half the Tigers again were exceptionally potent across the board with the ball, converting on five of their initial six times up the floor concluding with a Hans Brase two-hand slam that provided the visitors a 53-33 margin.

There was no subsequent drama. The lead from this point would not drop under 15 and extended as high as 25.

“I think it started off just with us taking care of the ball offensively. In the second half I think we showed the picture a little bit better defensively,” said Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson.

Four Tiger starters hit double figures, led by Denton Koon with 18 points. Ian Hummer had 14 plus a 6:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, Brase totaled 12 and Will Barrett 11.

T.J. Bray missed out on joining his fellow starters by a digit but did add six assists.

The one Big Green player the Tigers could not stop was Gabas Maldunas who scored 16 inside.

The rest of this recap plus postgame audio from Coach Mitch Henderson & Denton Koon can be found after the jump.

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Yale 69 Princeton 65.

Box Score : HD Box Score

Yale can't get back up to New Haven tonight due to the blizzard but after recording their first road sweep at Penn and Princeton since the 1986-87 season it seems unlikely the Bulldogs are complaining.

A 21 game conference winning streak at Jadwin Gym came to an end on Saturday night as the Tigers fought endlessly uphill against incredible Yale shooting (65% for the first half), a pressing and trapping zone defense (which led to 16 miscues by the orange and black), foul trouble (two personals each for T.J. Bray, Will Barrett and Hans Brase before intermission) in addition to several dubious officiating calls (I'm sure there will be plenty to said about these in the comments) and timely Bulldog baskets once Princeton crept close.

While the Tigers were able to overcome an eight point deficit at the break, each time Princeton pulled even or inched slightly ahead, back came Yale with an enormous response on the very next possession.

“Yale got us on our heels and we never had a counter-punch,” said a disappointed Tiger head coach Mitch Henderson.

Still the game went down to the final seconds. Nick Victor missed a pair of free throws after Barrett connected on his third trey of the contest and Princeton had the ball down two. Unable to get driving angles to the basket or a clean perimeter look, Bray entered the arc and saw his difficult feed to Brase bound directly to Yale's Matt Townsend.

Austin Morgan - a 90%+ free throw shooter this season - iced the result with a pair from the line with just over three seconds remaining.

It was the Bulldogs' first win at Princeton since 2008 and the Tigers' first home loss since falling 57-54 to Brown in February of 2010.

Denton Koon led three Princeton players in double figures with 16. A frustrated Ian Hummer played all 40 minutes and totaled 14 but had seven turnovers. Barrett added 11.

Yale was paced by Javier Duren's 13, 11 from Sam Martin including a trio of threes and 11 by Morgan, who also connected thrice behind the arc.

The rest of this recap plus postgame audio from Coach Mitch Henderson & Ian Hummer can be found after the jump.

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Princeton 63 Brown 46.

Box Score : HD Box Score

Princeton held Brown without a field goal for a 10:24 stretch of the first half, a 13-1 run turning a tie game into what would remain a comfortable Tiger advantage.

Hans Brase or Brendan Connolly bothering Bears big man Rafael Maia into 1-7 shooting - including a number of off-kilter attempts - allowed Princeton's other four players on the floor to focus on locking the arc.

All eight of Brown's first half field goals were layups, five in the first six minutes and two in the final :45 seconds.

In between there was plenty of Ian Hummer.

Hummer - who scored 11 in the opening 20 minutes - had seven straight as the Tigers assembled a lead they would only build upon. Hummer finished with 15 points as Denton Koon recorded 17 including 3-3 shooting from three point range and T.J. Bray added 14 (6-7 from the field).

“Having Brendan playing as well as he is defensively, it really gives us confidence to guard hard on the perimeter,” said Hummer. “If they go by us we know we have great help inside.”

Maia totaled 17 of his 19 in the second half but Brown was 1-12 outside the arc overall with their only connection coming in the game's final 30 seconds. No other Brown player had more than eight.

The 12 point differential at the break extended to 22 on a pair of occasions and never dipped to single digits as the visiting Bears converted 38.0% of their tries for the game.

Princeton by comparison shot 54.8% including 8-13 as a team from behind the arc.

The rest of this recap plus postgame audio from Coach Mitch Henderson & Ian Hummer can be found after the jump.

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Princeton 72 Columbia 66.

Box Score : HD Box Score

Back in December during a conversation about the decision to insert freshman forward Hans Brase in the starting lineup, replacing a team captain in the process, Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson said something prescient.

“Brendan Connolly is still going to win a game or two for us in the Ivy League.”

On a Saturday night in February with the Tigers’ defense getting knifed apart by the repeated dribble penetration of Columbia’s guards, Connolly was the second half difference-maker at both ends of the floor.

Knotted at 52 with 8:51 remaining, the difference wasn't fellow senior Ian Hummer's 12-14 free throw shooting or T.J. Bray's game-high 17 points and 3-3 marksmanship from downtown including a big jumper with the shot clock expiring.

The difference was a player who saw the floor only in the final 55 seconds of the previous evening's well-decided contest.

The difference was Brendan Connolly.

The senior center replaced the freshman Brase and with a burst of unexpected speed went around Cory Osetkowski for a reverse layup. Connolly also helped sure up the defense inside in a way Brase was unable, altering at least two drives and providing an immovable object for the Lions to try and knife past.

With the lead at three after a Mark Cisco left baseline jumper, Connolly glided to his right and tossed in a gorgeous hook shot on the run over Cisco from the center of the lane which provided needed distance in the final two minutes.

“When given the opportunity, he came through for us big tonight,” Henderson said of Connolly’s critical contributions. “I thought he did a really nice job changing the tone.”

The Tigers would make four of five free throws to keep Columbia at bay.

Princeton shot over 50% from the floor for the second straight night (23-45) and went 8-11 from three point range after starting an incredible 7-7. Also of importance: The Tigers attempted more than 20 free throws for the third consecutive contest.

Freshman Maodo Lo had some of the finest slashes for Columbia and he led his team with 16 points, Cisco adding 11.

The rest of this recap plus postgame audio from Coach Mitch Henderson, Brendan Connolly & T.J. Bray can be found after the jump.

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Princeton 76 Cornell 59.

Box Score : HD Box Score

Ian Hummer was sensational in the first half, leading Princeton back from down nine with 11:44 to go as he recorded six of the Tigers' final seven field goals before intermission and assisted on the other.

Hummer (7-8 from the floor for 18 points in 19 minutes of court time) got his team to the break +5 before deferring to teammates Denton Koon and Will Barrett in the second stanza. A seven point Princeton lead down to 41-40, Koon scored six of the Tigers' 15 in a row before Barrett added his first of three dunks on a steal and a breakaway.

Barrett was 4-4 from the floor over the final 20 minutes.

Princeton hit 16-24 (66.7%) field goals as they built an evening-high 21 point lead, before missing their last two attempts of the night with the result no longer an issue.

In a contest where Cornell's strength (repeated waves of 6'2" and 6'3" players swarming the floor) butted up against the Tigers' advantages (size and strength inside), Koon was able to shoot over Big Red guards repeatedly, converting 6-7 vesper opportunities.

Hummer and Koon each tallied 22, the total a career high for the sophomore. Hummer moved to within four points of assistant coach Brian Earl for sixth all-time in scoring at Princeton.

“[Denton] really stepped up when they were focusing more on me in the second half,” Hummer said following his team’s 19th straight conference victory at home. “He’s able to get underneath the basket and get behind the defense, which makes it really easy for guys to pass it to him. The fact that he’s able to finish in traffic with a couple guys’ hands in his face is very important for us.”

The rest of this recap and postgame audio from Coach Mitch Henderson, Ian Hummer & Denton Koon can be found after the jump.

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Mercer 62 Manor 58.

Postgame audio - Coach Howie Levy:

Mercer County Community College pushed the start of Tuesday night's game against Manor back an hour so head coach Howie Levy could go see his son Lior suit up for Princeton High School versus Notre Dame. Levy then rushed across the county to suffer a different class of agony than the pain created by helplessly watching your child play a sport. Switching from the stands to the sidelines, Levy saw his MCCC squad fall behind early in the first half after taking an immediate 5-0 lead and struggle to catch the visiting Blue Jays.

Knowing that Mercer had raced past Manor on the road 99-80 a month previous, it was difficult to witness the Vikings struggle against a rangy, lateral zone. Center Filip Sekulic was unable to get many touches moving from block to block behind the defense and 5'4" guard Larry Webster's constant raining of three point shots off the bench from in front of the zone routinely landed short.

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Princeton 71 TCNJ 33.

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Box Score : HD Box Score

Sunday was an island between two distinct epochs, a two week exam period without a game behind it and a run of 13 contests in 40 days that will decide this year’s Ivy League title immediately in front of it.

Princeton did not shoot the ball particularly well in their return to action but had enough size at both ends and got to the line frequently enough to dispatch The College of New Jersey without incident or, perhaps more importantly, injury.

Tiger starters scored the game's first nine points and following TCNJ’s brief halving of a double digit deficit to five versus an early lineup heavy on reserves, returned to the floor to promptly convert back-to-back three point shots and build an 11 point advantage that would only increase for the remaining 28:32 of the afternoon.

Outrebounding an undersized foe 29-17 in the first half, with freshman Hans Brase grabbing 11 of those boards, Princeton extended a 39-17 halftime lead as most of their work was done at the foul line, where the Tigers shot 14-18.

The final buzzer could not come quickly enough after intermission as Denton Koon (12 points in 22 minutes) and Brase (11 points and 15 rebounds in 26 minutes) remained on the floor to anchor the rotation. The lead went from 20 to 30 to 40 as the visiting Lions suffered through a near-10 minute stretch wherein they recorded just a single field goal.

Clay Wilson played a team-high 28 minutes, 2-10 from three point range as his 0-10 marksmanship behind the arc the prior four games finally found the target.

All 13 Princeton players in uniform saw at least six minutes of action. The Tigers were 21-58 (36.2%) as a unit but 22-29 at the line (75.9%) with a ridiculous 60-30 edge on the glass boosted by 21 offensive rebounds.

Emmanuel Matlock and Ryan Keegan each had 10 for TCNJ, which went 0-14 from three on the day.

A full recap plus postgame audio from Coach Mitch Henderson, Denton Koon & Hans Brase can be found after the jump.

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