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Princeton 77 Columbia 66.

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Postgame audio - Coach Mitch Henderson, Douglas Davis & Mack Darrow:

While one of his teammates previously nicknamed him “The Mack-sheen” (which sounds better than it reads) it might be time to start calling Princeton’s junior forward Knack Darrow.

On Friday night versus Columbia, Darrow had the knack in his team’s 77-66 win.

The knack to make big plays, as he did at the end of the first half with a steal and a three point shot in the final 17 seconds to tie the game at 27.

The knack to convert big baskets, like the one he hit from the top of the arc with 12:22 left in the second half to place the Tigers in front for good.

The knack to grab offensive boards to keep possessions alive. Princeton scored a staggering 12 straight occasions with the ball to end the game and Darrow preserved the pill for the orange and black three times due to putbacks crashing the glass.

The knack to make important free throws. Darrow was a perfect 9-9 at the line as Princeton kept Columbia at a three possession length the final 8:55.

By the end Darrow had a career high 19 points and eight rebounds.

“Mack is our most efficient player by far,” said Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson, a self-professed ‘numbers guy.’ “He makes everybody better.”

Lost in this performance was Douglas Davis’ 20 tally output wherein he caught and passed assistant coach Brian Earl for fifth on Princeton’s scoring list.

Ian Hummer started slow but finished with 16 of his own at the close of the night.

Princeton’s defense took center Mark Cisco and guard Brian Barbour’s preferences away. While Barbour was scored 22 they weren’t an easy 22 (eight came during a desperate final three minutes) and Cisco was not a factor either scoring or rebounding.

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Princeton J.V. 64 Mercer 63.

Postgame audio - Coach Howie Levy:

Freshman center Bobby Garbade's righty hook shot bounced in at the buzzer to give the Princeton J.V. a one point victory over Howie Levy's Mercer County Community College Vikings (4-21).

It was, depending on your point of view, either the Tigers' third chance to win the game or MCCC's third chance to lose the game in the final seconds.

After the Vikings scored seven straight to pull even in the waning moments, Clay Wilson's far baseline pull up broke a 60-60 tie until Armando Davis promptly placed his team up one with a three point shot on the right wing.

Wilson, who connected eight times from behind the arc on his way to a game best 37 points, could not answer with a long trey try of his own and Mercer was fouled grabbing a rebound.

The front end of a one and one by Filip Sekulic with :10.9 showing came up short and the Tigers first nearly threw an inbounds mid court pass away that Chris Clement ran down in the corner fighting off his man with :04.5 on the clock.

After the subsequent time out, a deflected inbounds from Daniel Edwards drew another second down and to finish off a painful season for Levy's team in appropriately agonizing fashion Clement's inbounds lob to Garbade resulted in the game-winner from the middle of the lane.

Garbade had eight points, Edwards nine, Clement and Brian Fabrizus five each. No other Tigers - including Tom Noonan off the bench - scored.

Video of the exhibition's final moments after the jump.

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Princeton 70 Harvard 62.

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Postgame audio - Coach Mitch Henderson, Ian Hummer & T.J. Bray:

Like happened last March in memorable fashion at the end of an Ivy League playoff in New Haven and as even ensued somewhat prematurely when the two teams met further north at Lavietes Pavilion the week prior, for the third consecutive occasion when Harvard and Princeton faced one another in basketball a court was stormed.

The stakes were not as high as they had been in either of these previous two meetings. There was no trip to the NCAA Tournament directly on the line, but as time ran out at Jadwin Gym on Saturday night the hardwood transformed into a sea of orange and black jubilation as the Crimson suffered their first loss in conference play.

Princeton (13-10 / 4-3) was downright magnificent in the final 5:14 on Saturday night versus nationally-ranked Harvard (21-3 / 7-1), first scoring on six straight possessions to turn a 46-46 game into a 10 point Tiger lead and then making nine of 12 free throws in the last 71 seconds to fend off the Crimson’s endless loop of drives to the basket.

Junior forward Ian Hummer clearly was the best player on the floor, recording 20 points, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing six assists including a pair of jaw-dropping passes. Hummer was one of five Princeton players in double figures. T.J. Bray had all 12 of his tallies in the second half, making his first start in 17 games Brendan Connolly was a needed force inside with 11 as the displaced Mack Darrow and freshman Denton Koon each added 10 from the bench.

Keith Wright had 16 to lead three Crimson starters in double digits.

It was Princeton’s first win over a then-ranked team since besting Wake Forest in 1997 and the first victory versus a team in the AP Top 25 at home since a memorable game against #2 Notre Dame in 1977.

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Princeton 59 Dartmouth 47.

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Postgame audio - Coach Mitch Henderson, Patrick Saunders & Douglas Davis:

Win or lose, up or down, for 112 games as a Princeton Tiger, senior guard Douglas Davis’ demeanor has remained the same. In his first outing after a 2-12 struggle to connect at Yale, Davis got rolling in the second half, leading his team to a win over Dartmouth.

Davis scored 14 of his game high 20 after intermission, including four three pointers in five tries as the Tigers flipped a two point halftime deficit into a 33-25 lead.

All the while, his expression didn’t change.

“Don’t play poker with Doug,” joked head coach Mitch Henderson.

Princeton had to fight through dreadful 0-12 shooting to open the game and an unexpected 0-11 mark by leading scorer Ian Hummer, but after falling behind by 10 points early the Tigers rallied behind their senior co-captains Davis and Patrick Saunders for the 59-47 victory.

“Doug’s pretty quiet. If he goes 0-11 or 11-11, it looks pretty much the same,” Saunders said of his stoic classmate.

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Yale 58 Princeton 54.

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Postgame audio - Coach Mitch Henderson:

Postgame audio - Patrick Saunders & Ian Hummer:

A common thread has connected Princeton’s three Ivy League losses this season: The inability to cut an opponent’s lead down to one possession in the second half when offered repeated opportunity. Tonight’s defeat at Yale was the most bitter of this trio of intertwined results, as the chances were numerous and comparatively the least difficult.

As occurred at Cornell and at Penn, starting with just under nine minutes left in regulation Princeton could not convert six straight shots to turn what had been as deep as a 13 point hole - dug primarily during a 9:20 first half scoreless stretch - into a one possession affair.

“Once again, you’re in a game where have to come back from so far down – that’s tough,” said head coach Mitch Henderson.

Ian Hummer eventually drew his team within 50-47 on a jumper over Greg Mangano before Mangano knocked down the Bulldogs’ only three point shot in 10 second half attempts.

A pair of layups by Mack Darrow had Princeton within two in the final minute, but needing a defensive stop Jeremiah Kreisberg was fouled receiving a wrap around pass and made both his free throws.

Kreisberg (9), Mangano (20 and 12 rebounds) and Reggie Willhite (20 points and nine rebounds) combined for 49 of Yale’s 58. The rest of the Bulldogs shot 2-18 for the game.

“We knew if we contained them we would have a chance of winning and that didn’t happen tonight,” Hummer said of Yale’s frontcourt. “They killed us on the inside.”

Hummer led the way for Princeton with 18 in defeat, eclipsing 1,000 points on a runner that was blocked by Mangano for a goaltending violation. Darrow added 11 but was 1-8 from three point range. Patrick Saunders supported the cause with 10.

Both teams shot under 36% for the game.

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Princeton 77 Brown 64.

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Postgame audio - Coach Mitch Henderson:

Postgame audio - Brendan Connolly, Ben Hazel & Ian Hummer:

It was the proper definition of “a balanced effort.”

Eight Tigers played between 18 and 28 minutes for Princeton on Friday night at Brown. Those eight players each scored between seven and 12 points as the orange and black led by double digits in Providence for the night’s final 30 minutes.

“I thought we definitely had the right attitude tonight,” said head coach Mitch Henderson. “We were just more aggressive on the boards and that created some opportunities for us.”

Trailing 8-5, Princeton hit four straight three pointers and ran off 16 consecutive on the scoreboard, capping this stretch with a Brendan Connolly sky hook and tip follow. Connolly had 11 points off the bench.

Sophomore guard Ben Hazel made four of his seven three pointers for a career high 12, matched by Douglas Davis.

“Hazel was very good tonight,” Henderson acknowledged. “He gave us a lift off the bench.”

The Tigers held a 48-34 advantage at the break, their most first half points against a Division I opponent in at least 13 years. In the back frame this lead extended to as many as 23.

Sean McGonagill had 17 for the Bears on 19 shots.

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Penn 82 Princeton 67.

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Postgame audio - Coach Mitch Henderson, Brendan Connolly & Douglas Davis:

It might be a touch cutesy, but it as good a lede as any.

Sitting courtside at a now near-empty Palestra, trying to fight through a troubled wireless connection, an acquaintance came up to me while I was writing.

“This should be an easy recap for you,” he said. “Just type ‘Zach Rosen’ again and again and again.”

Rosen put on a phenomenal performance in his final chance to defeat Princeton at home, scoring 28 points on an array of difficult jumpers and snaking drives as his Penn Quakers led wire to wire for an 82-67 win over the Tigers.

“We really had no response or answer for Rosen. I thought he was terrific tonight,” said Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson after his team had allowed the most points versus the Quakers in 40 years. “His understanding of tempo is special.”

“He was just under control the whole game,” Henderson added. “We didn’t give him anything to think about.”

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Georgetown 69 St. John's 49.

Box Score

Postgame audio - Coach John Thompson III, Hollis Thompson, Otto Porter & Jason Clark:

There was both a beautiful symmetry and a huge inequality in Georgetown's 69-49 win over St. John's on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

In the first half as well as the second half, the Hoyas used extended runs to change the game. Lethargic and over-reliant on the three point shot, Georgetown trailed 13-5 eight minutes in. Behind five points from big man Henry Sims, the Hoyas erased that deficit and proceeded to nab the next eight straight between freshmen Otto Porter and Mikael Hopkins crashing the boards. When Jason Clark faked a three and stepped in to a long two, that concluded an 18-2 stretch which ended with Georgetown in front by eight.

"Once we picked up our energy level, the offense got better and the defense got better," said head coach John Thompson III.

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Princeton 62 Columbia 58.

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Postgame audio - Coach Mitch Henderson:

Postgame audio - Patrick Saunders & T.J. Bray:

Trailing by six points with 8:30 to go in regulation and in legitimate danger of falling to 0-2 in Ivy League play, Princeton scored 11 straight behind contributions from unexpected sources and held off a late Columbia frenzy for the 62-58 win.

It was reserves Jimmy Sherburne and Ben Hazel off the bench that sparked the spurt at both ends. Sherburne started things with a slap layup down the baseline for a 41-37 score and Sherburne’s pass to T.J. Bray in front of his team’s bench for three as he fell down cutting into the lane gave the Tigers a five point edge at the 4:55 mark. In between a streaking Hazel provided the orange and black their first lead since the opening half.

“We haven’t been influencing the game and turning people over,” said head coach Mitch Henderson. “I thought the key to the game was [those two], their defensive presence getting into guys and creating some opportunities for us.”

Princeton came back despite serious foul trouble for leading scorer Ian Hummer, who picked up his fourth personal with 9:12 remaining, and a limited Douglas Davis who had to visit the locker room in the first half and could not sit on the bench due to a cramped lower back.

A late Davis drive all the way to the rim and a pair of Hummer free throws made it 54-46 Princeton but 2-6 shooting at the free throw line allowed the Lions to close within one in the last :15 before Bray and Davis each made a pair to keep Columbia at bay.

Bray scored 12, one of four Tigers in double digits joined by Hummer with 11 and 10 each from Mack Darrow and Davis. Bray also had a career best six steals.

Brian Barbour totaled 25 for Columbia, including 9-11 at the free throw line but it felt like Bray and Sherburne did a very good job limiting his touches the last 10 minutes of the game. Nine of Barbour’s points came in the chaotic final 2:08.

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Cornell 67 Princeton 59.

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Postgame audio - Coach Mitch Henderson:

Postgame audio - Ian Hummer & T.J. Bray:

A pair of Cornell freshmen were an enormous part of the quick 8-0 run which separated the Big Red from Princeton with the two teams even at 40 nearing the midway point of the second half.

On a night where leading scorer Drew Ferry went scoreless, Galal Cancer (17) and Shonn Miller (12) led the way in their first game versus the orange and black as Cornell opened Ivy League play with a 67-59 win over the Tigers.

Once Princeton fell behind by eight they were unable to ever make it a one possession game again, though they squandered myriad chances with the ball in their hands due to offensive fouls, turnovers and the missed front ends of a couple of one-and-one chances.

The Tigers were also unable to establish their advantage in the post and missed more than their fair share of jump shots in a once-tight contest that had 18 lead changes across the first 20 minutes.

“We seemed timid and you’re not going to win games on the road in the league being timid,” said first year head coach Mitch Henderson.

Douglas Davis scored 16 points but needed 22 shots to do so and Ian Hummer added 14 with nine rebounds. T.J. Bray filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, eight boards and seven assists.

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Princeton 79 TCNJ 68.

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Postgame audio - Coach Mitch Henderson, Brendan Connolly & Patrick Saunders:

Junior center Brendan Connolly scored a career high 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Princeton dusted off their home uniforms for the first time since just after Thanksgiving and bested The College Of New Jersey by 11.

Substituting liberally – 11 players saw action in the first half and all 15 Tigers in uniform played – while experimenting with different combinations (leading scorer Ian Hummer was on the floor for just 15 minutes) Princeton led by seven at halftime before opening the back frame on a 13-2 run. Their advantage stayed above 15 until the final five minutes.

The lead eventually extended to a game-high 22 on a John Comfort free throw but TCNJ closed on a 10-2 run against the far end of the Princeton bench.

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Princeton 76 Florida A&M 61.

Postgame audio - Coach Mitch Henderson:

Box Score : HD Box Score

With what had been a double digit lead cut to four after a three point play by Florida A&M’s Amin Stevens more than 12 minutes into the second half, Princeton scored 16 straight to regain control of their first game of 2012.

“Eventually our defense started to help us score and get a little more balance on the offensive end,” said head coach Mitch Henderson.

Winning for the second time in a New Year's Eve-spanning trip to Tallahassee, the Tigers (8-7) moved over .500 for the first time this season as they defeated the Rattlers 76-61.

Four Princeton players hit double figures with Douglas Davis’ 18 leading the way.
Ian Hummer added 15, T.J. Bray connected four times from three point distance on his way to 14 and freshman Denton Koon matched his career high with 13 – all from point blank range.

After falling behind 11-4 to start the day, Princeton pulled even on a Hummer three with 8:57 left and extended an advantage up to 35-23 on Patrick Saunders’ three point shot which hit the front rim and dropped.

Davis passed Sean Jackson for second place on Princeton’s career three point shooting list with his 236th trey, one quarter of a stretch that was a 12-0 run. Davis needs 43 additional triples to overtake assistant coach Brian Earl for most as a Tiger.

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