Those are the only three senior classes in Princeton basketball history to sweep four games from Penn at Jadwin Gym. Ian Hummer, Brendan Connolly and Mack Darrow added their names to an exclusive list this evening after the Tigers' 65-53 victory over the Quakers.
It was a game Princeton led the final 36:20 of, answering Greg Louis' three point shot with nine straight out the gate and turning a 31-22 halftime advantage into a comfortable margin behind 11 in a row after intermission.
In both runs junior guard T.J. Bray knocked down a three pointer. Bray hit six times from behind the arc in 11 tries, recording a career high 23 points plus three rebounds and no turnovers.
“It was just one of those days where shots are falling down,” said Bray. “They were coming in the flow of the offense, which was big. Ian had a couple nice passes to me and I was able to just step in and shoot.”
Hummer scored 13 and fellow senior Darrow added eight off the bench plus five assists and no miscues in a point-center role.
Tony Hicks slashed his way to 16 for Penn on 18 shots, 13 of the freshman's tallies coming in the second half. The Quakers scored the game's final seven points after the result was no longer in question.
Postgame audio from Coach Mitch Henderson, Ian Hummer & T.J. Bray plus the rest of this recap can all be found after the jump.
Postgame audio - Coach Mitch Henderson, Ian Hummer & T.J. Bray:
The game opened oddly. The initial jump ball had to be executed twice, eventually won by Penn. After an open three point look for Bray on Princeton’s first possession, Quaker coach Jerome Allen unorthodoxly used his first time out just 40 seconds in.
Louis connected from the left wing to give Penn their lone lead, which disappeared shortly after Will Barrett drove to his right down the right baseline from the perimeter and scored before help defense arrived.
Miles Cartwright, Penn’s leading healthy scorer, split the defense only to see his scoop alone at the rim kick around thrice before bouncing off.
A beautiful finish by Hummer of a lob feed from Hans Brase, coaxing the ball up and in off the glass with his left hand in one motion as the ball reached him in the air, made it 4-3 Tigers and the lead was Princeton’s from this point forward.
In a curious tactical decision, Allen had 6’2” and 175 lb guard Steve Rennard check Hummer defensively – one of several vexing personnel decisions for Penn on the night.
“Even the refs talked to me that they were surprised he was guarding me,” Hummer acknowledged. “He’s one of the tougher guys I’ve faced even though I outweigh him by like 100 pounds.”
Hummer on the far block skipped a pass with two hands to Bray on the right side of the arc for his first three and the lead moved up to four.
It was Bray who also raced into the paint from his position on the wing to anticipate and intercept a Jamal Lewis post feed. The Princeton possession concluded with Koon’s offensive putback of a Hummer miss.
Bearded freshman center Darien Nelson-Henry split one of two free throws after getting Brase in the air to stop Princeton’s 9-0 stretch but Bray snapped a diagonal pass to Hummer cutting back under the rim to extended the edge up to 11-4.
Clay Wilson only saw three minutes of court time for Princeton, and in one of his sequences he took a charge on Nelson-Henry giving up eight inches in an accidental defensive mismatch then tried to run baseline-to-baseline behind screens to spring open for three. He couldn’t get the ball in time on the left side and his catch and shoot try from the right wing was too strong.
It was the start of a sloppy stretch with three Penn turnovers and a pair of Tiger miscues.
A Hummer pass out of the post was grabbed with both hands by Hicks who raced the other way with Hummer getting back to block the layup try.
Wilson stole Lewis’ ball out of the air but his attempted transitional lob to Brendan Connolly was too ambitious and taken back by Lewis. Finally Nelson-Henry got the game back on track by turning inside and scoring off the glass for an 11-6 count.
Hummer received a brief respite and Bray muscled his way to the right baseline and was fouled by Louis, converting both free throws. Darrow tipped the ball free from Hicks for a second but Hicks kept going to his left for a layup. It was 14-10 after a rapid cross-step by Hicks to the tin.
In the following two minutes, the nature of the contest changed and Darrow was a big part of that transformation. Darrow across the lane found Bray stepping in to a three. Darrow did not connect on a three from the top of the arc short but was on target with his next attempt following a Hicks miss in transition. Hummer drew a double team and Penn could not rotate fast enough to stop Darrow’s clean look from the left side of the arc. The Quakers were now being doubled up.
A wild shot by Hicks sailed over the rim to Louis for a putback with 6:16 before intermission.
Darrow looked like he deflected a Brooks three point try and Barrett to Bray with a beautiful bounce pass down the lane was stopped only by Louis’ hard foul. Bray made one of his two free throws for a lead Geddy Lee would have appreciated.
Camryn Crocker attacked-slash-fended off Bray for his only basket of the game before Bray did one better sizing a three at the top of the arc.
Penn had 14 on the scoreboard through 15 minutes, Bray 12.
“He’s the brains of the operations now out there and often the brawn too,” said Henderson of the junior from New Berlin, Wisconisn.
A second 10 point Princeton lead could have increased when Bray and Barrett caught Penn napping on an inbounds feed but Barrett’s open three from the far corner sailed. From the left pocket Rennard hit to draw the Quakers down seven.
When the Tigers could get Hummer the ball deep on Rennard before a double team could close it was no contest. Bray found Hummer in the lane and he easily went above the junior guard for two.
Hicks drove and left the ball on a bounce to Brooks for a 26-19 score, then Bray used a Darrow screen and struck again from outside.
Barrett fouled Brooks on a short inbounds jumper and Brooks made both free throws.
Hummer dropped the ball in over Rennard a second time from even deeper positioning to move Princeton +10 for a fourth time.
A lone Miles Cartwright free throw in the final minute made it 31-22 heading into the break. It was the only point in the opening 20 minutes for a Quaker who came in averaging 14.0 ppg.
Princeton shot 11-26 from the floor in the first half (42.3%) with 5-12 marksmanship from behind the arc (41.7%) and 4-6 free throws (66.7%). Bray’s 15 points led all scorers, including a quartet of triples.
Penn was 8-25 as a team (32.0%), 2-6 from three (33.3%) and 4-8 at the line (50.0%). The Quakers scored .696 points/possession in the opening 20 minutes, committing nine turnovers.
Six offensive rebounds and an overall 19-17 edge on the glass for the visitors from Philadelphia was a bit of a surprise.
While Penn had a 2-12 record to this point in the season, if you followed the Quakers a bit closer you already knew they have been in most of their games for a good 20-30 minutes regardless of opponent quality.
Any hopes of hanging around were extinguished with 11 straight Princeton points to start the second half. Hummer was once more checked by Rennard and another double came to him posting. By Hummer’s admission he was setting up to receive the ball versus Penn further out than he had against other foes this year and the collapsing defense was the perfect opportunity for Barrett to curl behind Hummer and receive a pass that resulted in a three pointer and the Tigers’ biggest lead so far.
Louis lost the ball going at Brase before Rennard successfully flopped on contact from Hummer to draw an offensive foul. It was a smart play by Rennard giving up so much size. What was the worst that could happen – Hummer scoring over him again?
Koon blocked Cartwright’s jumper in the lane and in transition Brase rumbled to the basket for his only bucket of the night.
After a Brooks travel, Hummer used a Brase screen to toss in his third three of the season and versus a few possessions of Penn zone Brase on the block spotted Bray from deep behind the arc up top. It was 42-22 with 16:36 remaining.
Like they did on Tuesday once down 15 in the second half versus Lafayette, the Quakers got a decent number of points back in a short span of time. Nelson-Henry scored inside and after Koon to his left off the glass was errant, Nelson-Henry received a Hicks feed and had two more.
Cartwright into the lane was blocked by Connolly who also caught some body and two free throws had Penn within a manageable 14.
Princeton was able to counter for a while. The Tigers broke Penn’s press and Hummer driving drew enough defenders that Bray was unobstructed for three pointer number six.
Hicks started to slash frequently, almost exclusively to his left and almost always at Darrow. Hicks’ layup try was blocked in the air but the freshman stayed with the ball and placed it back home.
Similarly quick to react was Barrett who went up for a two hand dunk try, had the ball deflected as he rose and somehow was able to turn an attempted slam into an acrobatic layup for a 47-30 score.
Hicks tallied eight straight for Penn on drives to the rim, burning Darrow left to draw his team within 13.
It was Darrow driving across the lane and chucking the ball at the rim when a whistle on Louis sounded. The ball rolled off the iron and in, but Darrow missed his free throw.
Louis went left once more, again at Darrow making it 49-36.
After Dau Jok faked Barrett in the air and heaved a left wing three Penn was within 10 with a quarter of basketball left to make up the balance.
An inbounds play from Bray to Brase should have been a dunk but Brase missed with two hands, then compacted the issue by trying to tip home his clanger while still handing on the rim. Given their first opportunity to get within single digits, Patrick Lucas-Perry driving to his left lost the ball over the baseline.
Nifty passing by Bray driving to the tin, kicking out to Barrett on the wing who shuffled a pass to Koon for three in the far corner made the lead 13 again until Cartwright’s lone field goal of the contest sliced three down, a rainbow off the left side.
Here the game was decided once and for all. Bray spun to his left in the lane but could not finish. Quick the other way Hicks lost the ball off the backboard and Barrett’s outlet to Koon was slashed home.
When Princeton had the ball next a running hook by Darrow was actually a disguised pass to Hummer under the basket for two. Nelson-Henry missed inside and Bray to his right went off glass for a pair.
Barrett posted Hicks and committed a charge trying to get around the freshman guard into the lane. Barrett atoned by absorbing a Nelson-Henry drive in the lane for an offensive foul.
Bray dribbling up from the left wing saw Darrow fill the space he once occupied and cap a very nice night off the bench with a three that made it 61-42 with 5:12 showing.
In addition to his 3-4 shooting accounting for all eight of Princeton’s bench points, Darrow also served as a third option to break pressure. Penn looked to guard the Tigers full court to get quick transition buckets (yet recorded no fast break points) and while their pressure focused on Bray, Koon and Chris Clement – who played 11 minutes after only seeing the floor during the final sixty seconds at Elon – Darrow with the ball in his hands meant for some reason the Quakers would draw off.
Darrow happily would bring the ball up, sometimes going between his legs for effect but certainly lightening the load for a team with a limited number of guards versus a squad with 100 of’m.
The half court offense was also able to run through Darrow at the top of the circle.
Hicks jumped through the lane and scored while Brase fouled him, missing his free throw. Koon curled to the rim with no help defense to stop him. Nelson-Henry fought through a Brase block try for two. Hummer posting waited until Barrett cut and rewarded him with a fluid pass for an easy layup. The Quakers weren’t getting stops, they weren’t fouling to get back into the game with the clock frozen.
They were resigned to their fate.
The Tigers weren’t particularly pretty in the final two minutes, missing the front end of a one-and-one and committing a pair of silly turnovers but they had done more than enough to make those moments meaningless. The solitary result was a cosmetic one for Penn that would benefit only those who scrolled past a final score without any interest in how that margin was reached.
Their home game versus the Quakers may have come earlier on the calendar and on a different day of the week than traditional, but the result was the same for Princeton’s seniors, who head into a 15 day exam break knowing they have accomplished something only two other Tiger classes can boast of – an unblemished 4-0 mark against their rivals at Jadwin Gym.
-Princeton shot 14-25 in the second half (56.0%) to increase their overall numbers to 25-51 (59.0%). The Tigers were also 11-22 from three for the game (50.0%) and 4-8 on free throws (50.0%).
-Penn was 21-52 as a team (40.4%), 5-15 from three (33.3%) and 6-12 at the line (50.0%). The Quakers had eight assists and 16 turnovers.
-Leading scorer Fran Dougherty missed his fifth straight game for Jerome Allen’s squad due to mono.
-The visiting team went 0-10 from the floor on two point jump shots.
-Barrett snatched a career high 10 rebounds to go with his nine points.
-Darrow’s Offensive Rating was a superb 211.7 in 18 minutes, similar to the incredibly efficient junior year Mack Darrow.
-The win was Princeton’s 18th consecutive home Ivy victory.
-Hummer experimented with a modified mohawk on Saturday night, causing his coach to quip “I like the haircut that doesn’t have six turnovers.” Touche.