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Princeton 82 Yale 58.

Box Score : HD Box Score

Postgame audio - Coach Sydney Johnson, Pawel Buczak & Patrick Saunders:

When the worst thing you can say about Princeton's performance is that they were 1-5 on dunk tries, it is a pretty good night.

The Tigers made 11 of their first 15 three point attempts and blew out Yale by 24 on Friday at Jadwin Gym. It was the highest point total for a Tiger team against the Bulldogs since 1973.

"We haven't had a game like that, but we were fortunate," said Princeton head coach Sydney Johnson. "I thought Yale brought a lot of energy and I know Coach Jones had them ready to play. It just seemed that we didn't miss a lot of shots."

Grabbing 16 offensive rebounds (the most versus a Division I foe since Rutgers in December 2001), dishing out 25 assists (the most versus a D-I foe since 28 against Brown in March 2000) and holding Bulldog leading scorer Alex Zampier to 3-12 shooting, Princeton led by 16 at the break and hit their first three treys of the second half to build an advantage that they sustained to the buzzer.

Dan Mavraides had 20 to lead all scorers, 4-7 outside the arc.

Porter Braswell's long deuce gave Yale an early 2-0 lead, but it was almost all Tigers from that point forward.

For the first time in ages, the backdoor was open consistently. Bulldog defenders didn't follow Princeton cutters, starting with a posting Buczak feeding Douglas Davis for the easy layup.

It was the first of a career-best seven assists for Buczak, who did not commit a turnover.

Zampier traveled and Davis used a double crossover through his legs to get into the lane and was fouled by Paul Nelson, making both free throws.

Davis, who did not score for the first time as a Tiger on Tuesday night versus Penn caught up for lost time early on. His jumper from inside the arc made it 6-2 Princeton. Davis would finish with 12 points on 4-7 shooting.

Paul Morgan didn't need much space to size up a three for Yale, but Marcus Schroeder caught the Bulldog defense napping, inbounding to Saunders under the Princeton basket for the bunny bank.

Two different times Buczak's tall frame set a hand-off screen that Saunders was able to step behind for his patented two-handed push shot from behind the arc. This combination provided the Tigers with a 14-7 lead.

Saunders, who had scored 15 total points in the Tigers' first seven Ivy games, had 11 in the first half and finished with 14 on the night.

"I don't think it was anything complicated," Saunders said of his performance. "The shots were just falling tonight."

Zach Finley blocked a drive by Zampier, then ran the floor to create a mismatch on a quick post of the much smaller Braswell, giving up nine inches to Finley. Saunders found him for the layup.

Zampier scored on a lefty push and Braswell went unchecked down the lane to draw Yale within five, but Davis unselfishly passed on a three, dishing to Mavraides on the left wing for a triple, his first of the contest.

Leading 21-14 following two Kareem Maddox free throws, fouled on a nifty up-and-under move, the Tigers hit a scoreless stretch. But Yale was unable to score more than three points during this time. Zampier, an 88.9% free throw shooter heading into Friday, missed two at the line and backup center Greg Mangano split a pair after Finley recorded his second foul.

It was all just a part of a hideous 2-8 half at the stripe for Yale.

Mavraides ended the brief drought by driving left and pulling up on the baseline for two.

Michael Grace's left elbow extended jumper made it a 23-19 game with 7:52 left in the half.

The Tigers padded their offensive rebounding stats during a possession where Maddox missed inside, got his own rebound, missed but Buczak controlled, was long on the third attempt and Maddox finally placed the ball home on the far side of the rim.

In the last six minutes of the half, Princeton pulled away.

Paul Nelson slipped to the basket unchecked and Braswell found him for a two handed slam. At the other end Davis used a Buczak screen and stepped to his left for three.

Zampier uncharacteristically missed a wide open three from the right wing after a defensive miscommunication.

Maddox posted Zampier, drove to his right and found Saunders setting up outside for his third three of the half, which extended the lead to 34-24.

Nelson blocked Maddox going up in the paint, but Maddox controlled the loose ball in mid-air and fired a second jumper that was true in one fluid motion.

Nelson, who was 0-3 at the line, missed the front ends of two different one-and-one opportunities.

Mavraides showed little sympathy.

Buczak, who had not scored in three straight games, had an easy drive down the lane for a soaring layup, but on his way to the iron the senior center decided that passing out to an open Mavraides on the right side was the better play. Good choice and an extra point. 39-24 Tigers.

Nelson was called for an elbow, giving the ball back to Princeton.

Davis dribbled the shot clock down, his motion freeing Buczak on the left wing, who rose and fired an open jumper from behind the arc that collided with the backboard and caromed through the rim.

"When I'm banking threes with two seconds left on the he shot clock, you know it is a good night," Buczak said with a half grin.

Reggie Whillhite's follow of a Zampier airball ended the 14-0 Princeton run and closed the half, pulling Yale within 42-26.

Princeton finished 8-12 from outside the arc in the opening frame and was 4-4 at the free throw line. Mavraides and Saunders each had 11. Zampier shot 1-9 for two points in 18 minutes. Five of the Tigers' 11 assists belonged to Buczak.

As in the first half, Yale scored first when play resumed. A no look pass from Zampier to Michael Sands opened the second half. As in the first half, that was as close as Yale would ever get.

Mavraides drove left and passed back to Buczak filling his spot on the right wing. Buczak's second three in as many tries did not need the benefit of the backboard, sailing through the twine.

Sands was fouled by Buczak in deep, but missed both his chances.

Mavraides posted and could not finish, but Buczak kept the ball alive and passed to Schroeder who reset the offense. Schroeder found Davis for the left wing three that kicked the lead up to 20 for the first time. Mavraides used a Buczak screen for the team's third straight three and Yale called time out down 51-28 with 18:03 to go.

When they weren't stepping outside, they were cutting inside. Buczak bounced a feed to Mavraides for the layup.

Sands' bucket was followed by a zip pass from Mavraides, who did not even need to look to know where Saunders would be behind the arc. Mavraides' jumper on the right baseline created the night's high water mark of 58-33.

Mangano and Finley both tipped in a Mangano miss off the glass before a posting Ian Hummer waited an extra fraction of a second to deceive Yale into thinking he was going to go up from the paint, allowing Finley to slip behind him undetected for the easy reverse layup. The pair of Finley and Hummer off the bench continue to show great chemistry together.

Hummer became the latest Tiger to slice behind his man, taking a Davis bounce pass and laying it home.

Maddox drove right by Whillhite and tried to throw it down, but Whillhite fouled him on the dunk attempt, the ball clanging off the iron. Maddox made both free throws.

A tip follow by Mangano, who finished with 11 off the bench to lead Yale, and a Brian Katz free throw made it a 71-53 game with 6:12 to go.

Hummer beat Sands backdoor and Finley found him for two.

Finally, after trying all night for that elusive dunk - failing on follow tries, one handed slams and mistimed alley oops, Maddox slipped into the paint, controlled a bounce feed from Mavraides and threw it home with authority. Maddox had 10 points and six rebounds for Princeton, one of four Tigers in double figures.

This punctuation mark began the emptying of both benches, as substitutes saw floor time for the final four minutes. Freshman forward Mack Darrow found Bobby Foley open in front of the Tiger bench for a three that ended the scoring. The Tiger bench raised their hands and began to stand before the ball left Foley's grasp.

At the final buzzer, the entire Princeton team raced across the court to thank the Tiger student section, clapping above their heads and slapping palms with their classmates. Many of the fans who came to Jadwin for the first time on Saturday against Cornell were back in force to see Princeton dominate Yale, three armed with vuvuzelas.

The decision to applaud the audience belonged to the Tigers' coach.

"Coach Johnson suggested that we go over and thank them, because that's one of the best crowds that we've seen," said Buczak. "We were really impressed that they came again and hopefully they'll continue to come."

While the students were energetic, no one was appreciating Princeton's play than their coach.

"What I really love about these guys is we're not afraid of what's coming," said Johnson. "We're going to go out there and try to play Brown and try to play well. If we win, let's keep rolling and if we lose, we move on to the next one. I just love that about these guys. It is a great change, it is fun to be around. I'm cheering for them as much as anybody."


-The Tigers finished 31-61 from the floor (50.8%), 13-19 outside (68.4%), including 5-7 in the second half and 7-9 at the line (77.8%). Yale shot 23-50 (46.0%), 4-8 from deep (50.0%) and 8-19 from the stripe (42.1%).

-Princeton's incredible three point shooting percentage matched a 13-19 evening against Harvard in February 2006. The Tigers have not shot better from behind the arc in the past 13 seasons.

-The Tigers dominated the glass, holding a 39-25 edge. Princeton had more offensive rebounds (16) than Yale had defensive rebounds (15).

-Buczak's final stat line: six points, six rebounds, seven assists, no turnovers.

-Zampier finished with nine points, almost nine below his season average. "We are just trying to defend everybody that we face as a team. So, we're all kind of keyed in to what they're trying to do and we're not putting the onus on just one guy to stop Zampier," said Johnson of his team's defense. "I thought for the most part he took tough shots."

-The Tigers swept Yale for the first time since 2005-06

R.W. Enoch, Jr. said,

February 19, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

Great game. It was nice to be able to follow such a pivotal game on TV. It's great how the team has really reacted positively and bounced back from the loss to Cornell. Hopefully we can shoot the lights out like this the rest of the season.

It was interesting to see some of the bench come out and get their first minutes/baskets of their career. It seemed like they played pretty well too. Comfort and Foley both shot 100%. Connolly made a basket. Darrow got two offensive rebounds. I'd be interested to hear what, if anything, Coach Johnson thought about the last few minutes of play with his third-string players in. It's a small sample size, but some +/- numbers for those players' minutes might tell us a little bit about how they stack up against real competition as well (if you have the time, Jon). They are our future starters.

As a major aside, it's somewhat frustrating that the students, who are for all intents and purposes fair weather fans at this point, get showered with attention and praise from the players (as well as the Athl. Dept. and school paper) after two games, when another group of students are there cheering & playing their hearts out for nearly every game year after year, receiving little to no recognition, and now even getting moved to some of the worst seats in the house.

Jon Solomon said,

February 19, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

I'll have +/- numbers for everyone when the HD box is posted.

Jon Solomon said,

February 20, 2010 @ 12:54 am

They're up!

An efficiency of 1.344 is stellar. That's well over a point per possession.

The pace of 62 possessions was the highest for Princeton in Ivy play this season.

David Lewis said,

February 20, 2010 @ 7:19 am

That was the most dominant performance I have seen in years. I realized when I got home that the game had been on ESPNU. It would be interesting to hear what the announcers had to say about some of those back door layups. Its great to see what having fun on the court looks like.

R.W. Enoch, Jr. said,

February 20, 2010 @ 10:17 am

They used the word "textbook" to describe the back-door plays at one point. They also cut 'em up and replayed a few of them for a short informative piece on the Princeton offense during one of the time-outs where they didn't go to commercial. They described the three-point shooting as "unconscious" more than once.

James Moore said,

February 20, 2010 @ 11:55 am

That was as effective a Princeton offense as I have seen in a while. Mavraides and Davis play so well together, as do Hummer and Finley (as Jon noted in his great, as always, recap). I was pleased to see Comfort get some burn. He will be a big player for us.

I enjoyed experiencing in-person a second straight festive atmosphere that included a few rounds of the "waive." Here's hoping that tonight against Brown the Tigers again play with such precision and poise and the students again show up to support the team, making Jadwin as lively as it was during the Carmody and JTIII tenures. Also, word should be getting out to the greater Princeton community to show up and support a resurgent Tigers team.

Jon, I noticed last night that the Carril banner above the South bleachers is missing. Any idea as to where it is?

Jon Solomon said,

February 20, 2010 @ 1:25 pm


The Carril banner has been MIA all season. I asked Gary Walters about this and he said it was "in storage."

I expect a larger crowd tonight due to Alumni Day.


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