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Brown 57 Princeton 54.

Box Score : HD Box Score

Postgame audio - Coach Sydney Johnson, Marcus Schroeder & Kareem Maddox:

Princeton coach Sydney Johnson was not shocked.

"I thought our energy was pretty bad. Although I'm disappointed by how we played, I don't think I'm very surprised by the end result."

The end result was a three point home loss to Brown in a game that a flat Tigers squad never took physical or emotional control of despite leading by six at halftime.

"When you're a basketball player, no matter if you win or lose, you want to hold your head high just because you played hard and gave the best effort you could," said senior co-captain Marcus Schroeder. "Tonight we just didn't do that, so it is very tough."

Schroeder scored a game-best 17 on 7-16 shooting as Brown keyed on the Tigers' other perimeter weapons. While Schroeder matched his career high, he was 2-9 behind the arc.

"They were doubling the post off me a little bit, sticking on some of our better shooters like Dan [Mavraides] and Doug [Davis] and Pat [Saunders]," added Schroeder, who fell prone to the floor with his hands over his face at the final buzzer. "There were just shots there for me and I wish I made a few more."

Despite low energy, poor shooting and defensive lapses throughout the second half, Princeton had two chances to pull it out in the final fifteen seconds.

Dan Mavraides tied up Steve Gruber when he was triple-teamed in the back court with :11.1 to play, giving the Tigers the ball down 55-53.

Mavraides drove to his left and passed right to Schroeder coming down the right baseline. Schroeder went up and was fouled by Matt Sullivan as the ball teased off the front rim.

Schroeder made his first try to pull Princeton within one, but the 89.4% free throw shooter was unable to tie.

It would not have mattered.

A late lane violation call on Schroeder wiped his miss out of the ledger and gave the ball back to Brown.

Maddox fouled Gruber, who converted both of his attempts. Brown was a stellar 18-19 at the line on Saturday night.

Just like a week ago at the same time, Douglas Davis had the ball in his hands on the final Princeton possession with the chance to tie. For the second straight Saturday night, the Tigers trailed by three.

Davis drove, pulled up from a half step inside the arc for some reason on Garrett Leffelman and fired well short of the rim and over the baseline as the clock ticked down to :1.6 seconds remaining.

While the Princeton coaching staff argued the ball had been tipped, and photographic evidence confirmed their assertion, the result went unchanged. The Bears stunned the Tigers 57-54, knocking Princeton a full game behind Cornell in the Ivy League standings.

Unlike in Providence, where the Tigers raced to a 40-18 halftime advantage, Brown played no zone against Princeton, defending the Tigers exclusively with man to man.

The Tigers scored the game's first seven points as Brown turned the ball over on five of their first six possessions. Schroeder hooked in a lefty runner, which was followed by a pick-and-roll from Davis to Pawel Buczak for two off the glass. Matt Mullery, who had a team best 15 points, eight rebounds and eight turnovers for Brown, was short on a jump hook over Buczak and at the other end Matt Sullivan slipped, allowing Schroeder a clean look from outside.

Kareem Maddox had a steal of a ball Peter Sullivan used to possess, but flubbed a dipsy-doo drive. The Bears finally got on the board 4:07 in when Tucker Halpern canned a jumper in transition.

Matt Mullery beat Zach Finley right off the glass to make it 7-4.

Finley cleaned up a Schroeder runner for two and Ian Hummer out of the deep post found Schroeder setting up in front of the small Tiger student section to take the lead up to eight. Brown called a time out.

Despite the lead, Johnson saw cause for concern.

"I think our players know we didn't play hard from start to finish, he said. "We made a few shots and so we got a lead, but the effort was about as bad as its been all year."

Peter Sullivan could not finish inside and Mavraides' three try was wide to the right.

A drive by Peter Sullivan was just too easy straight down the paint.

Princeton went inside to Buczak, who passed back outside to Schroeder in the far corner. Schroeder's attempt bounced twice off the rim and Buczak lost control off his body grabbing the offensive board.

Halpern began to convert on high-arcing midrange jumpers. He hit over Hummer, but Hummer came back with a jump hook. He scored off glass in transition after Buczak had the ball taken away by Matt Sullivan. It was a 14-10 game with 9:02 to go in the half.

Buczak picked up his second personal foul on a wild drive as Peter Sullivan stepped in front of his path.

Finley also recorded his second foul when Mullery faked a shot from just inside the three point line and stepped into Finley as he leapt into the air. Both shots were true.

Davis was called for a carry and Halpern evened the score with a baseline rainbow. Halpern came in averaging 8.4 points per game and scored all 12 of his points in the first half.

Finley set a hand off screen for Mavraides behind the arc for three and Halpern answered on the left baseline over Maddox.

Right before this basket Finley was called for his third personal, accused of pushing off Mullery on a drive attempt.

Hummer found Schroeder on the left wing for three, but the shot was too long. A second Schroeder triple was off and Mavraides was called for Princeton's seventh personal foul pushing Gruber on the rebound.

Gruber's free throws at the other side of Jadwin Gym gave Brown their first lead.

Trailing 22-20 after two Peter Sullivan free throws with 1:57 left, Princeton scored the last eight of the half to create some distance.

Maddox got into the lane and jumped above Halpern's reach, scoring while fouled. His free throw sent Princeton up one. Davis crossed over his man and popped a three to make it a four point advantage as Princeton rushed to work an extra possession before intermission. Schroeder stole the ball from Adrian Williams and sent the ball ahead to Will Barrett on the break. While Barrett's push was no good, Maddox slammed it home from the other side of the tin with his right hand just before time expired. A two point deficit was suddenly a 30-24 lead.

Princeton knew what was wrong.

They knew how they could solve their problem.

They didn't.

"We went in and we wanted to refocus and bring our energy up. The most frustrating part is that we knew our energy was low and we knew we had to come out and fix it and we were unable to do that," said Maddox. It was nice to have a little cushion but we knew the way we were playing it wasn't going to keep up for the rest of the game and it didn't."

A pass by Buczak out to Schroeder for another decent look hit off the rim. Mullery spun at Buczak inside and drew the whistle, making both tries at the line.

Davis' second trey masked the fact that the usually stellar Tiger defense had holes.

Mullery dove to the basket and scored.

Mavraides was way too long on a three using a Buczak screen and Leffelman finished inside.

Mavraides took his time, considered his situation and rose up for a three that was off the mark. Buczak grabbed the offensive board and Princeton reset. Brown dared Schroeder to take a left wing three and his shot came up long.

Peter Sullivan drove around Schroeder and at Buczak to make it a one point game.

A posting Saunders passed to Schroeder for the midrange jumper that took the Tigers' lead up to 35-32.

Mullery would tie things at the 15:26 mark when he drove at Buczak and scored while fouled, Buczak's fourth personal.

Finley answered with a lefty hook before Leffelman corralled a missed Peter Sullivan three on the weak side, was stripped going back up, regained control and scored to tie the game for the seventh time.

Mavraides drove and flicked the ball in over his head to put the Tigers back in front.

Finley found Mavraides setting up but his shot was off. Mavraides finished 2-8 behind the arc. The long rebound came to Leffelman, who was fouled by Mavraides as the shot bounced out on the drive. Two more makes at the line evened the score at 39.

Matt Sullivan penetrated from the right wing, passing back to his older brother Peter Sullivan filling the spot on the floor. It was Brown's only successful three point shot of the game and it gave the Bears their biggest lead to this point.

Finley set a screen and Mavraides set up for an on-target three that tied the game for the ninth time.

A wild spin by Maddox at Halpern went home and Johnson called time out with his team up 44-42 and 8:52 to play.

Matt Sullivan scored inside on Schroeder and Maddox answered with a circling drive from the right side that he banked in.

Mullery saw he had a size advantage posting the much smaller Davis inside, but Mullery traveled with the ball as he received possession.

Up two with the ball, Mavraides was whistled for his fourth personal as he drove left into the lane.

Peter Sullivan outworked Princeton inside for an easy layup on an inbounds play to knot the score an 11th time with 6:27 left.

Schroeder's three spun in and out and Mullery put the Bears back up when he scored over the tandem of Finley and Hummer.

A long Schroeder jumper inside the circle was mercifully on target and the game was tied 48-48 with 4:02 to go.

Ian Hummer had a rough night on defense. He was often out of position and got beat inside several times. Hummer bought a ball fake that Peter Sullivan was selling and Sullivan laid the ball home on the left side.

"We broke down on a number of times defensively in areas that we addressed as a team," Johnson said after the game. "We just didn't respond. We didn't correct those and lost."

Finley was fouled by Mullery and made one of his two chances to draw Princeton within one.

Matt Sullivan was the right Bear in the right place at the right time. Peter Sullivan was stripped inside and the ball bounced to the left baseline, where Sullivan raced in and created his own layup.

Down three with possession, a posting Maddox tried to hook the ball inside to a covered Finley, but the attempt was batted away. On the loose ball - which was eventually tied up with possession going to Brown - Finley and Leffelman collided on the floor, each hoping to retrieve. Leffelman was slow to get up after the whistle and Finley stayed down even longer, his nose bleeding onto the hardwood. Finley was attended to by Princeton trainer Jenn Lister and would not return.

Finley's left nostril was stuffed with cotton after the game but it was not believed that his nose was broken.

Brown had a chance to make it a two possession game, but Schroeder came away with a Mullery pass and had a solo breakout to the rim for a layup with 1:25 to go that created a 52-51 score.

Mullery got deep position on Buczak, who kept his feet on the floor and his arms straight in the air. No matter, it was a foul in the eyes of the officials. Mullery made both free throws.

Davis spun free and drove into the lane. His jumper was short but before a rebound could be controlled it was whistled that Matt Sullivan had successfully slid in unnoticed and taken a charge.

Schroeder fouled Matt Sullivan who made his first but was long on his second, Brown's only miss of the game.

Saunders rose up from the left wing, but could not hit. Maddox kept possession with Princeton, fouled by Mullery going for the rebound. Mavraides tried to connect from outside and a second time Maddox kept possession with Princeton, fouled by Peter Sullivan as he skied for the board.

Schroeder found Saunders faking right and cutting left for a point blank layup to make it 55-53 and when Brown inbounded Gruber was triple-teamed, Mavraides getting his hands on the ball as the officials signaled a tie up, possession back to Princeton.

Schroeder's layup rolled off the rim, his second free throw was wiped off the board, Davis' attempt to tie was one foot too close with one hand in the way and the Tigers' hopes for an eighth conference win and a Friday night showdown for sole possession of first place in the Ivy League were gone.

The loss hurt, but the way his alma mater had played hurt Johnson more.

"Wherever you work, wherever you go to school., whatever you represent, you realize the responsibility you have," Johnson said. "We really let our program down and our university down."

"That's really going to stick with us for a while."


-Princeton finished 22-53 from the floor (41.5%), 10-26 in the second half (38.5%). The Tigers were 6-25 from deep (24.0%), 2-12 in the second half (16.7%). Princeton was also 4-7 at the line.

-Brown shot 19-33 (a season high 57.6%), 1-4 from deep (25.0%) and 18-19 at the stripe (94.7%).

-The Tigers were outrebounded 24-23 but had nine offensive boards to Brown's one.

-Neither team took great care of the ball. Princeton had six assists and 13 turnovers. The Bears had nine assists and 18 turnovers, eight belonging to Mullery.

-Brown scored 20 points in the paint in the second half.

-Schroeder's 16 field goal attempts were a career high.

-The score was tied 12 times and the lead changed hands seven times.

John Poole said,

February 21, 2010 @ 11:41 am

Tough game. Too bad we couldn't have saved a couple of 3s from Friday night. But, a week ago the same thing happened to Cornell and, unfortunately, they bounced back. When the players regroup and put this game in perspective they will realize that, if they put everything together next Friday, it's a new race. Go Tigers! Beat Cornell.

larry said,

February 21, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

It wasn't a tough game. It was a poor game. The players played poorly; I suspect the coaches coached poorly; and, observing Coach Johnson on the sideline, it appears the refs also had a poor night.

Jim Waltman said,

February 21, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

Jon, Tigers really looked flat last night. The number of cheap fouls and open jumpers that came up short were probably both indications that they were tired. I'd be interested to know the Tigers' record in the second weekend of the 5 game weeks they play relative to their records in other weeks. I believe that years ago they used to play one or both of the Penn games on a Saturday instead of wedging the games into a Tuesday and wonder if that would make sense again, particularly with all the conference tournaments extending the season. There's a full week between the final Penn game and the NCAA "play-in" game. Curious to hear your thoughts, Jim

Jon Solomon said,

February 21, 2010 @ 4:03 pm


I think you summed things up nicely.


I'll try and work up a "record over the five games in nine days" table for you on Monday.


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