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At the buzzer in Corvallis, 1983.

I model myself an amateur archivist and take pride in being a thorough researcher, so a discovery like the above photo was all I needed to start digging up details on what happened prior to the final buzzer of Princeton's 56-53 victory over 19th-ranked Oklahoma State in the 1983 NCAA Tournament.

Princeton had already shut down North Carolina A&T 53-41 for their 10th straight win behind 18 from Gordon Enderle and 15 for Ivy League Player of the Year Craig Robinson in a preliminary round of the tournament to set up their meeting with OSU.

There's much to love if you click to enlarge this image shot off the endline of Gill Colliseum in Corvalis, Oregon - from the agape hug on the far right to the joy of the unknown player rushing alone to half court still wearing his warm-up pants to Pete Carril's blase' gesture with his right hand as he shuffles towards the Cowboys' bench.

Isaac Carter's free throws with 1:09 remaining, his only points of the game, put the Tigers up to to stay at 50-48.

Senior center Rich Simkus, who had struggled from the line all season, made four free throws in the game's final 34 seconds and scored 20 on the night. Coming into the game Simkus was averaging 7.3 ppg. Robinson added 20 for the Tigers.

The other four Princeton players who saw action combined for just 16 points.

Enderle sealed the win with three seconds to go after Oklahoma State's Matt Clark cut the Princeton lead to a single point.

After the victory, the world-weary Carril told UPI that the team was "in a state of euphoria, obviously."

Advancing to face #11 Boston College, the Tigers trailed 24-23 at the half, but did not record a field goal against the Eagles' defense for the first 14:37 after the break and fell 51-42. Enderle had 17 in defeat and Robinson added 12 in his final collegiate game.

Princeton finished 1982-83 with a 20-9 record.

Jon Solomon said,

August 30, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

#22 is Billy Ryan. #5 is Isaac Carter. Help IDing the other players would be appreciated!

Richard Simkus said,

August 31, 2010 @ 9:43 am

What a great memory!
I think Billy Ryan (#22) is arm in arm with Gary Knapp. The BC game was tough; we picked a bad time to go into a shooting slump. As I recall, if we had managed to beat them, we would've faced the eventual final four bound Virginia (with Ralph Sampson). The other tidbit about our OSU win, is the game after ours featured NC State beating Pepperdine ( I think) in several OTs. NC State won the whole thing that year.

Jim Waltman said,

September 8, 2010 @ 9:54 am


Just logged onto your site for the first time since March. This game was the subject of one of the great sports headlines ever written, which was taped to my dorm room door when I came back from break by a good buddy from Dallas:

The Dallas Morning News led the sports page in big type with:
"Mammas Don't Let Your Cowboys Grow Up to Play Ivies"

(The lead is a take off on Willie Nelson's "Mamma's don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys" check it out at

I believe that Okie State had just won the old Big 8 Conference behind star center Leroy Combs before the Tigers beat em that year. (Rich is modest not to mention that he cleaned Combs' clock in that game.)

Jim '86

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