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What's third?

This question has come up several times over the last 10 days, and I don't have a great answer.

If Gabe Lewullis' 1996 NCAA Tournament layup versus defending champion UCLA is the biggest basket in the shot clock/three point shot/modern era of Princeton basketball (even though if Lewullis misses the game is almost certainly going to overtime) and Douglas Davis' jumper at the buzzer versus Harvard to win the 2011 Ivy League playoff is a close second, what's third?

Kyle Wente's game-winner at Harvard probably saved the 2000-01 season in retrospect.

Similarly, Will Venable's offensive rebound for a three point play at Yale in 2003-04.

Ed Persia's 80' hurl at Monmouth was an amazing moment, but an early December non-conference game doesn't have much weight in its balance.

Scott Greenman to Justin Conway was a fun conclusion to game with no stakes involved.

What about the half court backdoor layup that ostensibly finished off a Top 25 Marquette team in Milwaukee for the 1996 First Bank Classic classic title?

Perhaps it is Sydney Johnson's three point shot against Penn in the '96 Ivy playoff with just over a minute left in overtime to break a 54-54 tie?

More often than not for Princeton these sorts of shots in these sorts of situations have not gone in. There are countless iconic games from the past 30 years but far fewer iconic single field goals.

I'd be curious to hear your picks.

Brian Martin said,

March 22, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

What about (Chris Young's?) shot to finish the 50-49 comeback win after being down 29-3 and 40-13 at the Palestra in 1999? The final shot itself is not so famous, but the comback is the most memorable regular season game.

Jon Solomon said,

March 23, 2011 @ 9:34 am

Brian,

I strongly considered that, but since Young's basket came with 2:14 left and was followed by over two minutes of scoreless play with the score at 50-49, I didn't include it.

Someone suggested a Brian Earl bucket from earlier in the second half that started the comeback.

Jon

Stuart Schulman said,

March 23, 2011 @ 9:51 am

Brian Earl's basket (goaltending was called and Earl was credited) with under 3 seconds left in Princeton's win over NC State at the Coaches vs Cancer classic at the Meadowlands in 1997, en route to their best season since 1965.

Jim Waltman said,

March 23, 2011 @ 11:39 am

Two imprecise memories: 1) Earl hitting a crazy twisting layup in heavy traffic to help finish off NC State in the second round of the NIT in the last game ever played at NC State's old field house. 2) Craig Robinson (Rich Simkus? Gordan Enderle?) hitting a big shot to finish off Big 8 Champ Oklahoma State in the 1st round of NCAAs. Both of these need verification.

Gregg Lange said,

March 23, 2011 @ 11:52 am

An intriguing choice, given it was so early in the season, but the game was utterly unique (38-36 final), by far the best sustained defensive game by two good teams for forty minutes I've ever seen; certainly it was a stunning tribute to Carril, whose principals were embraced both by Carmody and Sendek. Every basket and foul was critical, every timeout highly strategic. Tiger Band had a field day playing The Time Warp all night. Never has a game-ending goaltending call (no question, BTW) seemed so natural.

Jon Solomon said,

March 23, 2011 @ 11:52 am

Jim,

Earl's hesitation drive against NC State in 1999 was an excellent play. Put Princeton up five and saved a possession where the Tigers nearly threw the ball away seconds earlier.

http://tinyurl.com/4zvbs6q

For more on the Oklahoma State game:

http://www.princetonbasketball.com/?p=1864

Henry Von Kohorn said,

March 24, 2011 @ 1:44 am

I had a vague recollection (all my recollections are vague these days) of a John Haarlow half-court game winner. I checked it out online, and, according to the Prince, at Dillon Gym on January 15, 1966 Haarlow did hit such a shot with one second left to beat Harvard 52-50 and keep Princeton in a tie for the Ivy League lead. Not a big game, but a moment to remember.

Jon Solomon said,

March 24, 2011 @ 8:42 am

Henry,

While I was thinking exclusively of the "modern era," that's a great recollection!

Jon

Mike Knorr said,

March 25, 2011 @ 7:27 am

I remember Haarlow's game winner well as i was there. Ed Hummer and Robby Brown blocked Kieth Sedlacek's (sp?) attempted game winner with a few seconds left and Haarlow scooped it up and heaved the ball from center court because there wasn't enough time left to take another step. Hit the back iron and went in.

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