Blogs > The Full-Court Press

The Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog is back and improved. We'll keep you updated on everything you need to know about Rider and Princeton hoops as well as the college basketball landscape.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Princeton falls to Harvard, trails in Ivy race


By NICK PERUFFO
nperuffo@gmail.com
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The game between Princeton and Harvard Saturday night had been billed as one of the marquee dates on the Ivy League schedule — a clash between bitter rivals and the two league favorites that would go as far as any in determining who will eventually be crowned the Ivy champion
The game — played in front of a capacity crowd and a national TV audience in Harvard’s historic Lavietes Pavilion — didn’t quite live up to the expectations of the large Princeton contingent on hand, as Harvard was able to pull away in the second half for a relatively convincing 69-57 win. With the loss, Princeton falls 5-2 in league play, a game-and-a-half behind the 7-1 Crimson.
“We’ve got some issues,” coach Mitch Henderson said after the game. “There has to be some substance to what we are doing, and Harvard was just a step faster than us tonight to balls you have to come up with.”

After shooting a solid 52 percent from the floor in the first half, the Tigers struggled after the break, shooting just 31 percent.
“We’d been scoring,” Henderson said. “We’ve been pretty hot, and you’re going to get cold sometimes but that shouldn’t change execution. That was a problem tonight.”
With the Tigers shooting well early, the first half was extremely tight, with neither team able to build more than a four-point lead. The Tigers’ biggest advantage of the period came at the 12:17 mark, after an Ian Hummer jumper put Princeton up 14-10.
After that, however, the game seemed to tilt slightly in the Crimson’s favor. With 7:56 left in the first half, Harvard’s Steve Mondou-Missi took a feed in the paint and threw down an emphatic tomahawk jam over Hummer, the Tigers’ own noted high-riser. The slam sent the Princeton captain tumbling backward to the deck.
With just more than a minute to go before the half, the Crimson’s Laurent Rivard knocked down his first 3 of the evening, putting Harvard up 29-26. On the next possession, Hans Brase rebounded an errant Denton Koon jumper and slammed it home without landing, but Rivard came right back to hit an off-balance, contested 3 as time expired. The Crimson went into intermission up 32-28.
“We made some mistakes throughout the night and they made us pay for them,” Henderson said. “Rivard’s 3 at the buzzer was certainly the way the night was going.”
Thanks to an 11-4 run starting near the beginning of the second, Harvard opened up an 11-point advantage by the 11:36 mark at 48-37. Princeton spent the rest of the game searching for a run that never came.
With the game slipping away, Hummer made a few uncharacteristic bad decisions trying to force the issue.
“Coach said I was clogging up the lane a little bit, which was true,” Hummer said. “It was frustrating. When you’re a senior and you’re not scoring, sometimes you think you have to do it on your own. It ended up hurting us.”
The Harvard attack was extremely balanced, with five players scoring in double-figures. Center Kenyatta Smith led the Crimson with 14 points and seven rebounds.
“He was effective tonight,” Henderson said of Smith. “Hans (Brase) struggled with him in the post and he gave them some important hoops.”
Hummer was the high scorer for the Tigers with 18, while T.J. Bray and Will Barrett both had 11.
Princeton will try to bounce back next weekend with the New York leg of its schedule, facing Columbia in Manhattan Friday night and Cornell in Ithaca Saturday. After that, it will get its rematch with Harvard at Jadwin Gym on March 1.
With two league losses, the Tigers know they might not be able to afford another.
“I think Harvard is a good enough team where you don’t want to put it in their hands and see what happens,” Hummer said. “You want to put it in your own hands. They are coming to our place and we have to play better.”

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home