Men's Basketball: Tigers to face Brown, Yale to end homestand
“It is always nice to have a few wins under your belt. This little streak we are on has given us immense confidence in what we are doing,” senior forward Ian Hummer said. “I believe the starting lineup we have now has given many teams problems. Along with the guys coming off the bench, I think our team is playing our best basketball of the season.”
Brown (8-10, 2-2) comes to town on Friday night, with a record that belies the momentum that the Bears have gained since the New Year. Their wins include a 69-68 victory over Big East neighbor Providence and a more recent victory over Ivy League rival Dartmouth. Coach Mike Martin’s squad has won four of its last six games, with the other two games being overtime losses to Yale and league-leading Harvard. Brown is also the last team to have handed Princeton a home defeat, a 57-54 Bears victory in 2010.
“Brown has really improved as a team in my three years here,” junior guard T.J. Bray said. “They’re definitely a team capable of beating any team at any time.”
“Just like many teams in the Ivy League, Brown is a program that has a lot of weapons,” Hummer added. “Perhaps their two best threats are [guard Sean] McGonagill and [guard Matt] Sullivan. Brown also has some good inside strength with a number of guys who have proven to get rebounds.”
Yale (7-14, 1-3) will visit for a Saturday evening matchup at Jadwin. The Tigers have defeated the Bulldogs in six of their last eight meetings, with the two Princeton losses occurring on the road in New Haven. Just 1-3 in Ivy League play thus far, Yale hopes to earn its second conference win of the season tonight, when it visits Philadelphia to take on Penn.
Regardless of Yale’s 2-10 road record this season, Princeton will need to maintain a solid and consistent effort to hold off offensive threats from Yale’s guard Austin Morgan and forward Justin Sears. Morgan and Sears alone have combined for 22.4 points per game this season.
“I would say that the team is very confident, but we still realize that every game is as important as the next,” sophomore forward Denton Koon said. “Having started league play 3-0, we know that we have a target on our back and we need to come ready to play every night.”
With the transition into conference play behind it, and with just over a month remaining in the regular season, the Tigers have their eyes set on working toward the Ivy League title. But each player knows that all he can do is focus on each task as it comes.
“We’re just taking it one game at a time,” junior forward Will Barrett said. “If our coaches give us a great scout and we follow that scout to perfection, we win. Our team mindset has been the same all season long: We want to take our season as far as we can, play as hard as we can and have fun all along the way.”
The Tigers take on Brown tonight at 7 p.m. and will face Yale tomorrow evening at 6 p.m.
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