With the season on the line, the men’s basketball team fell just short of qualifying for the Ivy League Tournament in a heartbreaking overtime loss to Yale. To qualify, the Tigers needed to win both games this weekend and for Harvard to defeat Columbia. While Princeton handily defeated Brown 78–63, the Orange and Black were narrowly outscored in OT with Yale, falling to the Bulldogs 90–94. Penn is the top seed followed by Harvard, Yale, and Cornell.
Yale started the match strong, opening with a 7–0 run. Eight minutes into the game, Yale was up by 13, taking an 18–5 advantage. However, the Tigers would show their resilience, fighting back to end the game down by only four. Princeton had difficulty holding back Yale’s efficient offense. The Bulldogs shot 55 percent from the field, including 42 percent from beyond the arc in the first period.
Despite the uphill battle, the Tigers managed to tie the game at 51 apiece with 14 minutes remaining in regulation. However, Yale bounced back with five straight points to once again pull away. This trend would continue as the Bulldogs would respond to each Princeton run. A late burst from the Orange and Black helped them extend their season by minutes. Junior guard Myles Stephens helped the Tigers to an 8–0 run, scoring a clutch three-pointer with just 24 seconds on the clock.
This time Yale was unable to respond, and the match entered overtime. Princeton managed to grab an 81–79 edge off two early free throws from senior guard Amir Bell. The two teams would trade blow for blow with the game tied at 85. However, Yale would take over the period afterwards to grab the win.
The Bulldogs dominated the paint, outscoring the Tigers 48–32 and out-rebounding Princeton 40–34. Although Princeton showed discipline with the ball, limiting itself to just six turnovers while forcing 10, it was not enough to overcome shooting difficulties. Princeton was outshot 52.3 to 42.6 percent over the course of the game.
Junior guard Devin Cannady drained four three-pointers to place him in fourth place on Princeton’s career three-pointers list. His 1224 points puts him 14th in program history. Bell finished his career sixth on Princeton’s all-time assist list.
This was undoubtedly a difficult loss for the Tigers, who fell out of contention for a spot in the Ivy League Tournament. Last year, Princeton was undefeated in the Ivy League, boasting a 19-game winning streak at some point in the season. While certainly a disappointing result, hopefully this will prove a learning experience for the Princeton squad, which shows plenty of potential as it looks to mount another Ivy League campaign next year.