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Richmond Aririguzoh and Princeton will take on Columbia and Cornell this weekend

By Jack Graham

Men’s basketball (13–8, 5–3 Ivy) will face off against Cornell (13–11, 5–3) on Friday night and Columbia (16–6, 1–7) on Saturday. Princeton currently sits tied with Cornell for third place in the Ivy League after last weekend’s double header that saw the team fall to Harvard (13–8, 6–2) and edge out a win over Dartmouth (11–13, 2–6).

On Friday night the Tigers will go up against the Big Red. The team defeated Cornell earlier in the season in Ithaca, N.Y., 70–61 in overtime. Last year, Princeton slammed the Big Red at Jadwin 91–54, but lost the rematch later in the season in Ithaca, 107–101 in triple overtime. Junior center Richmond Aririguzoh hit 20 points that game, and will look to do so again. The two teams’ all-time record is 147–81 in the Tigers’ favor, and the record at Jadwin Gymnasium stands at 87–27. Still, the Tigers must win on Friday or risk falling further in the Ivy League standings.

The Tigers’ success will hinge partially on their ability to contain Cornell guard Matt Morgan. Morgan is Cornell’s all-time leading scorer and is averaging 23.6 points per game and 45 percent three-point shooting this season. Senior guard Myles Stephens drew the assignment of guarding Morgan in the teams’ previous matchup, in which Morgan scored 16 points.

The following night the team will square up against Columbia, who sits at eighth and last place in the conference. The day before defeating Cornell earlier this month, the Tigers topped Columbia in New York City 55–43 in a low scoring game. Senior guard and captain Myles Stephens scored 17 that game, followed by sophomore guard Ryan Schwieger with 15. The only other game this season where Princeton scored fewer points was against nationally ranked Duke (23–3, 11–2 ACC), where it were crushed 101–50. Princeton and Columbia’s all-time record is 153–86 all-time in the Tigers’ favor, and the team holds an 83–34 advantage over the Lions in Jadwin Gymnasium.

Should the Tigers lose one or even both games this weekend, they could fall out of the race for the Ivy League championship. The tournament, which began in 2017, includes the top four teams in the conference. The first and fourth seed play each other, as do the second and third seeds. The winners of the semi-finals face off in the championship, and the winner heads to the March Madness tournament. This year, the Ivy tournament will be held at Yale University on March 16 and 17.

Both games tip of at 8 p.m. in Jadwin Gym. Friday’s game is Sustainability Night and Saturday is Social Media Night. Both nights feature giveaways for the first 125 fans.

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