Sports shorts: first lady Michelle Obama '85 watches on as lady cagers down American; plus men's basketball and men's and women's squash
Women's basketball receives presidential treatment during Washington, D.C., visit
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Women's basketball receives presidential treatment during Washington, D.C., visit
Princeton dropped its second straight game on the road at Lafayette college Wednesday night, losing by a score of 83-66. The loss ends a five-game win streak for the Tigers (1-2) in the annual series against the Leopards (2-1).
Princeton men’s basketball’s 2013-14 campaign will be remembered for what it could have been. A brilliant eight-game win streak early on was forgotten when the Tigers started 0-4 in conference play with losses to the lowly Penn and Dartmouth squads. By March, however, the team appeared to be back on track, rattling off a five-game win streak to finish tied for third in the league. But the season ended with a disappointing thrashing at the hands of California State University, Fresno in the second round of the College Basketball Invitational.
Princeton saved its worst for last in a season-ending loss at Fresno State Monday night. The last 10 minutes saw the Tigers (21-9 overall, 8-6 Ivy League) make just three baskets on 16 tries, commit seven fouls, cough up five turnovers, allow 62.5 percent shooting and ultimately throw away their season. The final score was 72-56, the largest margin of defeat during the season. Yet, Princeton trailed by just one at 45-44 with 11:50 left.
Princeton scored its third postseason opening round win in as many tries in the College Basketball Invitational last Wednesday over Tulane in New Orleans. The Tigers (21-8 overall, 8-6 Ivy League) had knocked off Duquesne in 2010 and Evansville in 2012 before the 56-55 win over the Green Wave (17-17, 8-8 Conference USA). Despite what the final score might suggest, the game was never in serious jeopardy, as Princeton built a 14 point lead before a couple missed free throws and late threes cut the lead from seven in the final 31 seconds.
Regular season finale from Jadwin gymnasium
It certainly was not the prettiest game, but the Tigers found a way to get it done late against Penn, something they’ve struggled mightily with over the course of this season’s Ivy League schedule. Princeton (20-8 overall, 8-6 Ivy League) hung on for a 70-65 win over the Quakers (8-20, 5-9), despite being narrowly outshot. The win gave the team its fifth straight win, part of its third 20-win season in the last four years and a tie for third place in the league.
The better part of a century was spent in Boston bemoaning the Curse of the Bambino — the lingering ill effects of the trade of George Herman Ruth from the Red Sox to the Yankees. Balls headed right into Red Sox first basemen’s gloves miraculously evading trapping, and weak-hitting Yankee infielders were turned into one-time sluggers … all due to the Babe departing Beantown for pin-striped pastures.
Men sweep Cornell and Columbia on the road, ensure .500 record in conference
Live from Levien gymnasium in New York City. Follow along as Princeton tries to keep its third place (and postseason) hopes alive
Coming out of its best weekend of the season, the Princeton men’s basketball team looks to build off of last week’s success as the Tigers commence the hunt for joint third in the Ivy League. After a season filled with close losses and disappointment, the Tigers (17-8 overall, 5-6 Ivy League) now have a chance to end the season strongly and put themselves in postseason consideration.
Men sweep Brown and Yale in final weekend of home conference play
There is certainly no rest for the weary. Fresh off of a disheartening loss to Harvard, the men’s basketball team must start the second half of their home-stand against two of the Ivy League's best: Yale and Brown. Though out of league contention themselves, the Tigers face off against two teams still in the hunt for the No. 1 spot.
In a play symbolic of Princeton’s season, sophomore forward Hans Brase missed a dunk with eight minutes left and the Tigers (15-8 overall, 3-6 Ivy League) trailing Harvard by one. The Crimson (22-4, 9-1) took the ball right up the court and guard Brandyn Curry hit a tide-turning three. Moments later they went up six on forward Steve Mondou-Missi’s authoritative dunk and Princeton never recovered.
The men’s basketball team will not win the Ivy League. But Princeton (14-7 overall, 2-5 Ivy League) still has plenty of reasons to fight. A big one is the continuation of the 24 year home win streak against Harvard, who will be visiting Jadwin Gymnasium Saturday night. The streak survived against the 25th ranked team two years ago and a 2-12 season in the league with a double overtime win in 2007. A similarly big upset will be required to extend it.
Halfway through the gauntlet that is Ivy League regular season men’s basketball, Harvard and Yale stand at the top of a competitive table. As teams start to find their identity — for better or for worse — here is how the Ancient Eight rank: Harvard (20-4 overall, 7-1 Ivy League): First team all-Ivy League swingman Wesley Saunders alongside point guard Siyani Chambers feature in a talented offensive backcourt that can more or less enforce its will upon the rest of the league. The Crimson has the second hottest offense in the league, averaging almost 73 points per game. Cambridge has been a citadel, save for the upset home loss to Yale. Yale (13-9, 7-1): The Bulldogs sit a close second in this ranking. A 74-67 win at Harvard two weekends back and a tight 66-65 overtime win over Princeton showed this team’s resiliency and ability to execute. Offensive rebounding appears to be the strength of this team, with forward Justin Sears ranking third in the league with 7.0 boards per game. They will host the Crimson two weekends from now in a game that could decide the league’s champion. Brown (13-9, 5-3): Freshman forward Leland King provided 15 points in just 20 minutes in a losing effort against Princeton. His weekend performances won him league Rookie of the Week honors. The backcourt is solidified by Sean McGonagill, who ranks just behind Princeton’s senior point guard TJ Bray in points per game with 17.8. Strong forward play makes Brown one of the best rebounding teams in the league. Additionally, the Bears keep their opponents to the lowest shooting percentage in the league. Columbia (15-10, 4-4): 34 points from Co-Player of the Week and forward Alex Rosenberg helped push the league-leading Crimson to two overtime periods. The Lions could not pull off the home upset, however. Their offensive and defensive shot percentages are around the league averages, so it’s not surprising that this team sits at .500. Penn (6-15, 3-4): The Quakers are unable to shake opposing three-point shooters, as opponents have converted 50 of 134 attempts from beyond the arc. That equates to a league-worst 37.3 three-point percentage by their opponents. On the positive side, 6’ 11” center Darien Nelson-Henry ranks fifth in the league in rebounds per game and first in shooting percentage, though he only plays 20 minutes per game in conference. Princeton (14-7, 2-5): An inability to consistently boxout and secure rebounds has been a fairly constant problem for the Tigers. Additionally, a decidedly unremarkable record in close games this season may come down to either bad luck or late-game nerves. TJ Bray ranks first in assists and points per game, and he limits turnovers to 1.8 per game. In any case, the highly-touted Tigers are seeing their championship hopes slip away. Dartmouth (9-13, 2-6): The Dartmouth men have slipped severely of late. After an impressive 2-2 start, including a home overtime win over Princeton, the Big Green has dropped four consecutive matchups. A wild comeback at Cornell failed to result in a victory. Despite its best efforts, this squad will not be competing seriously in a competitive league. Cornell (2-20, 1-7): In 25 consecutive games against Division I opponents, Cornell’s squad has lost 25. All that changed when the Big Red managed to put up a 15-point lead on Dartmouth at home and hold on to win 70-67. Sophomore guard Noah Cressler managed 17 points against both Dartmouth and Harvard.
Senior guard and captain T.J. Bray got the ball with 4.4 seconds left near midcourt and made one final drive to the basket to try and lift the Tigers over the Bulldogs. In a play symbolic of Princeton’s (14-7 overall, 2-5 Ivy League) Ivy League performance, he got all the way into the paint, before fumbling the ball out of bounds. Yale (13-9, 7-1) won 66-65 in overtime, ending any miracle Ivy League title runs the team may have dreamed of the night before after escaping Brown with a 69-65 victory.
Coming off a rough homestand, the Tigers head out for what looks to be their toughest weekend of the season. After going 1-1 against two of the weaker teams in the Ivy League, Princeton (13-6 overall, 1-4 Ivy League) now stand at seventhin the conference and must take on some of the best and (literally) biggest of the Ivies, Brown and Yale.
The men’s basketball team suffered another crushing defeat Friday night against Columbia before rebounding to smother Cornell Saturday in the first pair of conference matchups at home. Princeton (13-6 overall, 1-4 Ivy League) fell 53-52 to the Lions (14-9, 3-3) after a couple of controversial calls in the final minute went against the Tigers. The next night saw Princeton play its best defense of the season, stymieing the Big Red (1-19, 0-6) in a 69-48 win, the first against a Division I opponent this calendar year.
Men’s basketball will try to turn its season around this weekend in match-ups against Columbia and Cornell at Jadwin Gymnasium. Princeton (12-5 overall, 0-3 Ivy League) is winless through three conference games for the first time since 2007 when they lost their first four league contests en route to a 2-12 record. Despite a sterling non-conference record, the Tigers have been unable to win close games recently, losing by three and six at Penn and Harvard respectively and taking Dartmouth to overtime.