The men’s basketball team is getting hot at the right time.
On Saturday, Feb. 12, Princeton (17–5 overall, 7–2 Ivy League) met the Dartmouth Big Green (5–15, 2–7) inside Jadwin Gymnasium. The Tigers dominated, winning 85–40 while flashing elite defensive play and consistently hitting shots.
The last time the two teams faced off, the score was 84–80, with the Tigers narrowly winning in Hanover. This time was a completely different story.
With a dominant defense on the Tigers’ end, the Big Green only made five percent of their three-point shots. The Tigers held Dartmouth’s leading scorer Brendan Barry to only three points, with the graduate student going 0–5 from deep. Additionally, the Tigers dominated on the boards, out-rebounding the Big Green 50–27. The Tigers’ 50 rebounds is their highest number this season.
The Tigers came out hot at the beginning of the game. They started off with a 6–0 run, with all six points scored by junior forward Tosan Evbuomwan. After a slow start, the Big Green finally made their first basket four minutes into the contest.
Princeton soon took the game away after a three-point shot by senior forward Drew Friberg, which started a 10–0 run. The Tigers also had an 11–0 run later in the half, allowing them to build a commanding lead. As the half came to a close, senior guard Jaelin Llewellyn hit a deep three to give the Tigers a 43–13 lead at the intermission.
Up to this point, the Tigers had dominated in the paint and shot 47.22 percent compared to the Big Green’s 17.39 percent. The Big Green had also yet to make a three-point shot.
Going into the second half, the Tigers appeared to be in a league of their own, opening with three three-pointers to start the half. The Big Green tried to hold on, but couldn’t keep up with the firepower of the Tigers. The Tigers continued to score at a very efficient pace, bringing the score up to 72–23, the widest margin of the afternoon with around nine minutes left in the game.
At this point, with such a large lead, Princeton took their foot off the gas, scoring only 13 more points offensively in the last nine minutes while giving minutes to many first-year players. The Big Green desperately tried to come back, but the Tiger’s defense was too strong.
The Tigers, who have consistently hovered around the top 10 nationwide in three-point percentage, continued to shoot well from the three-point line, going 12 for 26. Overall, the Tigers made 48 percent of their shots. Defensively, the Tigers held the Big Green to only 23 percent on field goals and a season-low of 40 points.
The win improved the Tigers 7–2 in Ivy league play, keeping them in third place behind Penn (11–12, 8–2) and Yale (14–9, 8–1). The Tigers have five more games, including a second round of matchups against Yale and Penn.
Princeton is on pace to remain in the top four in the Ivy League and qualify for Ivy Madness.
On Friday, Feb. 18, the Tigers will face off against Brown (12–13, 4–6), continuing their efforts to sustain a top four slot and qualify for Ivy Madness with hopes to ultimately qualify for the NCAA tournament, as fifth-place Brown is currently just 4–6 in league play.
Jude Stacy is a staff writer for the Sports section for the ‘Prince.’ He can be reached at email@example.com or on Instagram and Twitter at @judestacy43.