Dominate offensively and defensively, and win.
The men’s basketball team (19–5 overall, 9–2 Ivy League) executed this plan flawlessly on the road in their 69–50 win over the Brown Bears (12–15, 4–8) on Friday night.
The game opened with high energy from both teams as they battled neck and neck. But as the clock dwindled down in the first half, the Tigers began to come to life. The ball flew through the hoop as the Tigers made 50 percent of their shots in the first half. Meanwhile, Brown’s shooting percentage dropped to 33 percent by the end of the half. Despite their low efficiency, the Bears kept pushing and brought what was once a 16-point deficit down to 10 by the end of the half. The Tigers were up 34–24 at the break.
Princeton junior guard Ryan Langborg scored the first points in the second half with a smooth layup over Brown guard Kino Lilly Jr. The Tigers’ scoring streak continued from there as they stretched the lead to 20. The Bears couldn’t muster a response offensively for two minutes while the Tigers dominated the court. Unable to catch up, the game was a 19-point loss for Brown.
The Tigers’ strong team chemistry and determination was evident throughout the game. Everyone on the team played unrelenting defense, working to protect the ball. Langborg and senior forward Drew Friberg concluded the game with 15 points each. Senior guard Jaelin Llewellyn ended the game with 13 points.
The Tigers continued their win streak on Saturday night, beating the Yale Bulldogs 81–75 in a nail-biting contest. Following Friday night’s win, Princeton’s victory on Saturday ended Yale’s seven-game win streak. It also brought the two teams’ conference records to 9–2, with the Tigers holding the tiebreaker and taking over the number one spot in the league.
In front of a raucous crowd at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven, Conn., the back-and-forth game was tied 44–44 heading into halftime. Princeton led throughout the second half, eventually taking a 13-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes. But Yale rallied back, narrowing the lead to four points with just under four minutes left. The Tigers would make their free throws down the stretch to hold off the potential comeback and extend their win streak to four games.
Junior forward Tosan Evbuomwan had a monster game, leading the Tigers in scoring with 26 points while also adding 11 rebounds. Senior guard Ethan Wright also had a big game, putting up 23 points and nine boards. Shooting was key for Princeton, and the team shot over 40 percent from three-point range and 48 percent on field goals.
The win levels the season series with Yale at 1–1, as Yale beat Princeton 80–74 on Jan. 29. The Tigers will look to continue their win streak as they host Harvard on Friday night at Jadwin Gymnasium.
Le'Naya Wilkerson is a staff writer for the sports section at the 'Prince.' She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kameron Wolters is a contributor to the Sports section at the 'Prince.' He can be reached at email@example.com or on Instagram at @kam.wolters.