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Staff Picks: Men's Basketball vs Penn

Assistant Sports Editors Hayk Yengibaryan ’26 and Diego Uribe ’26 and contributor Yousif Mohamed ’26 made their predictions for this weekend’s contests.

The Tigers are coming off of a tight 58–56 win at Harvard on Feb. 25, good for their ninth conference win of the season.
Courtesy of @PrincetonMBB/Twitter.

In their last regular season game, men’s basketball (18–8 overall, 9–4 Ivy League) will look to defeat the Penn Quakers (17–11, 9–4) at home, in Jadwin Gymnasium this Saturday, March 4. Prior to tip-off, the team will celebrate senior night and honor five seniors.

With Penn and Princeton both currently tied for first in the Ivy League with Yale (19–7, 9–4), this week’s matchup will decide who wins the 2023 Ivy League regular season title and takes the No. 1 seed entering Ivy Madness. Yale will take on Brown the same Saturday, but a Princeton win against Penn will ensure the Tigers win at least a share of the regular season title. 


The last time the Tigers met the Quakers in Penn’s historic Palestra, Princeton took down Penn 72–60, in a matchup featuring two Ivy League Player of the Year candidates: senior forward Tosan Evbuomwan and Penn guard Jordan Dingle.

Assistant Sports Editors Hayk Yengibaryan ’26 and Diego Uribe ’26 and contributor Yousif Mohamed ’26 made their predictions for this weekend’s contests. 

Men’s basketball vs. Penn

Princeton 68, Penn 62 - Diego Uribe, Assistant Sports Editor 

When the Tigers and Quakers last faced off on Jan. 16, Tigers senior forward Tosan Evbuomwan was virtually unstoppable. He posted 26 points on an incredibly efficient nine for 13 from the field and led the Tigers to a 12-point win. Expect the Quakers to prioritize neutralizing Evbuomwan above all else, and the Tigers to look for offensive production elsewhere.

Luckily, as we saw in the Tigers’ most recent matchup against Harvard, senior guard Ryan Langborg is more than capable of running the show when Evbuomwan is taking up most of the defensive attention. Against the Crimson, Evbuomwan managed just six points as the Crimson constantly clogged the paint when he had the ball. Langborg, as a result, stepped up and poured in 18 points for the Tigers, many of which came at critical moments in the game. Heading into his final regular season game with the Tigers, expect Langborg to be an X-factor.


As for the Quakers, they enter this game on an eight-game winning streak and are certainly much hotter than the Tigers who have dropped two of their last four games. The Quakers, however, will ultimately go as far as guard Jordan Dingle will take them. Dingle leads the Ivy League in scoring, and during the Quaker winning streak, he has scored 25 or more in five of eight games. 

While Dingle did manage 21 points against the Tigers when they matched up in January, he did so on an abysmal six for 22 from the field, and he failed to connect ona single three-pointer despite six attempts. A lot of his points that night actually came in garbage time. In reality, the Tigers had his number the whole night. The Tigers did a great job against Harvard star Chris Ledlum last week. Maybe head coach Mitch Henderson ’98 just has a knack for keeping number-one options in check.

Ultimately, I think the Tiger defense will step up to the challenge and give Dingle another tough night, giving Langborg and the rest of the squad a chance to shoot their way to a win and a share of the 2023 Ivy League regular season title.

Princeton 73, Penn 67 - Hayk Yengibaryan, Assistant Sports Editor 

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There is a lot at stake Saturday afternoon when long time rivals Princeton and Penn meet for the second time this season in Jadwin Gym. Depending on the result of the Yale game, both squads have a chance to clinch the regular season championship and take the No. 1 seed heading into the Ivy Madness Tournament. 

The last time the rivals met on Jan. 16, Princeton went into the Palestra and got a big 72–60 win on the road. However, since then, the Quakers won seven of their next eight league games. The team is led by star Dingle, who is averaging 23.4 points per game on solid shooting splits — 46.8 percent on field goals and 36.5 percent on three-pointers. Dingle has put this team on his back multiple times thus far and will look to do so once again on Saturday. 

The Tigers come into this game hungry for a win on senior day. Reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Evbuomwan and fellow seniors Langborg, guard Konrad Kizka, forward Jacob O’Connell, and forward Keeshawn Kellman will be celebrated prior to tip off. The balanced offense of the Tigers led by Evbuomwan, Langborg, and Allocco will be too much, I think, for Penn to handle come Saturday. 

On the other end, the Tigers have had no trouble defending opposing teams’ stars. Harvard star Ledlum was held to 14 points last weekend, when he shot 26.3 percent from the field. The weekend prior, the Tigers held Brown star guard Kino Lilly Jr. to 10 points in a game where he shot 23 percent from the field.

On senior day, I have no doubt that the Tigers will be motivated for a win and a chance to potentially secure the No.1 seed for the postseason tournament. This Princeton team has proved that it can slow down the opposing team’s star and force the supporting cast to beat them. 

I simply don’t believe that Penn has a supporting cast that is good enough to take the win Saturday. The Tigers have won the last seven straight games against the Quakers and 23 of the last 27 games. I expect both of those trends will continue Saturday. 

Penn 83, Princeton 69  - Yousif Mohamed, Contributor

The Tigers just do not want it enough.

In the midst of a three-way tie for first place, both teams are coming into Saturday’s matchup desperate for the Ivy League crown. The Quakers are coming into the game with an eight-game winning streak, their longest since the 2006–07 season. They’re 13–0 this season when holding their opponent to less than 70 points, and their star player, Dingle, has scored 20 points or more in 21 games this season. 

If the Tigers want to win, they need to draw on the strength shown earlier in the season. In their last contest against the Quakers, Evbuomwan gave Penn problems with 26 points on nine for 13 shooting, and first-year forward Caden Pierce dropped 12 points and 10 rebounds. 

However, the Tigers have not had much to show for recently. Things are going to have to change for Princeton if they want to stop the Quakers’ train.

Against Yale, the Tigers were up by 19 at one point in the game, but they ended up losing by 10 points in overtime. Against Harvard, they secured a win, but just barely. Princeton led this game by 14 at the half, but the Tigers were outscored 33–21 in the second half. The Tigers held on by their whiskers, 58–56.

In this season's closer against Penn, whiskers will not be enough. The Tigers are almost neck-and-neck with Penn in most statistical categories, including effective field goal percentage, offensive rating, and defensive rating

If Princeton wants to finish this season strong and go into Ivy Madness with some momentum, they will need to get serious. In the words of Evbuomwan from a post-game press conference on Feb. 18: “Every game’s a championship game.”

Diego Uribe is an Assistant Editor to the Sports and contributor to the News section at the ‘Prince.’

Hayk Yengibaryan is an Assistant Editor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

Yousif Mohamed is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

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