Saturday, February 2, 2013

Game Recap: Cornell 59, Princeton 76

Princeton Pulls Away From Men's Hoops After Halftime
Cornell Athletics

Box Score

Box Score (PDF)

PRINCETON, N.J. – Princeton shot 62 percent from the field after halftime and turned the ball over just 10 times against Cornell's pressure to seal up a 76-59 win on Friday evening at Jadwin Gymnasium. The Big Red slipped to 9-11 overall (1-2 Ivy), while Princeton improved to 9-7 (2-0 Ivy).

Ian Hummer and Denton Koon each scored 22 points for the Tigers, with Hummer adding rebounds and four assists and Koon collecting three steals. Will Barrett also reached double figures with 14 points to go along with his six rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. Princeton shot 53 percent from the floor overall and had steals on 11 of the Big Red's 14 turnovers.

Sophomore Shonn Miller led the Big Red with 12 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks, while senior Josh Figini had 13 points and three rebounds. Eitan Chemerinski scored eight points with three rebounds in just 17 minutes of action.

Cornell got the pace up early, running out to a nine-point edge (17-8) early, but it was apparently to the liking of Hummer. The senior got a backdoor layup, hit a long jumper and got to the line, ultimately hitting 7-of-8 shots from the field for 18 first half points. Cornell threw multiple looks at the big man, sending a variety of defenders and defenses at him, but in the final 10 minutes of the first half, Hummer had 14 points and five rebounds all by himself in helping turn a six-point deficit into a five-point halftime lead.

The second was more of the same, though the Big Red had a quick burst early to get within 41-40 three minutes into the second half. Miller got two steals, a dunk that turned into a three-point play and a 3-point basket in the first three minutes. The 3-pointer was immediately answered in a big way – a 15-0 Tiger run over a stretch of 5:25 turned a narrow decision into a runaway. Cornell wasn't able to get within single digits the rest of the way.

The Big Red will get right back at it when it visits Penn on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Palestra. Cornell has won seven of the last 10 meetings between the teams, thought the Quakers swept a pair from the Big Red a season ago.

Princeton men’s basketball (10-7 overall) stayed perfect in the Ivy League this weekend, defeating both Cornell 76-59 on Friday and Columbia 72-66 on Saturday to attain the perfect 3-0 mark.

The Tigers got off to a slow start against Cornell, trailing 17-8 early. But they rallied to take a 35-30 lead going into halftime and continued to build the lead, which was as large as 21 points with two minutes to go in the game. Despite feeling the pressure of the Cornell defense early, Princeton still shot 53 percent from the field on the game.

After the cold stretch, first year coach Mitch Henderson ’98 said he “just really liked the way the ball moved and the way we handled ourselves.”

The Tigers took advantage of the halftime adjustments Cornell made to try to stop senior forward Ian Hummer, who made 18 of his 22 points in the first half. Hummer’s strong play in the first half opened up looks for his teammates, especially for sophomore forward Denton Koon, who had a career-high 22 points in the win. This is the third time Koon has reset his career high this season. He also had three steals on the night.

“I played well in the first half, and then they changed a few things up and that opened up stuff for my other teammates, so Denton was one of those recipients, and I think it was overall just a great team effort,” Hummer said.

Koon’s classmate, freshman forward Hans Brase, co-led the team with nine rebounds in the game.

However, while the Tigers were able to pull away convincingly from the Big Red, this would not be the case the following night against the Lions.

The Tigers’ three-point shooting ability kept them in the game early as they were a perfect 7-7 from deep in the first half, including basketss by junior forward Will Barrett, junior guard T.J. Bray and senior forward Mack Darrow.

Princeton started the second half slowly offensively, shooting only 1-7 in the first five minutes of the half, and Columbia was able to hold the game close up until the end, when Bray hit a big three-pointer as the shot clock expired to give Princeton a 64-59 lead with two and a half minutes left to play. Bray would go on to lead the team in scoring for the game with 17 points and was named player of the game. Koon also stepped up big offensively for the second night in a row.

“They kinda doubled down on Ian a little too hard there with the clock ending, and he made a great kick out to me and felt a guy coming, so I just pump-faked and then let it fly, and luckily it went in,” Bray said. “We shoot every day in practice; we get a ton of shots up , and they’re just starting to come, they’re coming within the flow of the offense more, which is good. a lot of inside-out stuff, and when you’re stepping into shots, they’re a lot easier to make.”

Despite being second on the team in scoring with 16 on the night, Hummer had only four points from the field on 2-8 shooting, with the rest coming from the foul line. Hummer was the only Tiger to miss from the field in the first 10 minutes of the game but was still able to get to the free throw line, where he went 12-14, and had seven assists on the night. However, this still moved him up into sixth overall on the Tigers’ all-time point list as he passed assistant coach Brian Earl ’99.

The Tiger defense, after being unable to stop Columbia’s penetration into the paint for most of the game, finally showed itself with 45 seconds left to go in the game to seal the 20th consecutive home Ivy League victory for Princeton. Princeton and Harvard are the only two undefeated Ivy League teams with the Tigers only three games into league play.

“We just lost some of our principles a little bit, but when we needed some huge stops, we got them. I thought we got some really big stops right at the end of the game, but it’s something we’ll have to take a close look at,” Henderson said. “I really feel like down the stretch we made the right plays.”

The Tigers have now won their last five games, and seven of their last eight games overall. They look to continue this streak on Friday night against Brown at 7 p.m. in Jadwin Gymnasium.

PRINCETON — What looked like it was going to be a close game didn’t turn out that way in the end.
Challenged early, the Princeton Tigers were able to pull away from Cornell Friday night late, beating the Big Red 76-59 behind a pair of huge performances by Ian Hummer and Denton Koon. The win keeps Princeton undefeated in Ivy League play at 2-0.
The Big Red — known for their deep bench and trying to push the tempo — played to their reputation early, pressing the Tigers in the full court and playing at a frenetic pace. The Tigers looked rushed on the offensive end, starting the game just 1-9 from the field.
That allowed Cornell to build a 17-8 lead midway through the first half.
“Watching this Cornell team on tape, you get a sense of what they do,” coach Mitch Henderson said. “They play a lot of different guys and they are tough to prepare for. Their pressure has bothered some of the recent teams they’ve played, and it got to us a little bit early.”
Princeton, however, had the answer in the form of the 6-foot-7 Hummer. Playing with visible emotion, the senior forward took control of the game down low. With 2:20 left, Hummer pulled up and knocked down a baseline jumper, his third consecutive basket, to tie the game at 30.
The Tigers went into the half up 35-30.
“Being that this is my fourth year, you realize how critical each game is,” said Hummer, who scored 18 of his eventual 22 points before the break. “We didn’t come out well, and then we got into our stride and started playing Princeton basketball.”
That momentum continued into the second half. After Cornell was able to pull back within a point at 41-40, Princeton was able to reel off 15 straight points to open up a 56-40 lead. It was a margin the Big Red was never able to recover from.
With the Cornell defense focusing on Hummer, the Tigers got a huge contribution from 6-8 sophomore guard Denton Koon, who was able to use his size to score over the smaller Big Red defenders and get to the foul line. Koon also finished with 22, a career high.
“Some guards probably don’t really play too much post defense, so it helps us down there, getting some looks around the rim,” Koon said.
Koon has also shown a knack for knack for finding seems underneath the hoop, a trait his teammates certainly appreciate.
“He’s able to get behind the defense, which makes it really easy for guys to pass it to him,” Hummer said. “The fact that he is able to finish in traffic with a couple of hands in his face is very important for us.”
Junior forward Will Barrett also had a nice day for the Tigers with 14 points, six rebounds and a couple breakaway dunks. Point guard T.J. Bray was also effective using his size, scoring nine while also grabbing six boards.
Forward Josh Figini led Cornell with 13 points, while sophomore Shonn Miller had 12 and six rebounds. Nine different Big Red players scored baskets.
Princeton doesn’t have long to enjoy the win. It will host Columbia at 6 p.m. Saturday. The Lions lost to Penn 62-58 Friday night, so will be desperate for a win to salvage their roadtrip.
“Columbia is a good team too, so it’s right back at it,” Henderson said.

PRINCETON — When you play basketball in the Ivy League, being smart sometimes leads to success more than being good.
That seemed to be the case last night as Princeton put away Cornell, 76-59.
Getting off to a horrid start and leading by only a few points at halftime, the Tigers came out in the second half and shot out the Jadwin Gym lights.
They also slowed down Cornell’s offense.
“The key for us was after (trailing 17-8), from that point forward I really liked the way we moved the ball and how we handled ourselves,’’ head coach Mitch Henderson said, “and the emphasis on getting the ball inside and how we got to the line.
“I just thought we got a little smarter in the second half.’’
The Tigers made 17 of 25 free throws and in the second half shot 61.5 percent from the field.
The win sends Princeton into tonight’s 6 p.m. game against Columbia (9-8, 1-2) with a 2-0 Ivy League record (9-7 overall).
Cornell fell to 1-2 (9-11).
Ian Hummer and Denton Koon scored 22 points each, combining to shoot 16-for-25.
Hummer had 18 by halftime and finished with a career-high nine rebounds.
 “Being my fourth year, you realize how critical each game is,’’ Hummer said. “We didn’t come out very well and then we got into our stride and started to play Princeton basketball.
“They changed a few things up in the second half and that opened things up for my teammates, and Denton was one of those recipients.’’
The sophomore had seven points at halftime and finished with seven baskets and seven free throws. He also had three steals and a block.
“I like the way he finished around the rim, and he made a nice three in the corner,’’ Henderson said about Koon. “There’s a lot he can do. Just maintaining that pace is his next step, and I think his defense tonight was terrific.’’
Princeton held a 41-40 lead when the game suddenly turned into a rout. As Cornell became as cold as the parking lot, Princeton pinballed 15 straights points.
Cornell cut the deficit to 11, but Hans Brase dunked a put-back, and after a miss at the other end, Will Barrett pulled up for a three to make it 61-45.
Barrett also had a nice game, making half of his eight shots, going 5-of-6 from the line, and had six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and three steals.
Guard T.J. Bray had a solid game, scoring nine points, with four assists, four steals and six defensive rebounds.
Brase had nine rebounds and made two of four shots.
Cornell, which shot 47 percent in the opening half, hit on only 34 percent in the second half.
The Big Red had a big effort from its bench, outscoring the Princeton subs, 27-3.
On this night, however, backup was not an issue. Intelligence proved more than enough.

Overcoming a slow start, the Princeton men's basketball team beat Cornell 76-59 Friday night to improve to 2-0 in the Ivy League with Columbia coming to town Saturday night. Saturday's game against the Lions will be televised on NBC Sports Network. Columbia fell 62-58 to Penn Friday night, dropping to 1-2 in the Ivy League, as did Cornell with the loss to the Tigers. With the win, Princeton extended is home Ivy League winning streak to 19 games, the program's longest since 26 straight from 1996-99. It'll have the opportunity to extend two streaks to 20 Saturday, the Ivy home win streak and the number of consecutive years in which Princeton has defeated Columbia in Jadwin Gym. The Lions' last win on campus was in 1993. After half the league split with its travel partner during Princeton's finals break, along with Princeton's win over Penn, the Tigers and Harvard are the only two Ivy-undefeated teams just two or three games into the league schedule. Princeton (9-7) missed nine of its first 10 shots against Cornell (9-11) and fell behind 17-8 with nine minutes gone in the game, but the other 30-plus minutes went Princeton's way. The Tigers shot 63.4 percent from the field (26-41) after the slow start, shooting 52.9 percent (27-51) even with the cold stretch. Ian Hummer had 14 of his 18 first-half points after that eight-point deficit, and the Tigers caught Cornell at 21-21. Princeton scored the last seven points of the half to take a 35-30 lead into the break, and the Tigers outscored the Big Red 41-29 in the second half. That included a 15-0 run as Princeton turned a 41-40 lead into 56-40 edge, holding Cornell scoreless for more than six minutes. Princeton's largest lead was 21 points with two minutes to go in the game. Postgame Notes • Denton Koon had a career-high 22 points to co-lead Princeton along with Ian Hummer's 22. Koon, whose best last season as a freshman was 13 points, has reset his career high three times this season, first with 15 points on Dec. 20 against Rider, then the next game on Dec. 22 at Bucknell with 17 points, and now with 22 against Cornell. All three of those games have come in Jadwin Gym. • Hummer moved closer to assistant coach Brian Earl '99 for sixth place on the school scoring list, Hummer is now just four points back of Earl, 1,424 points to 1,428. • Hummer figures to move from seventh to fourth on the school scoring list in short order, with Craig Robinson '83 at 1,441 points and Pete Campbell '62 at 1,451 points. • Princeton has won three in a row against Cornell in Jadwin Gym after the 2010 Big Red, who went on to the NCAA Round of 16, won 48-45 in 2010. Princeton has won 4 of 5 from Cornell over the last three seasons. • Ian Hummer missed a double-double by just one rebound. It would have been his first double-double this season. His next double-double will be the 10th of his career after five as a sophomore and four as a junior. • It was the fifth time this season, and first time since Dec. 22 against Bucknell, that Princeton shot better than 50 percent from the field. Princeton hit 52.9 percent of its tries against the Big Red. • Princeton's 11 steals were its second-most of the season after 14 in an overtime loss at Wagner on Nov. 28. • Princeton has won four in a row for the first time this season and first time since winning five straight from Feb. 25 at Dartmouth to Mar. 13 at Evansville last season, the last of those wins coming in the College Basketball Invitational first round.

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