Harvard Edges Yale, Remains Spotless in Ivies
Boston — Wesley Saunders scored 15 points and added a career-high 11 assists as Harvard held off Yale 67-64 last night to remain undefeated in Ivy League play.
Harvard (11-6, 3-0) led by 15 in the first half and 13 in the second before the Bulldogs (7-13, 1-2) closed the gap to three, at 63-60, on Armani Cotton’s layup with 19 seconds left.
Steve Moundou-Missi hit two free throws a second later, then blocked Michael Grace’s jump shot. Yale’s Matt Townsend was fouled on the rebound, hitting two free throws.
After Siyani Chambers gave Harvard a cushion with two foul shots with 3 seconds remaining, Austin Morgan’s last-second layup provided the final margin.
Laurent Rivard added 15 points, Moundou-Missi 12 and Chambers 11 for the Crimson, which shot 54.8 percent (23 of 42) and has won four of its past five games.
Cotton paced Yale with 14 points.
Princeton 76, Cornell 59
Princeton, n.j. — Ian Hummer scored 22 points with nine rebounds, while Denton Koon’s 22 points were a career high in Princeton’s win over Cornell.
The Tigers have won four games in a row and 19 straight Ivy League matchups at home. The streak is the longest for Princeton (9-7, 2-0) since the program won 26 straight from 1996-99.
Leading 35-30 at intermission, Princeton outshot the Big Red in the second half 61.5 percent (16 of 26) to 34.8 percent (8 of 23).
Cornell, which led by nine points early in the game before Princeton surged ahead, closed the deficit to 41-40 with 17:10 remaining. The Tigers then scored 15 unanswered points to pull away for good.
Will Barrett added 15 points for Princeton.
Josh Figini scored 13 and Shonn Miller 12 for Cornell (9-11, 1-2), which came in having won three of its previous four games.
Take Center Stage
Indianapolis — Indiana should be getting used to all this.
Students lining up in chilly temperatures long before tip-off so they can see America’s No. 1 team play at Assembly Hall. A nationally televised game that will become the focal point of the college basketball universe for one day. And the Hoosiers vying again for the Big Ten lead.
Tonight, it’s all about facing Michigan.
“It’s going to be a big game, and I really can’t wait for it,” freshman guard Kevin Ferrell said.
Nobody in Bloomington can.
After stumbling in December against Butler and again early in conference play against Wisconsin, the Hoosiers (18-2, 7-1) have been trying to play their way back to the No. 1 spot they held through the first month of the season. A win tonight finally get them back on top, and Indiana is playing its best basketball of the season.
National player of the year candidate Cody Zeller broke out of his two-game shooting funk Wednesday night, dominating the middle against Purdue. Not surprisingly, his inside presence opened things up for the Hoosiers’ 3-point shooters, who knocked down a season-high 12 against the Boilermakers. Indiana’s vastly improved defense continues to play well, too, ranking 12th nationally in defensive field goal percentage (37.3).
The result: Indiana slugged it out with then-No. 13 Michigan State on Sunday before pulling away for a 75-70 victory, moved up four spots to No. 3 in Monday’s AP poll and then handed Purdue its worst ever home loss, 97-60.
If they can beat a No. 1 team at home for the second time in 14 months, the Hoosiers will sweep their biggest week of the season.
“Everybody can play, they can run, shoot, play defense, they can do everything,” Indiana guard Jordan Hulls said of Michigan. “So you know we’re excited for this opportunity.”
Michigan is playing well, too.
Since losing at No. 15 Ohio State on Jan. 13, following their first perfect nonconference season since 1985-86, the Wolverines (20-1, 7-1) have won four straight — including their last three by at least 14 points. Sophomore guard Trey Burke is averaging 17.9 points and 7.1 assists and, like Zeller, is a national player of the year candidate and a preseason All-American.
A win would allow Michigan to retain its first No. 1 ranking since 1992-93, the second season of the Fab Five, for a second straight week.
Plus, the winner would take sole possession of the conference lead at the midway mark.
“We’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be a lot of hype. It’s going to be a really hectic crowd and atmosphere,” Burke said. “I know guys are ready. Indiana’s a really good team. We’ll be ready for them. It should be a fun game.”