Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The Tigers' Ian Hummer did it all Friday night, recording his first double-double of the season as Princeton held off Harvard.
The season was not supposed to be this close. Harvard, with the academic scandal that forced their captains to leave the program, was not supposed to be in first place at any point in the season. Princeton, through many simulations, was supposed to be at the top of the standings. Friday was the Tigers' night to prove they belonged, at home, in a place where Harvard had not won since February 3, 1989.
To give an example of how long it has been since the Crimson has won at Princeton:
- Emperor Hirohito had passed away a month before that game
- George Bush was two weeks into his presidency
- The Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan the day before
- Thomas and Friends started its run in the U.S.
Why not let one of Princeton's all-time top scorers take control and show why he should be conference MVP (as he was in our preseason list)?
Princeton's Ian Hummer and T.J. Bray set the pace for the game, scoring 12 points in the first 10 minutes for the Tigers. Hummer also added 8 rebounds in those first minutes, establishing a dominant presence on defense by capitalizing on the Crimson's 25 percent initial shooting percentage. Despite poor shooting, Harvard kept it close by forcing themselves to the charity line, making 12 of 15 and keeping the Tigers lead to only six points at the half.
Ian Hummer did not slow down in the second half, racking up another 15 points and five rebounds. However, with 9:57 left and Princeton up by 10 points, the Tigers were plagued by a six-minute scoring drought. Steve Moundou-Missi, Siyani Chambers and Kenyatta Smith led the Crimson's charge back and tied the game with 4:18 left. Less than 90 seconds later, Harvard had taken the lead for the first time in the game on a Moundou-Missi 3-point play. However, costly fouls and a turnover led to yet another Hummer field goal, this time for the final lead.
All-in-all, Hummer had 23 points and 14 rebounds, his first double-double of the season, giving him the sole position of second place on the list of Princeton's all-time leading scorers. Bray added 14 points for the Tigers, and on the other side, Moundou-Missi had 15, Chambers had 10 and Wesley Saunders added 11 points for the Crimson. What really killed the Crimson Friday is that the No. 13 3-point shooting team in the country went 0-for-8 beyond the arc.
Do not expect this race for first to slow down, as both of these teams must scoreboard watch for the other to lose as they both have to take care of the mid-to-bottom half of the conference from here on out.