By Kevin Sweeney
With no conference tournament, every Ivy League game has extra importance. In a critical battle for position in the Ivy League standings, freshman guard Devin Cannady led large comebacks in both regulation and overtime to lead Princeton to a come-from-behind victory, an 88-83 win over Columbia Saturday night.
Both teams entered tonight’s contest trailing Yale by one in the loss column, making this game a must-win for both teams’ NCAA Tournament hopes. With a 67-58 lead and only 3:48 to go in regulation, it appeared that Columbia would take the next step towards its first Ivy League title since 1968. Princeton took control from that point, yet still trailed by by 5 with only 30 seconds to go. Then, the fearless freshman Cannady put Princeton on his back, scoring the final 8 points for the Tigers, including 2 clutch 3 pointers in the final 11 seconds of the game. After Columbia senior guard Maodo Lo scored on a layup with 8.2 seconds to go, Cannady raced the ball up the floor and knocked down a long, high-arcing 3 with only 3.3 seconds to go. Here’s the shot:
Although the momentum seemed to have shifted to Princeton, it was Columbia who exploded to begin the overtime period. The Lions scored the first 7 points of overtime to take an 83-76 lead with 2:12 to go. Yet when the going got tough, the Tigers went back to Cannady, who scored an old-fashioned 3-point-play on the ensuing possession. That bucket was the beginning of a 12-0 run that Princeton closed the game on to win 88-83.
Princeton was able to win despite their leading scorer, junior forward Henry Caruso, only scoring 9 points on 1/10 from the field. This was mainly due to the performances of Cannady and 6’11” junior forward Pete Miller, who easily eclipsed his season averages of 6.2 points and 5.8 rebounds, scoring 20 points on 9/10 shooting & adding 13 rebounds. For Columbia, the senior guard duo of Maodo Lo and Grant Mullins each scored 19 points, with Mullins pulling down 12 rebounds.
With the win, Princeton moves 16-5 on the season and 6-1 in the Ivy League. Columbia falls to 17-8, 6-2 in the Ivy League. Princeton’s win sets up a critical matchup on Friday night vs 1st place Yale on Friday night at Jadwin Gymnasium. Columbia will look to rebound Friday night against a struggling Harvard squad.