By Kevin Sweeney
They needed this one.
The Princeton Tigers came into tonight’s game against Yale understanding just how high the stakes were. With the Ivy League season winding down, Princeton knew that a loss tonight would be fatal to their NCAA Tournament aspirations. A loss would have put the Tigers two games behind Yale with just 5 games to play. A win, however, would put the Tigers in excellent position to win their first Ivy League title in 5 years.
Needing a win, the Tigers once again looked to standout freshman Devin Cannady to lead the charge. Cannady obliged, scoring 20 points, including 3-4 from deep, off the bench to push Princeton to a 75-63 win. Spencer Weisz added 15 for the Tigers. With the win, the Tigers moved within just a half game of Yale for first place in the Ivy League.
Princeton made a huge run in the late stages of the first half to take control of the game. After a Justin Sears lay-up gave the Bulldogs a 27-21 lead with 5:02 to go in the half, Princeton went on a 18-2 run keyed by Cannady to take a 39-29 lead into the half. Cannady knocked down 2 straight triples to start the run. Yale shot just 1-6 from the field in that stretch.
Cold shooting doomed the Bulldogs throughout the night. Yale shot just 38.6% from the field for the game, and knocked down just 1 3-pointer in 12 tries. The Bulldogs were also unable to hold onto the basketball, as they committed 16 turnovers in the contest. These struggles caused Yale to have their 12 game win streak snapped.
Princeton was able to seal the deal tonight with a strong performance from the free-throw line. In the final four minutes of the game, the Tigers knocked down 13-17 from the charity stripe. This free throw excellence didn’t give Yale a chance to make a comeback, as each run was answered by made foul shots.
Yale was led by Brandon Sherrod, who put up 18 for the Bulldogs. Makai Mason also had 18. Justin Sears posted a double-double, scoring 15 points and snatching 10 rebounds for Yale.
Yale will travel to Philadelphia tomorrow to take on Penn in another difficult atmosphere, this time at the famed Palestra. Princeton will look to continue their 5 game winning streak tomorrow in a home duel with Brown.