Gamecenter: Princeton 53, Columbia 58

1st 2nd Final
Princeton (5-14, 2-2 Ivy) 23 30 53
Columbia (10-11, 3-3 Ivy) 25 33 58
Levien Gym – New York, NY Boxscore
Keys to the Game
Key sequence Princeton was leading 43-39 with under nine minutes to play until Niko Scott stuck a three-pointer to make it a one-point game. Two possessions later, K.J. Matsui hit a three of his own to put Columbia in front, and Mack Montgomery made it a two-possession game with a jumper at the 6:10 mark. Noah Savage hit one of two at the line to make it a three-point contest, but Montgomery got inside for a layup an a 49-44 lead for the Lions. Neither team could score over the next 3:31, until Montgomery scored on a lay-in on the break, putting the Tigers in a 41-44 hole with just over two minutes to play.
Key sign it was over Lincoln Gunn’s three-pointer with 42 seconds left made things interesting, cutting Columbia’s advantage to 55-51. Princeton had a chance to make it a one-possession game after Kevin Bulger missed a pair of free throws, but Mack Montgomery came up with a steal at Zach Finley’s expense and scored a crucial layup for a 57-51 lead. Gunn couldn’t find the range on a three-pointer, and Scott hit one of two at the line for a seven-point advantage, rendering the final 10 seconds merely procedural.
Key performance Montgomery played just 22 minutes, but he made big plays for Columbia down the stretch and finished with eight points on 4-for-7 shooting and seven rebounds, to go with a pair of steals and an assist.
Key statistic The night after shooting the lights out from three-point range, Princeton struggled with its outside shooting, finishing just 8 of 27 (29.6 percent) on the night. Meanwhile, Columbia had no such problems at the other end, draining 8 of 14 (57.1 percent) from beyond the arc.

– Gunn was the game’s leading scorer with 17 points, while Savage (12 points) and Kyle Koncz (11 points) aided the Princeton cause.

– Scott led Columbia with 12 points, while John Baumann had a relatively quiet game with 10 points and two rebounds.

– The Lions’ home sweep of Penn and Princeton — while far less impressive this year than in past seasons — was the second such feat for the program in the past three seasons and the third time this has happened since 2000-01.

– Columbia didn’t do itself any favors at the line, where it had 20 attempts to Princeton’s 11, but the hosts shot just 50.0 percent from the stripe and outscored the visitors by a mere 10-7 margin on free throws.

– The Tigers did a solid just on the defensive boards, limiting Columbia to just three of a possible 25 offensive rebounds (12.0 percent).

– Princeton’s road trip continues on Tuesday, February 12, when the Tigers head down to Philadelphia for their rivalry game against Penn at 7:00 pm ET, while Columbia heads up to Hanover next on Friday, February 15, also at 7:00 pm ET.

Jake Wilson

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Basketball U.

Jake Wilson wrote 754 posts

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