ITHACA, NEW YORK---Entering Friday evening, the 2015-2016 Ivy League season had the showing of a three team race for the NCAA Tournament automatic bid, considering a two game gap filled the space between third and fourth place.
Thanks to the Princeton Tigers, the previous continued to be the case.
Attacking from the tip, the Tigers scratched and clawed Cornell in a 85-56 massacre victory over the Big Red.
Although the contest indicated a possible back-and-forth barn-burner after the first three minutes (5-4 PRIN), Princeton's Amir Bell rolled off nine consecutive points to spur a monster 28-4 domination that truly changed the dynamic of the game (33-8 PRIN).
So the Princeton Tigers had their stranglehold on this one?
While Cornell's offense was finally able to start its engine with a 10-3 personal run by "fab freshman" Matt Morgan, the road warriors utilized three Henry Caruso three-pointers, one was a three-point play, to re-up their edge to 23 at the 3:43 mark in the first half (45-22 PRIN).
The two would trade baskets until the halftime horn sounded and the score read: Princeton 52, Cornell 29.
Out of the intermission, both team's scoring attacks were very stagnant--not that the Big Red's could become any more lackluster--for the total number of second half points posted at the halfway mark was 18 (65-34 PRIN). Do you know how many points the Tigers had after ten minutes in the first half? 31!
Putting the previous fact aside, the victory was never in doubt for Princeton as they decided to save some of their offensive ammunition for tomorrow with only 33 points in the second twenty minutrs.
The Tigers lead would reach a game-high 33 on a Pete Miller jumper with 8:50 remaining in regulation.
What Else Did You Expect?
Similar to Conor McGregor at UFC 194, the Princeton Tigers knocked out their opponent immediately and almost effortlessly. However, if this surprises anyone, then he or she must not watch Mitch Henderson's group that often.
Princeton, who leads the Ivy League in points per contest with 78.9 (2.5 more than second most), was tickling the twine from almost everywhere on the night as they finished at 50% shooting from the field and 44% when beyond the arc. Moreover, a multitude of players contributed, starting with a team-high 13 points by Amir Bell and Henry Caruso's near double-double of 13 points and 7 rebounds.
Also leading the way for the Tigers was Devin Cannady with 11 and Myles Stephens with 10.
15-5 (5-1) Princeton will continue their road journey at Maodo Lo's Columbia Lions on Saturday.
Stopping the Dynamic Duo
By far the highest scoring tandem in the Ivy League, Cornell's Matt Morgan and Robert Hatter were averaging over 37 points per game prior to this evening bout (37.3). Expect the aforementioned number to take a bit of a tumble.
Even though Miller had a good performance with a game-high 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, his "partner in crime" (Hatter) had trouble getting into the groove of things following early foul trouble. The "jazzy junior," who was coming off a horrific two point outing at Yale, finished the night with 7 points (3-for-9 from floor) in just 18 minutes.
Fortunately, and like any Friday night loser in the Ivy League, 9-12 (2-6) Cornell will have an immediate chance to change their losing ways tomorrow when hosting Penn.