Kyle Casey scored 20 points and Harvard's defense delivered down the stretch as the Crimson rallied past Princeton, 67-64, Friday night at Lavietes Pavilion. Harvard can clinch a tie for the Ivy League title Saturday night when it hosts second-place Penn, which edged Dartmouth on Friday.
Brandyn Curry added 15 points and six assists and sparked two second-half spurts -- one that rallied Harvard from a seven-point deficit into the lead, and the second that put the Crimson ahead for good while Princeton was going over six minutes without a point.
"I just thought our defense and our will to win tonight was outstanding," Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. "We had to go to different people in different moments. Again, our bench and our balance gave us an outstanding performance, and we needed it. I thought Brandon Curry's play in particular, he's been spectacular for us going down the stretch here with our season."
Casey hit 7-of-13 shots and also had eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
"It was a game we had to win," Casey said. "When you have to win, people have to step up. Tonight, I was kind of feeling it. My shots were falling."
Also for Harvard (24-3, 10-1 Ivy) , Oliver McNally scored 13 points -- including 6-of-6 free throws in the final 18 seconds -- and Keith Wright contributed 12 points and six rebounds.
Ian Hummer and Douglas Davis scored 14 points apiece for Princeton (15-11, 6-4).
Princeton, the only Ivy team to beat Harvard this season, was in control of this game for much of it, leading by seven with 11:03 left after a strong driving layup by Jimmy Sherburne. Harvard then embarked on a 9-0 run. The Crimson finally got back even with 9:58 remaining after Curry sparked a five-point run in a matter of seconds. First he drove baseline and scored on a layup while being fouled. After hitting the free throw, he forced a turnover on the inbounds pass. Then he drove and made a nice pass to Wright, who was fouled and hit both free throws to even the score at 50. Less than 30 seconds later, Wright tipped in a rebound to put Harvard up by a pair.
The game seesawed after that, with Curry hitting a trey to give Harvard a two-point lead and then hitting a driving layup for a four-point advantage, 59-55.
Princeton did not score for over six minutes, finally ending the drought when T.J. Bray hit 1-of-2 free throws with just over two minutes left. That made it a 59-56 game.
Davis hit a bank shot in the lane with 54 seconds left to draw Princeton with a point. At the other end, Casey was fouled down low with 34 seconds remaining. Hit nailed both from the line to make it 61-58. After a Princeton miss, McNally hit two free throws with 18 seconds left for a five-point cushion.
Bray nailed a long 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining to get Princeton back within a pair, but McNally hit two more free throws to to make it 65-61. Davis then lost the ball dribbling up the sideline, and McNally sewed it up with two more free throws. Davis hit a desperation heave at the buzzer for the final scoring.
Harvard struggled overall at the free throw line, missing seven of its first 16, but the Crimson went 8-for-8 in the final 34 seconds, with six of those coming from McNally.
Harvard scored the game's first seven points, but Princeton stormed back and led by as many as 10 in the opening half. A period-ending 9-0 run by the Crimson -- fueled by Casey, who had 12 points and six rebounds in the half -- cut the deficit to one at the break, 33-32.
Kyle Arrington, filing in for Devin MCcourty, previews Pats-Broncos
Adam Schefter, ESPN Insider, joins the guys to talk Pats-Broncos, Brady-Manning and the rest of the NFL.
Mike Klis discusses Brady vs. Manning, Welker and Belichick, and the rest of the Pats-Broncos story lines.
Its time to start the season for the Celtics! We talk about the things we like about the Celtics and the things we dont like very much. Plus Sam feels like a jerk for laughing at Julius Randle.
Jackie MacMullan joins MFB for the first time this season. She discusses the rejection of NBA lottery reform, Rajon Rondo, and the Celtics chances this season.
Mut, Rob Bradford and Alex Speier are back and talking not only Red Sox, but MLB Hot Stove. They talk with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, and take some phone calls about some of the Red Sox potential moves.
Mut, Rob Bradford, and Alex Speier talk with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington. Ben addresses some questions regarding Will Middlebrooks, Rusney Castillo, as well as Yoenis Cespedes' future with the club.
Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.
We discuss the Bruins blown 2 goal lead against the Wild at the Garden and where they go from here with the great Jack Edwards of NESN.
NESN's Andy Brickley joined the show following Boston's 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Brick talked about Patrice Bergeron's line getting beat a lot, the Bruins' lack of focus in their 6 losses, and the big blow to the defense with Torey Krug's injury.
Joe McDonald joins the guys to talk to about the Chara injury and how the Bruins will move forward without him.
Happy birthday Kirk!!!!
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys got dressed up for Kirk's 40th.
MFB and the callers wish a very Happy 40th Birthday to Kirk Minihane
Three For All, Ebola Scare
Dale and Greg Dickerson try and find new and exciting ways to discuss Manning vs Brady 16, including how each QB fares in adverse weather conditions.
Dale and Greg Dickerson take a few minutes to remember Tom Menino.
We look at four free agents the Sox might have an eye on, two on the mound, two at third base.
Mikey, Villani and Lenny are talking about the 2004 Red Sox on the anniversary of Game 4 of the ALCS with Dave Roberts steal abd Bill Mueller driving him in and what it was like to witness.
Mikey, Mut and Lenny are talking about the Patriots and how they have stacked up through the years and what got them to the three championships and five Super Bowl appearances in the Brady-Belichick era.
Mikey and Mut take a call from someone who wants to criticize Belichick the GM and his history of drafting players and making moves in the draft.
The playoffs are here and we are ready! Brad Feldman joins the show to talk about the Revs vs the Crew. We also talk about the newest addition to the MLS.
WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin is joined by Joe Meloni of College Hockey News on the first episode of the College Puckcast. They talk about the wrist injury that will sideline Boston College defenseman Steve Santini until at least January, as well as the good start for Boston University and its star freshman, Jack Eichel. Other topics include fast starts for Vermont and UMass-Lowell and slow starts for Providence and Northeastern.
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