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.
We check in with Big Vince Wilfork on a Patriots Monday and get his take on the defense's progression, his interception, his teammate Darrelle Revis and playing Monday Night Football in KC.
We check in with the head coach for his reaction to the Patriots win against Oakland, the offense's struggles, Julien Edelman, and playing in KC on Monday Night.
We check in with Tedy Bruschi on a Patriots Monday for his reaction to the Patriots struggles, Julien Edelman and his strong comments about his desire to see Roger Goodell lose his job.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Joe and Dave talk with David Ortiz after he hits two home runs to propel the Red Sox to an extra-innings win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Ben Cherington discussed the debut of Castillo and his thoughts on Jeter.
As the season winds down, We check in Sox skipper John Farrell as we await the Boston debut of Rusney Castillo.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Tom joined the show after the close win over Oakland.
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to discuss week 3 in the NFL.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Christian and Fauria re-visit their karaoke battle from over the weekend, with audio!
Oakland drove down deep into the Patriots red zone with a minute to play on Sunday in a bid to tie the game and send it to overtime. Jones was asked if he and his teammates were nervous at all towards the end; He refuted the assertion saying the team clamped down and became more composed. Veterans Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork are vocal leaders and can calm the defense down. And then, all four of the guys had a laugh over rookie Brian Stork's post-game interview with reporters.
Edelman talked about his scary play in the red zone to start off the 4th quarter, in which he flipped in the air and landed on his head. He was fine, but admits that players need to be aware of the down and importance of putting your health in jeopardy over the course of a 16 game season. The guys asked him about the offense's struggles, and Gronk's inability to pull in a tipped ball in the end zone.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Jerry Thornton joins Dino and Kirk for the second edition of Breaking Balls. They dive into a variety of topics including their feelings about polarizing Boston sports media members.
Your beloved hosts are joined by WEEI.com Bruins reporter DJ Bean as well as producer of the Dennis & Callahan Show, Craig "Sausage" Sawisch. Support America: Support Your Local Post Office
Dennis, Callahan and Minihane make their podcast debut. This week's topics include Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Jenny Dell and some discussion on people we've encountered with the worst breath.
Dino, Kirk and Thornton opened the show discussing an ugly win by the Patriots.More from this show
The defense was forced to make a stop in the last minute of the game to preserve the 16-9 victory on Sunday. The offense had no rhythm again and struggled in the red zone. The offensive line looked poor again. Lou, Christian and Tim talk about the win that looked like a loss, and what this team needs to do to improve.More from this show