Penn (8-19) at Princeton (19-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 11, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jadwin Gym (6,854) -- Princeton, New Jersey. Television: None. Home Record: Penn 6-8, Princeton 10-2. Away Record: Penn 2-11, Princeton 8-5. Neutral Record: Penn 0-0, Princeton 1-1. Conference Record: Penn 5-8, Princeton 7-6. Series Record: Penn leads, 124-105.
GAME NOTES: The final game of the Ivy League schedule takes place tonight in New Jersey between long-time foes, the Penn Quakers and the Princeton Tigers.
Unlike most other years when the Quakers tend to make plans beyond this annual finale, this season the team might very well be happy just to get the grind over with considering all the hurdles that have been put in front of them. The non-conference schedule was a disaster for the Quakers as they won a total of just four games, not to mention generating a mere two victories in 13 road stops overall.
However, on a positive note, Penn did manage to snap a four-game slide on Saturday with a 69-65 victory versus Cornell on the road. Unfortunately, even with that outcome the Quakers still find themselves sixth in the league standings at just 5-8.
Meanwhile, the Tigers are not all that far ahead of Penn in the Ivy, posting seven wins in 13 chances to this point. The good news is that Princeton, which would reach 20 wins on the season with a victory tonight, has won four straight and five of the last six decisions, including a 74-64 final at Columbia over the weekend.
The Quakers squeaked by in the first meeting of the season two months ago by a score of 77-74 in Philadelphia, which means the all-time series now stands at 124-105 in favor of Penn. Of all the opponents that the Quakers have faced, Princeton is the one that has been targeted the most since basketball began for Penn more than a century ago.
Dealing with a laundry list of injuries and players lost to undisclosed issues, the Quakers have been lucky to be able to field a competent bunch from one game to the next. Against the Big Red on Saturday, the team missed having leading scorer Tony Hicks (15.5 ppg) in the lineup, bringing in Dau Jok who ended up scoring a career-high 21 points and clearing seven rebounds in the win over one of the weakest teams in all of college basketball. Miles Cartwright added 15 points for the visitors and Fran Dougherty another 14 points in the victory.
With Hicks still being listed as questionable for the season finale, that might well mean that the Quakers are heading into the last game with DOugherty as they active leading scorer with his 12.4 ppg, not to mention pacing the program with 7.2 rpg. Cartwright checks in with 11.6 ppg and is also first on the unit with both 44 3-pointers made and 88 assists as he tries desperately to keep the offense moving in the right direction.
The Tigers fell behind in the opening moments of their meeting with Columbia on Saturday, but that didn't last very long as Princeton eventually moved out to a double-digit advantage in the first half before claiming the 10-point win on the road in New York. T.J. Bray led all scorers with 25 points, shooting 8- of-12 from the floor, followed by Clay Wilson and Steven Cook with 16 and 12 points, respectively. More than anything else, the visitors took advantage of a 20-8 scoring margin at the free-throw line.
Bray has been a steady influence for the Tigers on offense when he's been on the floor and in the lineup, generating 18.3 ppg to pace the program. Despite playing in 23 of the unit's 27 outings, Bray is also first on the team with 117 assists, against a mere 37 turnovers, but his efforts don't stop there. One of the top players in the conference, Bray also led his group in steals (32) and was one of the top rebounders with 4.7 rpg. Hans Brase (10.9 ppg) and Will Barrett (10.8 ppg) have also been key figures on keeping the campaign alive and well.
Whether or not Hicks is around for this game, the Quakers need to get through the final 40 minutes as painlessly as possible and just start planning for the 2014-15 campaign already.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Princeton 71, Penn 63
03/11 10:37:33 ET