Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 12
 
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
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MARCHING ON: Princeton University men’s basketball forward Ian Hummer looks for room in the paint last Wednesday in Princeton’s 65-51 win over visiting Duquesne in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI). Last Monday, freshman Hummer contributed 16 points and six rebounds as Princeton outlasted Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) 74-68 in double overtime in the CBI quarters.

March Madness Continues for PU Men’s Hoops as Tigers Top IUPUI in 2OT to Make CBI Semis

Bill Alden

It was the first taste of post-season play for the Princeton University men’s basketball program since 2004 and things got off to a sour start.

Some 12 minutes into its game last Wednesday against visiting Duquesne in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), Princeton found itself trailing 20-11.

Showing the intensity that has been a hallmark for the Tigers as they posted a 20-8 regular season mark, Princeton ended the first half with a 17-3 run to take a 28-23 lead into intermission.

Building on that surge, Princeton outscored the Dukes 22-12 over the first 12 minutes of the second half to break the game open on the way to a 65-51 triumph.

In reflecting on the victory, which was Princeton’s first post-season win since 1999 when the Tigers edged North Carolina State in the second round of the NIT, junior forward Kareem Maddox said it came down to energy.

“We came in at halftime, we just talked to each other, like we usually do and we thought the main thing wrong with the first half was that our energy was so low,” said Maddox, who contributed 15 points and five rebounds in 29 minutes off the bench. “That’s not how we played for the most part all season. We came out to fix it.”

The Tigers got most of its firepower off the bench as sophomore guard and former Hun School standout Douglas Davis scored 16 points in 30 minutes of reserve action while freshman forward Ian Hummer bulled his way to 14 points and four rebounds in 17 minutes.

Last Monday, the Tigers needed to expend every bit of their collective energy as they outlasted Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) 74-68 in double overtime in a topsy-turvy CBI quarterfinal clash.

The win advanced the Tigers, now 22-8, to a semifinal game at St. Louis University (22-11) of the Atlantic 10 on March 24 with the winner qualifying for the best-of-three championship series which is slated to start on March 29.

Princeton head coach Sydney Johnson is not surprised that his squad is tasting post-season success.

“We’re a good team,” asserted Johnson. “The CBI saw that in us and gave us an opportunity and we want to make the most of it.”

In the win at IUPUI, the Tigers showed that they have character to go along with their talent.

Princeton trailed by 12 points midway through the first half and were down 54-44 with 9:01 left in the second half. The Tigers then went on a 15-3 run to take a 59-57 lead with 4:13 remaining in regulation.

The lead was short-lived as Princeton found itself down 63-59 with 1:13 left in the second half. The Tigers scored the last four points of regulation to force overtime.

After the teams knotted at 5-5 in the first extra session, Princeton outscored the Jaguars 6-0 in the second overtime to pull out the victory.

Junior guard Dan Mavraides led the way for the Tigers, scoring 18 points in 49 minutes of action. Hummer chipped in 16 points and six rebounds with senior center Pawel Buczak contributing 12 points and classmate Marcus Schroeder adding 10 points and four assists.

Johnson wasn’t fazed as his team dealt with one deficit after another in the battle with IUPUI.

“They’ve played from behind and been fine,” said Johnson, as quoted on the Princeton sports website.

“We don’t panic. I think we trust in each other. I think that has a lot to do with the chemistry in the locker room.”

The third-year head coach did acknowledge that his team had some luck on its side as it outlasted the Jaguars.

“I think we were fortunate to get it into overtime,” added Johnson. “We were clearly fortunate to beat a very good team.”

Freshman star Hummer feels fortunate to have the chance to keep playing late into March.

“It’s huge,” said Hummer after the Duquesne victory. “To have a tournament like this to go to after we had a pretty good season numbers-wise, is a very big deal.”

Johnson, for his part, wants his players to savor their tournament experience.

“For me personally, I’ve won games here as a player, some of the best days of my life, from young man to man, were tremendous,” said Johnson.

“I want those same experiences for these guys. It seems like we’re realizing some of those things. It takes a lot of work, but we have worked hard and we’re in this moment and I certainly think we’re going to enjoy it for as long as it lasts.”

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