In a game that was worthy of its hype, Jeff Foote (above) and the Cornell Big Red survived a scare from the newly first placed Princeton Tigers.
Cornell was a unanimous pick to win the league before the season started. However, in just the second week of the Ivy season, the Cornell versus Harvard game was considered to be the biggest game the conference history. Cornell won that by 36 and basically silenced any question of who the front-runners were. In the coming weeks, Cornell gained a national ranking and a more commanding lead over first place.
They forgot about one thing. Princeton.
The Tigers were gaining speed after having started their Ivy season two weeks later than Cornell. So as people looked at the schedule and saw this game, it became the new "game to watch".
The near sold-out Jadwin Gym was silent three minutes in after Jeff Foote scored six out of the eight unanswered Cornell points to start the game.
Princeton would work their way back knotting the score at 10 a piece. The teams would stay close throughout, with no one taking a big lead.
With 1:38 remaining in the game, Cornell senior Ryan Wittman hit the three; it was a dagger to put Cornell up six. Just a few seconds later, Douglas Davis would answer that to cut the lead to three, and after a missed free throw on the front end of the one and one, Davis would cut the lead to two with another field goal. Louis Dale hit both of this free throws for Cornell, and then Davis would hit two of his own for Princeton with 13 seconds to go. With eight seconds left Wittman hit a pair to put Cornell up three, and Princeton couldn't tie it up.
It may have been a moral victory for Princeton, who now knows that they can keep up with this team who they meet in less than two weeks again, this time in Ithaca.
Elsewhere in Ivy play, Harvard stayed within one game of Cornell with a 81-67 victory on the road at Brown. They will try to avenge their loss to Cornell and get back into a tie in first with a victory when they host the Big Red on Friday.
Columbia got a red hot Penn team tonight behind 29 points from senior Niko Scott. The Lions won despite the fact that their starting point guard was out injured, and their leading scorer was held to five points.
Yale had to battle an eight point halftime deficit to defeat Dartmouth, who falls to 0-8 in Ancient Eight play.
NEXT WEEK GAME OF THE WEEK: Harvard vs. Cornell. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, February 19th.