Harvard's Lavietes Pavilion has been the site of some exciting games over the last few seasons that the Crimson and Tigers have become the Ivy League's spotlight rivalry.
Unfortunately for Princeton, Harvard has now prevailed over the Tigers three straight times on the banks of the Charles.
Never losing momentum from a first-half buzzer-beating, body-twisting 3-pointer by their Laurent Rivard, the Crimson gained the advantage in the first of two meetings between the teams this season, prevailing 69-57.
The win improves Harvard to 7-1 in Ivy League play and 15-7 overall, while Princeton falls a game-and-a-half back at 5-2 in the league and 12-9 overall.
The second half was Princeton's undoing. The Tigers shot just 31 percent from the field after the break while the Crimson kept on going on offense. Harvard shot 50 percent in the first half and didn't cool off enough after Rivard's buzzer beater, hitting at a 45.5 percent clip after the break.
The first half saw 12 lead changes and three ties, but the second half saw none of those. Princeton last led on a Will Barrett 3-pointer with less than three minutes to go in the first half, putting Princeton up 26-24, but the Crimson closed the half by scoring eight of the last 11 points.
Harvard had its first 10-point lead before seven minutes were gone in the second half, and Princeton never came closer than six the rest of the way. Harvard's largest lead was 14, inside of three minutes to go in the game.
Ian Hummer led Princeton in scoring with a game-high 18 points, while Will Barrett and T.J. Bray had 11 apiece and Hans Brase chipped in 10. The Crimson bettered Princeton with five players in double figures, led by 14 apiece from Steve Moundou-Missi and Kenyatta Smith.
The Tigers will resume play Friday at Columbia before heading up to Cornell Saturday. Harvard will head to Brown and Yale, and the teams will have their second meeting in a two-week span on March 1 in Jadwin Gym.
• The home team has won the last seven in the series, including the neutral-site playoff game at Yale in 2011 in which Princeton was the designated home team.
• Princeton had the win the last time the visiting team won in this series, back on Feb. 5, 2010 when Princeton won 56-53 in Lavietes.
• Ian Hummer finished with a game-high 18 points, putting him past the 1,500-point mark at 1,501. The next milestones on Hummer's list are the 1,546 points Kit Mueller '91 put up, now the third-best total in Princeton history, followed closely by the 1,550 Douglas Davis '12 scored, with three of his years playing alongside Hummer.
• Harvard entered the game as the fifth-best 3-point shooting team in the nation by percentage at .412 and the 11th-best shooting team overall by percentage at .487. The Crimson were only a little below those numbers against Princeton, shooting .389 (7-18) from beyond the arc and .479 (23-48) from the field.
• By shooting 40 percent for the game, Princeton narrowly kept alive a streak of shooting at least 40 percent from the field in, now, 14 straight games against Division I opponents. The last time Princeton didn't shoot 40 percent, the Tigers went 17-57 (.298) at Wagner on Nov. 28.