With just two games in between the pair of showdowns with Harvard, the Princeton men's basketball team had business to take care of to set up next Friday's showdown.
The Tigers have done their part. Following up a 25-point win over Columbia Friday night, Princeton got past Cornell 72-53 to remain with just two league losses at 7-2, 14-9 overall. Cornell fell to 13-14, 5-5 in the Ivy.
Harvard also won both of its games this weekend, keeping it with just one league loss at 9-1. Friday's game will be televised from Jadwin Gymnasium on ESPNU and is set for a 7 p.m. start.
Princeton scored the first five points and held Cornell without a point for the first 4:25, keeping the Big Red to 5-of-32 shooting in the first half. The Tiger lead was 19 at halftime, and a Will Barrett 3-pointer made it 36-14 to open the second half.
Soon after, the Big Red began to rally. Princeton had a 42-24 advantage with 14:30 to play in the game before Cornell went on a 17-6 run to pull within seven at 48-41 with eight minutes left. A T.J. Bray 3-pointer stopped the rally, and the Tigers rode out the win from there.
Ian Hummer led Princeton in scoring with 23 points, his fifth 20-point game of the season and his highest total since tying his career best with 28 at Elon on Jan. 5. Barrett, with 13 points, and Denton Koon, with 11 after besting his career high at Columbia with 22 last night, were also in double figures.
Shonn Miller led Cornell with 23 points as the only player in double figures, just ahead of nine points for Errick Peck off the bench.
Princeton outshot Cornell for the game 57.9 percent to 31.6 percent, even when taking into account Cornell's 52 percent shooting in the second half. The Tigers compounded that with a 32-26 rebounding edge, though the Big Red had 14 offensive rebounds.
• The win was Princeton's largest margin of victory in Ithaca since 1997, when the Tigers beat the Big Red 66-42. Current assistant coach Brian Earl '99 had 16 points in that game, second on the team to 20 from Gabe Lewullis '99.
• With 23 points, Ian Hummer set up the possibility of becoming Princeton's second-leading all-time scorer next weekend. He now has 1,541 points, just five behind Kit Mueller '91 in third place and nine behind former teammate Douglas Davis '12 in second place.
• This was only Princeton's third win in Ithaca after winning three straight in Newman Arena from 2002-04. The other wins came in 2006, in double overtime, and in 2011, by two points.
• Cornell had just three assists on 18 baskets.
• Princeton overcame turning the ball over 15 times to seven for Cornell.
• The Tigers shot .570 (45-79) from the field for the weekend, defeating Columbia by 25 points and Cornell by 19. Princeton allowed its two opponents to shoot .327 (34-104) from the field for the weekend and .192 (5-26) from 3-point range.
• Chris Clement scored 13 of his 36 points on the season this weekend. He had seven tonight against Cornell. Clement also made all five free throws he tried over the two games.
• Will Barrett's 13 points were his most since scoring 14 also against the Big Red on Feb. 1 in Jadwin Gym.