Princeton hands No. 21 Harvard first Ivy League loss

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Ian Hummer was down after a terrible performance against Dartmouth. A few encouraging words from a couple of family members helped him bounce back in a big way.

Hummer had 20 points and Princeton beat Harvard (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 25 AP) 70-62 on Saturday night, handing the Crimson their first Ivy League loss of the season.

Hummer added nine rebounds and six assists in his first game since he went 0 for 11 from the field in a 59-47 victory against the Big Green on Friday night.

"To get the first shot to go down tonight was quite a bit different from yesterday," said Hummer, whose uncle John played in the NBA. "I just knew shots were gonna come my way. I was kind of rushing them yesterday, I talked to my dad, talked to my uncle, they kind of gave me advice.

"They told me I was rushing all my shots, not looking at the basket when I was shooting. They said to keep my head up and take what comes to you."

T.J. Bray added 12 points for the Tigers (13-10, 4-3), who defeated the Crimson at home for the 23rd straight time. Princeton has not lost to Harvard at Jadwin Gym since 1989.

"I didn't know about that, but that's OK," said coach Mitch Henderson, who played for the Tigers in the early stages of the streak. "This is a really good Harvard team, this is a big win for us. They're gonna be tough to beat right now. They're doing a great job and I know they'll finish the year strong."

Keith Wright had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Harvard (21-3, 7-1), which had won nine straight and was attempting to go 8-0 in the Ivy League for the first time. Brandyn Curry had 15 points and Kyle Casey added 12 points and eight rebounds.

"This was a tough loss for us," Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. "Princeton deserved to win. They did an outstanding job at getting the ball in the post. They had a 62.5 shooting percentage in the second half. I was disappointed in our ability to make the plays defensively in the second half."

Bray's jumper gave Princeton a 48-46 lead with 5:13 remaining and Harvard trailed the rest of the way. The Tigers went 14 of 17 from the free throw line in the final five minutes.

Brendan Connolly scored 12 points while Mack Darrow and Denton Koon had 10 each as Princeton won consecutive Ivy games for the first time this year.

In the first meeting between the teams since the Tigers won a one-point playoff game to get into the NCAA tournament last March, Harvard led for much of the second half.

After Bray's jumper gave Princeton the lead, Casey hit one of two free throws to cut the margin to one. Princeton then went on an 11-2 run to open a 59-49 advantage with 2:05 remaining.

The Tigers went 7 for 8 from the line in the final 52.5 seconds to secure the win.

Students in the near-capacity crowd stormed the court following Princeton's first win against a ranked team since Nov. 23, 1997, when it beat Wake Forest at the Meadowlands. It's the Tigers' first win over a ranked team at home since Jan. 3, 1977, against Notre Dame.

Princeton shot 62.5 percent (15 for 24) in the second half and 50 percent (25 for 50) for the game.

Using its backdoor offense frequently, Princeton took a 12-8 lead while holding Harvard to 4-for-15 shooting. The Crimson went on a 14-4 run to build its biggest lead of the half at 22-16. Harvard made 6 of 9 during the run and entered halftime with a 27-22 advantage.

Harvard is making its third appearance in the Top 25 rankings this season and likely will drop out for the third time. Losses to nonconference foes Connecticut and Fordham pushed the Crimson out the previous two times.

"We don't pay attention to the rankings," Hummer said. "Harvard has always been a big opponent of ours and we want to play them hard any time."