The Tigers, who struggled mightily from outside in their semifinal overtime win over Penn, shot a tremendous 11-of-26 from deep. Down 32-31 early in the second half, The Tigers went on a 21-9 run and never looked back. Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, Tournament MVP and semifinal hero, Myles Stephens, scored a game-high 23 points and pulled down eight boards. The 6-5 sophomore’s ability to play much bigger than his frame allowed Princeton to go small and pick apart a Yale defense that was tremendous in the first half. In the second stanza, Yale simply didn’t have an answer for Stephens and Princeton’s barrage of threes.
Unlike in the semifinal, Stephens received scoring help from 6-5 senior Steven Cook, who added 15 off 3-of-5 from deep and several tremendous finishes around the rim, and 6-1 sophomore Devin Cannady, who scored 13 points on 3-of-6 from deep. The Tigers veteran core of Cook, Spencer Weisz, and Amir Bell, held Yale’s star freshman Miye Oni, who scored 18 in Yale’s semifinal victory over Harvard, to just three points.
For Yale, 6-3 sophomore Alex Copeland lead the way off the bench with 14 points. Sam Downey, a talented 6-9 senior added 12 points and six boards. The Bulldogs return three starters next year along with last season’s NCAA Tournament hero Makai Mason who was out for the season.
Princeton advances to its first NCAA Tournament since 2011 and will look to become the fourth Ivy League team in the last five years to grab a first round win. With Myles Stephens playing his best basketball of his career, and with Steven Cook finding his stroke from deep, Princeton will be a difficult first round match up.
This article was written by Robert Smuckler, a correspondent ad scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can subscribe to our RSS feed from the upper right corner of our home page, follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
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