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Men's Basketball Preview for February 22-23

Cornell's Shonn Miller

Complete Men's Basketball Weekly Release in pdf format

Photo courtesy of Cornell Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The prelude to the madness of March closes this weekend for Ivy League men's basketball with what could be a frenzied finale to the month of February.

Harvard (15-7, 7-1 Ivy League) created separation at the top of the standings with its Feb. 16 win over Princeton in the first clash between the Ancient Eight's top two teams. Now the Crimson has to build upon that in a four-game road swing that begins at Brown (9-13, 3-5 Ivy) on Saturday night and at Yale (10-15, 4-4 Ivy) on Friday night. Both games can be seen live on television with Friday's game on MyRITV and Saturday's showdown on the CBS Sports Network.

Sophomore big man Kenyatta Smith was inserted into Harvard's starting lineup last weekend for the first time since late November and he came up big, nearly producing the League's third-ever triple-double with 20 points, nine rebounds and 10 blocks against Penn on Feb. 15. Though research is still being conducted, there seems to only have been two triple-doubles in Ivy League men's basketball history -- by Dartmouth's Ian McGinnis on Jan. 17, 2001 vs. Colgate with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists and by Brown's Jason Forte on Feb. 27, 2004, against Dartmouth with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

Bulldog senior guard Sam Martin has been hot as of late for head coach Jame Jones' squad, connecting on 69.2 percent (9-of-13) of his shots from three-point range and averaging 8.0 points over his last four games. In that stretch, Yale has won three of four games and has creeped back into the top half of the League with a chance to make some noise in the title race down the stretch.

Princeton (12-9, 5-2 Ivy) remains squarely in position to secure a chance to dance in March and has its focus on its back-to-back matchups of Columbia (10-12, 2-6 Ivy) on Friday night and Cornell (13-12, 5-3 Ivy) on Saturday night. The Tigers enter the weekend as the conference leader in scoring defense (58.0 points per game), three-point field goal percentage defense (.331) and assists (14.6 apg).

Sophomore guard Denton Koon (10.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg) has had the hot hand for Princeton lately, leading the team in scoring in each of his last three games. Senior forward Ian Hummer continues his climb up the school and League career lists as he became just the fourth Tiger all-time to reach the 1,500-point plateau. Hummer enters the weekend with 1,501 career points and needs just 50 more points to grab sole possession of second place in storied history of Princeton men's basketball.

The League's hottest team has been the Big Red, winner of its last three games. During the winning streak, Head coach Bill Courtney has seen solid offensive production from four players in particular --- sophomore forward Shonn Miller (15.3 ppg), senior guard Johnathan Gray (14.0 ppg), senior forward Errick Peck (10.0 ppg) and freshman guard Nolan Cressler (9.7 ppg). Cornell will need that productivity to continue to stay in Ivy title contention with Penn and Princeton coming to Newman Arena for the weekend.

Harvard (15-7, 7-1 Ivy) at Brown (9-13, 3-5 Ivy)
Date: Friday, February 22 – 7 p.m.
Location: Pizzitola Sports Center • Providence, R.I.
Television: myRITV
Harvard-Brown Series: Harvard leads, 93-74
Last Meeting: Harvard 89, Brown 82 (2ot) • 2/2/13 • Cambridge, Mass.
Live Stats | Video
Harvard Game Notes | Brown Game Notes

Princeton (12-9, 5-2 Ivy) at Columbia (10-12, 2-6 Ivy)
Date: Friday, February 22 – 7 p.m.
Location: Levien Gymnasium • New York
Princeton-Columbia Series: Princeton leads, 144-84
Last Meeting: Princeton 72, Columbia 66 • 2/2/13 • Princeton, N.J.
Live Stats | Video
Princeton Game Notes | Columbia Game Notes

Penn (6-18, 3-4 Ivy) at Cornell (13-12, 5-3 Ivy)
Date: Friday, February 22 – 7 p.m.
Location: Newman Arena • Ithaca, N.Y.
Penn-Cornell Series: Penn leads, 143-74
Last Meeting: Cornell 71, Penn 59 • 2/2/13 • Philadelphia
Live Stats | Video
Penn Game Notes | Cornell Game Notes

Dartmouth (6-16, 2-6 Ivy) at Yale (10-15, 4-4 Ivy)
Date: Friday, February 22 – 7 p.m.
Location: John J. Lee Amphitheater • New Haven, Conn.
Dartmouth-Yale Series: Yale leads, 106-85
Last Meeting: Dartmouth 71, Yale 62 • 2/2/13 • Hanover, N.H.
Live Stats | Video
Dartmouth Game Notes | Yale Game Notes

Dartmouth at Brown
Date: Saturday, February 23 – 6 p.m.
Location: Pizzitola Sports Center • Providence, R.I.
Dartmouth-Brown Series: Dartmouth leads, 76-67
Last Meeting: Brown 62, Dartmouth 50 • 2/1/13 • Hanover, N.H.
Live Stats | Video
Dartmouth Game Notes | Brown Game Notes

Penn at Columbia
Date: Saturday, February 23 – 7 p.m.
Location
: Levien Gymnasium • New York
Penn-Columbia Series: Penn leads, 137-85
Last Meeting: Penn 62, Columbia 58 • 2/1/13 • New Haven, Conn.
Live Stats | Video
Penn Game Notes | Columbia Game Notes

Princeton at Cornell
Date: Saturday, February 23 – 7 p.m.
Location: Newman Arena • Ithaca, N.Y.
Princeton-Cornell Series: Princeton leads, 138-79
Last Meeting: Princeton 76, Cornell 59 • 2/1/13 • Princeton, N.J.
Live Stats | Video
Princeton Game Notes | Cornell Game Notes

Harvard at Yale
Date: Saturday, February 23 – 8 p.m.
Location: John J. Lee Amphitheater • New Haven, Conn.
Television: CBS Sports Network
Harvard-Yale Series: Yale leads, 115-71
Last Meeting: Harvard 67, Yale 64  • 2/1/13 • Cambridge, Mass.
Live Stats
Harvard Game Notes | Yale Game Notes