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March 11, 2013

Men's Basketball Weekly Release - Week 19

Photos courtesy of Dartmouth Varsity Athletics Communications and Harvard Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The gauntlet of "The 14-Game Tournament" struck again over the final weekend of the 2012-13 Ivy League men's basketball season as Princeton faltered in its final Friday-Saturday games, while Harvard closed with a weekend sweep to secure the conference title outright and book a second-straight trip to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.

The Crimson (19-9, 11-3 Ivy League) came into its final two games one game behind the Tigers (16-11, 9-4 Ivy) in the loss column. Harvard's come-from-behind win over Columbia combined with Princeton's loss to Yale on Friday night pulled the two teams back to even and put the potential of a one-game playoff to decide the League's NCAA Tournament automatic bid back in play. Tommy Amaker's squad grabbed a share of the Ivy title on Saturday night with a win over Cornell but needed a little help to keep sole possession of the championship trophy for another year. His Crimson got that help in the form of a Brown victory over Princeton approximately 45 minutes after his team's victory, which propelled Harvard to its second chance to dance in as many seasons and its third NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.

The Crimson now awaits its postseason destination and opponent, which will be unveiled on Sunday, March 17 at 6 p.m. on CBS.

The Tigers look to keep their postseason hopes alive with their traditional, Tuesday tilt with archival Penn (9-21, 6-7 Ivy) to close the regular season. A Princeton win would give the Tigers double-digit Ivy victories in four-straight years, making the Class of 2013 the first Princeton class to record at least 10 Ivy victories every year since the Class of 2004. The Tigers quieted the Quakers in a 65-53 win on Jan. 12 at Jadwin Gymnasium.

With a win, the Quakers would finish with three wins in their final four games and tied with Brown for fourth place in the League. A loss would drop Penn to a fifth-place finish. Jerome Allen's guard duo of junior Miles Cartwright and freshman Tony Hicks have been leading the Quakers down the stretch, each averaging 17.0 points per game over the team's last four contests.

Season Notes
• In capturing this year's title outright with an 11-3 Ivy record, Harvard becomes just the ninth team all-time to secure the League championship outright with three losses in the 14-game conference schedule. The other occurrences came in 1957-58 (Dartmouth), 1959-60 (Princeton), 1960-61 (Princeton), 1987-88 (Cornell), 1988-89 (Princeton), 1990-91 (Princeton), 2000-01 (Princeton) and 2008-09 (Cornell).

• Yale's season-ending weekend sweep of Princeton and Penn clinched a third-place finish for the Bulldogs, picked to finish sixth in the Ivy League preseason media poll. Yale (14-17, 8-6 Ivy) has now finished fourth or better in Ivy League play for 13 straight seasons and has had a winning conference record for three-straight years. The Bulldogs completed their first season sweep of Penn since 1966-67 and swept Princeton for the first time since 2007-08.

• Dartmouth (9-19, 5-9 Ivy) won three of its last four contests to finish tied for sixth with Cornell (13-8, 5-9 Ivy). This marks the first time the Big Green did not finish in eighth since the 2008-09 season when it finished tied for fourth with a 7-7 League mark.

• Brown (13-15, 7-7 Ivy) ended the season in the top half of the standings for the first time since a second-place showing during the 2007-08 season with an 11-3 Ivy record.

"Inside Ivy League Basketball," hosted by Dan Loney and Brian Seltzer, exploded popularity in its second season with more than 16,000 listens through 18 episodes. In 2011-12, the show amassed just over 5,200 listens in its premiere, 12-episode season. Every episode from the first two seasons are available on BlogTalkRadio.com (blogtalkradio.com/insideivyleaguebasketball).

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dartmouth sophomore forward Gabas Maldunas (Panevezys, Lithuania) enjoyed one of the finest weekends of his young career to close out the season as he led the Big Green to a sweep of Columbia and Cornell. Maldunas scored a career-high 28 points -- the most by a Big Green player in four years -- with eight rebounds, three assists and four blocks in the victory over Cornell. Then, he poured in 16 points with nine boards and two more blocks in a hard-fought win over Columbia. Maldunas needed just 29 minutes on the floor to score his 28 points against the Big Red, hitting 9-of-14 from the floor and 10-of-12 at the foul line. In the opening half, he scored almost half (13) of Dartmouth's points as the Big Green led at the intermission, 27-26. He continued his onslaught in the second stanza with 15 more points as Dartmouth pulled away for its largest margin of victory in an Ivy League game since Feb. 28, 2009. For the two games, Maldunas shot 59.1 percent (13-of-22) on field goals and 81.8 percent (18-of-22) at the line while averaging 8.5 rebounds in the first weekend sweep for the Green in four years.

Maldunas' Statistics for the Week

  MIN FG-A PCT 3FG-A PCT FT-A PCT REB A    B   S   PTS
vs. Cornell
29
9-14 .643 0-0 .000
10-12 .833 8 3 4 0 28
vs. Columbia
36 4-8 .500 0-0 .000 8-10 .800 9 1 2 1 16
TOTALS 32.5 13-22 .591 0-0 .000 18-22 .818 8.5 2.0 3.0 0.5 22.0







ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

Harvard freshman guard Siyani Chambers (Golden Valley, Minn.) was once again the floor general in leading the Crimson to a sweep of Columbia and Cornell and the team's third-straight Ivy League title. Chambers hit 5-of-6 shots against Columbia and went 6-of-7 from the line for 16 points while dishing out three assists. In the win over Cornell, he connected on three three-pointers and combined with junior guard Laurent Rivard to hit 6-of-8 free throws at the line in the final 46 seconds to ice the game. Chambers finished the night with another 16-point effort on 6-of-9 shooting with two rebounds and five assists to put Harvard in position to return to the NCAA Tournament for a second-straight season following Princeton's loss at Brown.

Chambers' Statistics for the Week

  MIN FG-A PCT 3FG-A PCT FT-A PCT REB A    B   S   PTS
vs. Columbia
36
5-6 .833 0-0 .000
6-7 .857 3 3 0 2 16
vs. Cornell
39 6-9 .667 3-4 .750 1-2 .500 4 5 0 0 16
TOTALS 37.5 11-15 .733 3-4 .750 7-9 .778 3.5 4.0 0.0 1.0 16.0

 






HONOR ROLL

Brian Barbour, Columbia (Sr., G - Alamo, Calif.)
11 points, 2 assists at Harvard
17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals at Dartmouth

Miles Cartwright, Penn (Jr., G - Van Nuys, Calif.)    
25 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 steals at Brown
12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals at Yale

Michael Grace, Yale (Sr., G - Winston-Salem, N.C.)    
13 points vs. Princeton
13 points, 1 assist vs. Penn

Sean McGonagill, Brown (Jr., G - Brookfield, Ill.)
15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists vs. Penn
24 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists vs. Princeton

Alex Mitola, Dartmouth (Fr., G - Florham Park, N.J.)
15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists vs. Cornell
21 points, 3 rebounds vs. Columbia

Ian Hummer, Princeton (Sr., F - Vienna, Va.)
9 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists at Yale
21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists at Brown

Errick Peck, Cornell (Sr., F - Indianapolis)    
26 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists at Dartmouth
14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists at Harvard

Wesley Saunders, Harvard (So., G/F - Los Angeles)
15 points, 1 rebound, vs. Columbia
14 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists vs. Cornell

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Tuesday, March 12
*Princeton at Penn, 7:30 pm

Sunday, March 17
NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Selection Show, 6 pm [CBS]

*Ivy League Contests