The next offensive possession, Casey again kept it himself, driving hard down the lane to draw a foul, with his pair of free throws maintaining the lead at five.
At that point it became time for Casey’s classmate Curry to shine. The league’s assist leader stole the ball from Princeton powerhouse Kareem Maddox, then delivered a nifty behind-the-back flip on the fast break to a streaking McNally, who was fouled and hit both free throws to build Harvard's lead up to 51-44.
Curry, who had 10 points and a game-high 10 assists on the evening, went on to find rookie Matt Brown on the left wing for a three with the shot clock winding down, extending the home advantage to nine two and a half minutes later.
Maddox drove straight at his defender on the next play, drawing Casey’s third personal foul. After the Tiger made 1-of-2 from the line, Curry went coast to coast and sneaked in a left-handed layup to make it 58-48, giving Harvard its largest lead up to that point.
Both teams traded baskets for several minutes until a Casey pull-up jumper off a screen on the right side pushed Harvard up to 64-52 at the under-10 minute mark.
Princeton proceeded to tighten up defensively, forcing turnovers on the Crimson’s next four offensive possessions. Yet it had trouble taking advantage until senior guard Dan Mavraides, who had a masterful 18-point performance in the first half and finished with 25, sank his fourth three of the night at the six-minute mark. A free throw by Hummer cut the lead to 64-59 with five minutes to play.
But Curry relied on his dribble penetration to subdue any comeback hopes, getting into the lane and hitting an acrobatic layup while being fouled. Curry’s basket and ensuing free throw, followed by a layup by junior co-captain Keith Wright, had the lead back to 10 at 4:22 to go.
Harvard, the second-ranked free throw shooting team in the country, went on to drain the requisite attempts from the charity stripe and bring to rest a long chapter of Harvard basketball history—and, perhaps, start a fresh one.
—Staff writer Dennis J. Zheng can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.