“Honestly, my teammates just found me when I was open,” Towns said. “They have confidence in me to make shots and I certainly do so I was just doing what I could to get us a win. It didn’t turn out that way, but both teams were fighting.”
Harvard’s offense was about as one-dimensional as possible to start the game. The Crimson’s first 18 points came via three-pointers and the guests did not hit their first two-point field goal until there was 10:06 to play in the first half.
“We want to find the open man,” Amaker said. “I thought we were trying to share it and play inside out through Lewis and Zena and I thought that was very productive for us and the shots were there. I thought our guys did a tremendous job, particularly in the first half of making a lot of the threes.”
Towns hit two treys before the game’s first media timeout and entered the locker room at halftime with 14 points. Whether he was stroking jumpers over a zone or driving and throwing down a dunk like the one he flushed with 2:58 to play to tie the contest at 65, Towns could not be stopped. He finished the night with a career-high 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Princeton did not cool off much after intermission—making just one fewer field goal after the break—but the freshman was there to keep Harvard within striking distance.
For as good as Towns was on the offensive end, Cook was just a little bit better. The senior had four more points than Towns—which ended up being the difference in the game—and made 13 of his 16 shot attempts on a night when the Crimson was able to frustrate Cannady for the second game in a row.
Despite 61 of its 73 points coming from Cannady, Stephens, and Cook, it was the rebound by Stephens and the isolation dagger from Bell that proved to be the difference between the two teams—a difference Henderson described as “razor thin”—on Friday. Just in case the Ivy League Tournament needed another storyline, Friday provided it.
“I think that we have become [rivals] with a number of teams in our league with the success that these kids have had, which is a good thing,” Amaker said. “I think our league is really, really hard and challenging. Whether it’s us and Princeton or us and Yale or us and Penn or Penn and Princeton, there are a lot of darn good matchups in our conference that have become high-quality basketball games.”
—Staff writer Stephen J. Gleason can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.