Sunday, November 30, 2008

Women's Basketball at Lehigh

Updated 3:41 (43-63)
Final score Lehigh 63, Princeton 43.

Updated 3:40 (43-60)
Coach Banghart tells the team "we are not fouling" - reminding the team that the Mountain Hawks are sharp from the free throw line.

Updated 3:37 (57-42)
Princeton fouls and Lehigh free throw shooting gives Lehigh its last nine points. 1:01 remains.

Updated 3:33 (52-40)
Jessica Berry receives a technical foul after becoming upset with a call. Alex Ross makes both free throws to put Lehigh up 52-40 with just over three minutes remaining.

Updated 3:27 (47-36)
Lauren Edwards comes up with a big steal which results in a three-point basket by Whitney Downs. At the final media timeout, its Lehigh 47, Princeton 36.

Updated 3:23 (33-45)
Lehigh takes its largest lead of the game, a 12-points advantage. On a brighter note, this is Carrie Moore's first game of the year. She recently joined the Princeton bench as the Director of Basketball Operations.

Updated 3:20 (33-43)
Media timeout. Lehigh has taken a 10-point lead with 7:39 to play.

Updated 3:17 (33-40)
Princeton has started to pick it up under the basket and is now down by seven.

Updated 3:06 (27-38)
BTW - who decides their school colors should be brown and tan anyway?! Lehigh takes its largest lead of the game, 38-27 at 14:34.

Updated 3:03 (25-33)
Welp, it was Lehigh that scored first to go up by eight, 25-33, at 17:12

Updated 3:01 (25-31)
It's been over two minutes and a single basket has not been scored in the half.

Updated 2:46 (25-31)
After the first half, Princeton is shooting 29 percent and Lehigh 32.1 percent. Jessica Berry, Krystal Hill and Caitlin O'Neil are leading the Tigers with six points apiece. Lehigh's Erica Prosser is already in double digits with 11 points. The Mountain Hawks are shooting 90 percent from the free throw line while the Tigers are shooting uncharacteristically low at just 50 percent.

Updated 2:43 (25-31)
It's halftime, and Lehigh has taken a 31-25 lead. There have been eight lead changes in the game. Tigerblog will report back with stats momentarily.

Updated 2:37 (25-21)
Princeton is getting into foul trouble with nine already and two minutes to play. The Tigers also seem to have trouble getting any second-chance points, with Lehigh dominating under Princeton's net.

Updated 2:32 (19-23)
Caitlin O'Neill has drained two three-point baskets to help Princeton take a 23-19 lead with 3:53 remaining.

Updated 2:19 (10-11)
Second media timeout. Lehigh is on a 5-2 run to take an 11-10 lead.

Updated 2:11 (8-9)
First media timeout. The lights in Stabler are something else. Instead of being directly overhead they are at the sides and angling towards the court, creating a sort of blinding experience for those court side. On a positive note, it prevents Tigerblog at checking out the remarkable mullet on the man across the court.

Updated 2:04
....and here we go! Princeton wins the tip-0ff. Julia Berger scores the first basket of the game. This is the first time the Tigers have scored the first basket this season.

Updated 1:30
TigerBlog is at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pa., for today's women's basketball game versus Lehigh. Today's game is being broadcast locally on SE2 and FCS Atlantic. Fans outside of the viewing area can listen to Derek Jones call all the action on the Web, and/or watch the game via Tiger Zone.
Tip-off is about 25 minutes away. There are only a handful of people in the stands, and even the Lehigh event staff told TigerBlog they are still aren't ready to return from Thanksgiving break.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Eve from Fordham

It's a wrap. Princeton 73, Fordham 61. The Tigers improve to 2-2 on the season and have their first back-to-back road wins since Nov. 22 and 28, 2006.

:32.4, Princeton 71, Fordham 58
As Max Huc makes two free throws to give Princeton 70 points for the first time since Mar. 7, 2008 against Columbia (75), John Comfort and Bobby Foley enter the game. The Tigers have now used all 12 dressed players.

2:19, Princeton 69, Fordham 52
Max Huc enters the game for the Tigers, making it 10 Princeton players in the box score tonight.

3:00, Princeton 67, Fordham 51
Kareem Maddox gives the Tigers a 16-point lead, and two new Tigers are in double-figures for the first time this season. Pawel Buczak has 11 and Nick Lake has 12, his most since three double-digit games late last season.

11:15, Princeton 51, Fordham 39
Davis is there, canning another three-pointer to give him 11 on the night for four straight double-digit scoring games to start his career.

12:20, Princeton 48, Fordham 39
Doug Davis just might get to double-digits yet. He hit a three to restore a nine-point lead for the Tigers, his first points of the half. Davis now has eight points tonight.

13:13, Princeton 45, Fordham 37
Pawel Buczak drops in another layup to make him the first Tiger tonight to reach double-digits with 11. That's a new career high for the junior, who matched his previous career best with six against Army last Sunday.

16:02, Princeton 43, Fordham 28
It's a 10-0 run for the Tigers as Nick Lake makes his second three of the game. That brings on a timeout by Fordham coach Whittenburg.

17:56, Princeton 36, Fordham 28
Make that six Tigers to hit a three tonight as Patrick Saunders joins the club.

1 minute until 2nd half
Looking up at the banners around Rose Hill Gym, the last time Fordham went to the NCAA Tournament was 1992. It was a tough draw for the 14th-seeded Rams, who had to play third-seeded UMass in Worcester, Mass. Fordham lost 85-58 to a Minutemen team that was coached by John Calipari, who last year led Memphis to the national final, but didn't yet have the second-most famous UMass basketball alum (after Julius Erving), Marcus Camby. Though both teams are in the Atlantic 10 now, they weren't then. Fordham was in the Patriot League at the time.

The stat of the half: Shooting percentage. Princeton's 50 percent from the field has helped the Tigers to a 7-point lead, but Fordham has eight offensive rebounds to Princeton's two.

0:00, Princeton 33, Fordham 26
Princeton can't get off a shot to end the half, but that came after Fordham missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and the Tigers got the rebound. Even with the 12-0 run, Princeton still does have a seven-point lead at the break.

0:40, Princeton 33, Fordham 26
Pawel Buczak ends a 5 1/2-minute drought for the Tigers with a layup.

3:30, Princeton 31, Fordham 26
The run becomes 12-0 after a three-pointer, and the Tigers have come up empty both on the shot and on the rebound on three straight trips down the floor. The last media timeout of the half comes as Fordham gets whistled for its fourth foul of the half.

4:16, Princeton 31, Fordham 23
Make that four basket-plus-foul chances for Fordham, as Nick Lake is whistled. Fordham can't get the free throw, though, so the run stays at 9-0. The Tigers have six fouls, but they are spread between six players.

4:38, Princeton 31, Fordham 21
A 7-0 run for Fordham as Princeton allows the Rams their third and-one of the game, this foul on Dan Mavraides, followed by a long two. Sydney Johnson calls timeout.

6:15, Princeton 31, Fordham 14
Back to back unfortunate instances for a couple Princeton players, as Pawel Buczak saw his good fortune from beyond the arc cease temporarily, missing one from the top of the key, and Nick Lake had a basketball thrown hard off his back by a Fordham player and out of bounds. Tough way to get a possession.

7:30, Princeton 29, Fordham 14
Fordham's Trey Blue becomes the first Brewster Academy alum to play in tonight's game, as Princeton's Max Huc also spent a year at the prep school, which is located in Wolfeboro, N.H., near the Maine border about halfway up the state.

7:56, Princeton 27, Fordham 13
Though the Tigers ahead on the scoreboard, they're also leading in fouls, 4-2. They've been spread evenly, as Pawel Buczak just picked up his first. Fordham will have an and-one opportunity when play resumes.

9:57, Princeton 25, Fordham 11
Add Dan Mavraides to the three party. That's five for the Tigers.

10:51, Princeton 22, Fordham 8
A foul on Marcus Schroeder brings on the second media timeout, one play after Nick Lake found Zach Finley for an easy layup off a nice pass. If you're wearing orange, you'd find company in the section behind the Princeton bench. TigerBlog counts about 10 instances of the color on a quick glance.

11:52, Princeton 20, Fordham 8
It's become a three-fest for Princeton as Jason Briggs, Nick Lake, Pawel Buczak and Doug Davis have all dropped one each. Fordham calls timeout.

13:14, Princeton 14, Fordham 8
Kareem Maddox steals, gets a breakaway and throws down another slam.

15:00, Princeton 12, Fordham 6
Swish, swish: Doug Davis hits a pair of free throws to give him five points. He's halfway to his fourth straight double-digit scoring game to start his career.

15:00, first media timeout, Princeton 10, Fordham 6
Fordham coach Dereck Whittenburg and Princeton's Sydney Johnson, both of whom are busy instructing their teams during the timeout at the moment, have been parts of very memorable NCAA Tournament games. Whittenburg threw the long pass to Lorenzo Charles for the bucket that won the 1983 NCAA title, and Sydney Johnson took part in the 43-41 Princeton win over UCLA in the first round of the 1996 tourney.

16:30 left in the half: Princeton 10, Fordham 4
Big men shooting threes, dunks... The Tigers are putting on quite a show early, as the backboard quivered from Kareem Maddox's slam. He also threw one down against Maine last week.

17 minutes left in the half
The Princeton offense says that everyone should be able to pass and shoot, but even a 6-10 post player? Sure enough. Pawel Buczak has dropped a three for the second straight game. A three against Army Sunday was the junior's first of his career.

A youngster wearing a San Diego Padres shirt-jersey is seated two seats away from TigerBlog here on press row at Rose Hill Gym. Right team, wrong player. The kid's shirt carries the #30 of Greg Maddux, not either of the two Princeton basketball alumni on the team, Chris Young or Will Venable.

4 minutes to tip
The Tigers are running layup lines while a Ram mascot roams the baseline. Though TigerBlog would assume that many Fordham students would have gone home for Thanksgiving by now, the Ram mascot is accompanied by about a dozen Fordham cheerleaders. The crowd, however, looks to be entirely non-student.

8 minutes to tip
TigerBlog was relieved that it took only 2 1/2 hours on Thanksgiving Eve to get from Jadwin Gym to the middle of the Bronx, and it looks like a fair number of fans for the small size of the gym have made it out, too. Capacity is listed as 3,200, but the building looks a lot like Princeton's Hobey Baker Rink. Fitting 3,200 people inside either facility would be a squeeze, but it sure would be loud.

13 minutes to tip
Princeton will be starting the same five -- Jason Briggs, Pawel Buczak, Patrick Saunders, Kareem Maddox and Doug Davis -- as head coach Sydney Johnson has the first three games. Princeton hasn't started the same five that many games in a row since a nine-game stretch last season that continued through Feb. 15, 2008.

20 minutes to tip
TigerBlog is courtside at Rose Hill Arena, the oldest actively used arena in Division I (1925), for tonight's men's basketball game between the Princeton Tigers and the Fordham Rams. Throughout the game, TigerBlog will be updating with in-game notes and facts as the game goes forward. For play-by-play, listen to John Sadak on the WPRB 103.3 broadcast and follow Live Stats.

It Was Four Years Ago Today ...

... that the Princeton women's soccer team defeated Washington 3-1 in the NCAA quarterfinals to advance to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. It remains the only Final Four appearance by an Ivy League women's soccer team and the only Final Four appearance by any Ivy team in a 64-team NCAA tournament in any sport.

The quarterfinal game capped an extraordinary month-long run for the women's soccer team, which earned the No. 7 seed in the 2004 NCAA tournament after a 15-2 regular season that included a 7-0 run through the league. Princeton then defeated Central Connecticut 5-0 in the pouring rain in the first round, Villanova 1-0 when Maura Gallagher's corner kick in the second overtime found the back of the net and Boston College 2-0 on Emily Behncke's two second-half goals to reach the quarterfinal.

A crowd of 2,500 jammed into Lourie-Love Field for the quarterfinal game. Behncke scored an early goal, but Washington's Tina Frimpong (who would play for the U.S. national team) evened the game before halftime.

TigerBlog had no doubt at halftime that this would be the Tigers' night, and second-half scores by Esmeralda Negron and Kristina Fontanez sent Princeton to the Final Four. The event was held in Cary, N.C., and Princeton would fall 2-0 to UCLA in the semifinal. Julie Shackford was named the Division I National Coach of the Year.

Even though a relatively short amount of time has passed, it is amazing how long ago it can seem. Two of the Princeton players from that night (Fontanez and Brea Griffiths) are already married and Griffiths has a baby as well. Three (Rochelle Willis, Janine Willis, Catherine Byrd) are graduating from law school; Fontanez and Sylvia Morelli are getting their Ph.Ds. Negron is an assistant coach at Seton Hall; Elizabeth Pillion coaches lacrosse at Princeton when not at her day job in the financial world. Behncke works for Major League Soccer. Diana Matheson would go on to play in the Olympics. The team is literally scattered around the world, as goalkeeper Madeleine Jackson works for a hedge fund in Hong Kong.

Lisa Chinn, who was the last remaining player from that team to play for the Tigers, helped lead Princeton to the Ivy League title and the NCAA tournament this past fall while earning first-team All-Ivy honors.

The field on which the game was played no longer exists, having been replaced by Roberts Stadium. On a sad note, the quarterfinal win over Washington would be the final event at Princeton for legendary public address announcer John McAdams, who passed away the following winter.

It's hard to put the game (and the team's run) into its proper historical context in such a short time, but it definitely ranks among the Top 10 achievements in Princeton women's athletic history and is one of the Top 5 Princeton athletic achievements of this decade.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Turkey Shoot

Didn't get a turkey for Thanksgiving yet? Are you a good three-point shooter?

Come to Jadwin Gym tonight (7) for the women's basketball game against Fairleigh Dickinson, and you could walk out with your holiday turkey. Every fan in attendance will be invited onto the court at halftime to shoot a three-point shot. The first five who make their shot will get a free turkey.

Monday, November 24, 2008

More Culbreath And Davis

Jordan Culbreath went for 276 yards Saturday against Dartmouth, piling up the second-best single-game total in school history.

It was the 20th time in school history that a Princeton running back had reached at least 200 yards; Keith Elias six times by himself. It was also the third 200-yard game this decade for Princeton, after Cameron Atkinson had 233 against Dartmouth in '02 and Jon Veach had 205 against Harvard in '03.

Culbreath's performance reminded TigerBlog of watching Elias. Back in the early '90s, Elias was a virtual lock for 100 yards every Saturday, and he would do it the way Culbreath put together his big day Saturday: a bunch of five to eight yards run, coupled with a few 40 or 50+ ones tossed in. Watching Elias, TigerBlog always thought it was odd when he DIDN'T break one. It was the same with Culbreath the other day. You knew the ball was going to him, and it was strange when he was stopped for short yardage.

Some additional historic context for Culbreath: His 276 yards tied him for the fifth-best day in Ivy League history, and it would have been the school record at Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth or Penn.

The top five rushing days in league history:
323 - Matt Johnson, Harvard (at Brown, 11/9/91)
299 - Keith Elias, Princeton (vs. Lafayette, 9/26/92)
288 - Scott Oliaro, Cornell (at Yale, 11/3/90)
281 - Ed Marinaro, Cornell (vs. Harvard, 10/18/69)
276 - Jordan Culbreath, Princeton (vs. Dartmouth, 11/22/08)
276 - Mike McLeod, Yale (vs. Lehigh, 10/13/07)

Shifting over to basketball, Doug Davis scored 19 points in Princeton's 55-43 win over Army Sunday. He now has 58 points in his first three games; Judson Wallace had 52 for his entire freshman year.

Davis is also the first Princeton player to score at least 14 points in each of his first three games since Bill Bradley in 1962-63. Bradley's career low was 16.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Good Afternoon from West Point

:00.0. Final: Princeton 55, Army 43.
After a loose ball and a shot clock violation, Army's last three-point attempt doesn't fall.

Army looks content to stop fouling, but the ball gets knocked out of bounds. Bobby Foley and John Comfort get in the game for Princeton.

Army gets a quick layup. 55-43.

Kareem Maddox will go back to the line after and Army bucket and foul. He misses the first. Max Huc makes his first appearance of the afternoon, replacing Schroeder. Maddox hits the second. Princeton 55, Army 41.

After pressing again, Army commits its 11th foul of the half, sending Kareem Maddox to the line. He hits the first, then the second. Princeton 54, Army 39.

The Princeton bench gets excited once again after the Tigers hold on to a loose ball under the Army basket and call timeout.

Davis hits only one and has 19 points. Princeton 52, Army 39.

Army commits another foul, its 10th of the half, to put Doug Davis at the line. He'll try to reach 20 points for the second time in his young career.

After trying to force a steal with a full-court press, Army's Cleveland Richard fouls Marcus Schroeder to put Schroeder at the line for a one-and-one. He misses the first, and Army gets a layup at the other end. Army calls timeout. Princeton 51, Army 39.

Army works it in for a layup. Princeton 51, Army 37.

Princeton gets another rebound off an Army miss and wears down the clock. Zach Finley misses a layup, the ball goes out of bounds off him and the final media timeout is here.

Zach Finley's layup attempt rimmed out, but Princeton got the offensive rebound and Davis is able to put in a layup. He has 18 points. Princeton 51, Army 35.

Army is whistled for their eighth foul of the half. Marcus Schroeder's first attempt in the one-and-one sinks in, as does the second. Princeton 49, Army 35.

Kareem Maddox is whistled for his third foul, team's sixth of the half. Army's free throws by Nelson both go in. Princeton 47, Army 35.

Doug Davis makes a deft steal at midcourt and lays it in for his 16th point of the game. Marcus Schroeder fouls trying to make another steal, his first, Princeton's fifth.

The Princeton bench erupts after Zach Finley is fouled and his lay-up goes in. Princeton 45, Army 33 after Finley makes the accompanying free throw.

Princeton 42, Army 33 after two made Army free throws. Marcus Schroeder replaces Jason Briggs.

After a Davis missed three-point attempt, Zach Finley commits a foul. His third, team's fourth.

After Maddox has his shot blocked, Briggs fouls at the other end to prevent an easy lay-up. It's Briggs' first foul, team's third. Army's Marcus Nelson misses the first but makes the second. Princeton 42, Army 31.

Army is whistled for is sixth foul of the half. Princeton will take the ball out of bounds.

Buczak is whistled for the team's second foul of the half, his third of the game. That brings the third media timeout of the half. Princeton 42, Army 30.

Another Army layup misses and Princeton grabs the rebound. The Tigers, however, are trapped into a 35-second violation and Army gets it back.

After an Army layup bounces away, Princeton takes over and gets another offensive rebound, this one by Lake off a Mavraides three-point miss. Maddox tries a jumper in the lane, misses, gets his own rebound and puts it in. 42-30 Princeton, and Army calls a timeout.

Princeton commits its first foul of the half. It's on Buczak, his second. Mavraides in for Davis.

Nick Lake hits a three and Princeton has its biggest lead, 40-30. Those are second-chance points off an offensive rebound by Maddox.

A held ball is called, possession to Princeton.

Second media timeout:
On the floor for Princeton after the break are Davis, Briggs, Lake, Buczak and Maddox.

The half's second media timeout comes after an Army miss goes off Army hands and out of bounds. Army is shooting just 2 for 12 this half after hitting at a 47.1 percent clip in the first half. Princeton, meanwhile, is 5 for 8 from the field this half. Princeton also has a 9-4 rebounding edge in the half.

Army commits another foul and has all five this half.

Army's three-point attempt rims out and Princeton grabs the rebound. Nick Lake tries for a layup, but it catches too much rim and bounces out. Army hits a long two. Princeton 37, Army 30.

Saunders grabs a rebound on an Army miss, but Princeton commits a turnover on the other end.

The big man, Pawel Buczak, steps out for a three and hits. Princeton 37, Army 28.

Davis, who has a game-high 12 points, will have a double-digit scoring total in each of his first three career games. He had 25 in the opener and 14 Wednesday against Maine. On the floor for Princeton are Lake, Davis, Buczak, Saunders and Briggs. Davis adds another long two for 14 points. Princeton 34, Army 28.

Kareem Maddox answers at the other end. Princeton 32, Army 28. Army is whistled for a foul in their offensive end, and the Black Knights have committed all four fouls this half. That ushers in the second half's first media timeout.

Army's Richard hits a jumper in the lane and the Princeton lead is 2 at 30-28.

Army misses a 3 and Princeton gets the rebound. A foul is called away from the ball under the basket on Army's Cleveland Richard. Army has committed all 3 fouls this half.

Princeton gets the ball back again after Army tips the ball out of bounds on a rebound. Jason Briggs is whistled for traveling, and Army gets the ball back.

Kareem Maddox misses a 3 and Doug Davis is alertly there for the rebound for a put-back layup. After a Saunders rebound at the other end. Buczak is hit again as he makes a layup and this time will go to the line. He makes the and-one. Princeton 30, Army 26.

Army missed its first shot of the half and Buczak grabbed the rebound for Princeton. He gets a hand in the face from Army's Doug Williams and Princeton will take the ball out of bounds.

One minute left in halftime:
Princeton will put its same five starters back on the floor to start the second half: Briggs, Davis, Saunders, Maddox and Buczak.

The stat of the half: Princeton fouls and the Army free throws that have accompanied some of them. Army is 8 of 9 from the line while Princeton is 2 of 2, and Princeton got whistled for 12 fouls to Army's 6. Mavraides has three, Maddox 2, Davis 2 and Finley 2, with Saunders, Buczak and Lake one each.

End of 1st half
Princeton had the half's last possession, and after Army knocked the ball out of bounds with 2.5 seconds on the clock, Schroeder tried a long three that missed. Army 26, Princeton 25.

Nick Lake is called for a charge and Army gets the ball back.

Army commits a foul and Princeton will take the ball out of bounds with a fresh 35.

Army's Nathan Hedgecock makes one free throw after Maddox commits his second foul. Army 26, Princeton 25.

Saunders blocks and steals and Army three-point attempt, and Schroeder drives to the hoop for the tying lay-up with the shot clock winding down. 25-25.

Army's Cleveland Richard fouls Kareem Maddox, who heads to the line. He hits both, and Army's lead is 25-23.

On the floor for Princeton are Schroeder, Mavraides, Lake, Maddox and Saunders. Mavraides fouls Army's Josh Miller, sending Miller to the line for two shots on Princeton's 10th foul of the half. As it is Mavraides' third foul, Briggs will take his place. Miller hits both, and Army leads 25-21.

Dan Mavraides is whistled for a foul, Princeton's ninth of the half. That brings on the final media timeout of the half.

Army's Richard lays it in and Army retakes a 23-21 lead.

Dan Mavraides lays it in off the inbound, and the game is tied 21-21. Army's Royal is hurt, getting a whistle at the 4:00 mark.

Schroeder hits a three on the other end to tie it again at 19-19, but an Army layup gives the Black Knights the lead again at 21-19. Patrick Saunders enters for Princeton.

Marcus Schroeder has his pass stolen, but Dan Mavraides grabs a rebound on the other end. Maddox also has his pass stolen, and Army's Nelson puts in a layup. Army 19, Princeton 16.

Maddox misses a long three but Lake tips the ball safely into Princeton hands. Sydney Johnson calls timeout.

Lake's three-point attempt rims out, but Princeton gets a charge called on Army's Rickey Royal. Fouls are 8-4 Princeton.

Back on the floor for Princeton are Davis, Lake, Mavraides, Buczak and Maddox. Doug Davis commits a foul, and Army's Rickey Royal is at the line. Marcus Schroeder makes his first appearance in place of Davis. Both Royal free throws are good, and Army leads 17-16.

A Pawel Buczak layup misses and the ball goes out of bounds. Third media timeout. Princeton 16, Army 15.

Doug Davis hits a three with an Army player in his face, but Hedgecock answers on the other end for Army. Princeton 16, Army 15. Davis has 10 points.

Nick Lake tries another three, but it doesn't go. Dan Mavraides commits a foul on the rebound to put Army into a 1-and-1 situation, and Army's Doug Williams converts the first free throw. He hits the second too, and Princeton's lead is 13-12.

Nathan Hedgecock commits a foul for Army, and Princeton takes it out of bounds.

Princeton gains from an army turnover, but the Tigers commit their own on the other end. The Army player is trapped under the hoop, and after his shot is blocked, a jump ball is whistled to give possession to Princeton.

Doug Davis commits a foul, and Princeton has 6 fouls to Army's 2.

Nick Lake cans a three, and Princeton leads 13-10.

Princeton gets possession after an Army turnover. Still tied 10-10.

Zach Finley commits his second foul and returns to the bench for his fellow center, Pawel Buczak. Kareem Maddox blocks a shot out of bounds.

Princeton commits a 35-second violation. Dan Mavraides enters the game for Briggs.

Second media timeout:
Taking a look around Christl Arena, opened in 1985, the Army student section, of which there is a small contingent today, is called The Crew. They sport camouflage pants, beige shirts and yellow hard hats. Back on the floor for Princeton are Maddox, Davis, Briggs, Finley and Lake.

Princeton sees another lineup change as Nick Lake is in. After three straight turnovers, two by Army, the game sees its second media timeout. 10-10 tie.

Army misses on its end, but after Doug Davis negotiates his way out of a potential turnover, he runs into an Army crowd and has his shot blocked. Possession goes to Army.

After misses each way, Zach Finley bumps an Army player to pick up a foul. Fouls are Princeton 4, Army 2. Game still tied 8-8, and Jason Briggs knocks the ball away on the other end. Davis hits a fall-away jumper. He now has 7 points. At the other end, Army's Rickey Royal hits a long two, and it's tied 10-10. Army gets it back after Patrick Saunders misses a three.

Doug Davis hits a long two, and the game is tied again at 8-8. Army travels on the other end.

Hedgecock's layup misses for Army, and Princeton gets the ball back.

Nelson momentarily steals the ball from Briggs, but Princeton gets it back only to miss. Army grabs the rebound and Kareem Maddox commits a foul on the other end. First media timeout. Army 8, Princeton 6.

Army has its first lead of the game as Hedgecock nails a three, putting Army ahead 8-6.

Doug Davis' three-point attempt is off line and Army gets the rebound, but misses a three of its own. Kareem Maddox takes a shot from just inside the arc and misses, off a Princeton player and out of bounds to Army.

Army's Doug Williams commits a foul. Fouls are even at 2-2, and Princeton takes it out of bounds, and an Army player steals the ball from Buczak and lays it in on a fastbreak. Princeton 6, Army 5.

18:00 1st:
Jason Briggs cans a three, but Patrick Saunders commits a foul on the other end. Army takes it out of bounds but travels, giving the ball back to Princeton.

18:28 1st:
Pawel Buczak fouls Marcus Nelson, whose lay-up attempt goes in. His free throw does too, and the game is tied 3-3.

19 minutes to go in the half:
Army's Thompson fouls Jason Briggs driving to the hoop, and Princeton takes it out of bounds. Doug Davis sinks a 3, and Princeton is ahead 3-0.

We're underway, and Army wins the tip but Doug Davis steals it in the key.

7 minutes to tip-off:
Army's starters, for those Tiger fans familiar with the Black Knights, are 6-3 junior guard Cleveland Richard, 5-11 junior guard Marcus Nelson, 6-3 sophomore guard/forward Nathan Hedgecock, 6-2 junior guard Tyrell Thompson, and 6-7 senior forward Doug Williams.

9 minutes to tip-off:
Princeton's starters are in, and they're the same five as the first two games. Jason Briggs, Doug Davis, Patrick Saunders, Kareem Maddox and Pawel Buczak.

29 minutes to tip-off:
Welcome to Christl Arena on the U.S. Military Academy campus at West Point, where the Princeton men's basketball team will take on the Black Knights from Army. TigerBlog will be on hand to provide frequent in-game updates.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Princeton-Dartmouth Football Updates

Updated end of game
Princeton 28-10.
Culbreath goes for 276 yards officially. It is the second-highest single-game total in school history. He did it on 40 carries, for an average of seven yards a pop. He also had two TDs. Culbreath finishes the season with 1,206 yards, the fourth-highest total in school history. He trailed only Elias with 1,731 in 1992, Elias with 1,575 in 1992 and 1,347 by Judd Garrett in 1989.

Updated on final drive
Culbreath with 260. First and 10 Tigers.

Updated 4:24 in fourth
Dartmouth drives but is stopped on the Tiger 5. Princeton ball. Only drama left is if Culbreath gets the record.

Updated mid fourth
Princeton still up 28-10. Culbreath at 252 yards. The top four single-game days:
Elias with 299 vs. Lafayette in 1992
Homer Smith 273 vs. Harvard in 1952
Elias 273 vs. Lehigh in 1992
Dick Kazmaier 262 vs. Brown in 1951.
In other words, Culbreath's day today is the best by a Princeton player in 16 years and the best by a player other than Elias in 56 years.

Updated midway fourth
Culbreath at 249 yards, the fifth-highest single-game total in school history. He needs 24 more yards to tie for second.

Updated 3:24 in the third
Culbreath now at 226 yards on the day, which is the eighth-best single-game total in school history. The record is 299 by Keith Elias against Lafayette in 1992. TigerBlog was in Palmer Stadium that day and tried to persuade then-SID Mark Panus to round up to 300, but Panus wouldn't go for it.

Updated 8:04 in third
Princeton 28, Dartmouth 10
It's the Jordan Culbreath show. Culbreath scores his second TD of the day and now has 224 yards rushing on the day.

Updated a few seconds later
Princeton 21, Dartmouth 10
Dartmouth's Peter Pidermann returns the kickoff 85 yards for a TD.

Updated first drive, third quarter
Princeton 21, Dartmouth 3
Culbreath does the bulk of the work before Anderson finds Billy Mitchell for the short TD pass. Culbreath now has 159 yards for the day. As an aside, Connor Louden is kicking the extra points today.

Updated halftime
Princeton 14, Dartmouth 3
Time for the Bank of Princeton Million Dollar challenge. One fan can win $250,000, and his name is interestingly enough John Kennedy. All he has to do is kick a 45-yard field goal. His kick is about 42 yards short.

Updated 1:16 in the half
Princeton 14, Dartmouth 3
The Big Green go on a big march as Alex Jenny comes on to replace freshman Connor Kempe at quarterback. The drive takes up almost the entire second quarter and ends with a 22-yard Foley Schmidt field goal.

Updated in second
Princeton 14, Dartmouth 0
Blake Clemons intercepts a pass to set up the Tigers deep in Dartmouth territory. Anderson caps the quick drive with a two-yard run.

Updated 1:00 in first
Princeton drives for nine minutes and gets to the Dartmouth 12 but goes for it on 4th and short and fails. Culbreath does go over 1,000 yards on the drive.

Updated 10:13 in first
Dartmouth drive stalls, and the Big Green fake a field goal. Princeton doesn't fall for it. Scott Britton makes the tackle on kicker Foley Schmidt, who took an option pitch. Princeton ball on the 10.

Updated 11:35 in first
Malcolm Freberg, a defensive tackle, intercepts an Brian Anderson pass and returns it to the Tiger 11. Anderson saves the TD.

Updated 12:30 in first
Joel Karacozoff recovers a fumble on the Dartmouth 43.

Updated 13:06 in first
Dartmouth goes three and out. Jordan Culbreath goes 58 yards for the touchdown on his first carry of the game. Tigers up 7-0. Culbreath now 12 away from 1,000 yards.


It's a very, very cold day here at Powers Field at Princeton Stadium. Temps are in the high 20s, and the wind is howling. The sun is bright, which is a plus. A small crowd is in the stadium now. and the parking lot is relatively full. Princeton and Dartmouth are about 20 minutes away from kickoff.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Here's The Deal

Fans who bring a non-perishable food item to the will call window at Princeton Stadium Saturday will receive free admission to the Princeton-Dartmouth football game. The food items will then be donated to the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank.

The same policy will be in place for the women's basketball games against Monmouth on Dec. 12 and Sacred Heart on Dec. 14, where a non-perishable food item donation will result in free admission. Fans can receive a $5 discount for the men's basketball game against Rutgers Dec. 10 as well.

Additionally, fans who bring their football game ticket to Jadwin Gym will get free admission to the women's basketball game Saturday evening (6) against Stony Brook. TigerBlog would like to point out that you can go to the football and women's basketball games for free by bringing the non-perishable food item, getting the free football ticket and using that ticket at women's basketball.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Who Is "We" In This Rivalry?

Roger Hughes will be coaching in his 17th Princeton-Dartmouth football game when the Big Green come to Powers Field at Princeton Stadium Saturday (1 pm). Hughes has been the Princeton head coach since 2000, and he was the offensive coordinator at Dartmouth from 1992-99.

His personal record in the series is 11-4-1; he is 6-2 against Dartmouth as Princeton head coach.

Princeton and Dartmouth played some great games during Hughes' tenure as offensive coordinator. A feature story in the Princeton Athletic News game program for Saturday's game details the 1992, 1993 and 1995 games, and Hughes frequently refers to Dartmouth as "we" and Princeton as "they" in the story.

Hughes called the 1992 game "the best college football game I've ever been involved with." TigerBlog actually disagrees and calls the 1993 Princeton-Dartmouth game the better of the two.

As an aside, the many features stories that have been in Princeton Athletic News during the 2008 football season will be available in the next week or so on the football page of

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Live Updates from Princeton Basketball vs. Maine

8:52 p.m.: Max Huc's three-point attempt falls short, and Maine holds on for the 58-55 win. Both Tiger losses this season have come by just one possession. Maine improves to 3-0 and Princeton falls to 0-2.

8:51 p.m.: After the Tigers can't find an open look, Sydney Johnson calls timeout with :10.3 seconds left. Maine 58, Princeton 55.

8:50 p.m.: Andrew Rogers will go to the line for Maine and hits the first free throw. He misses the second and the ball goes off Maine and out of bounds. Princeton will have the chance to tie, down 58-55.

8:49 p.m.: Maine gets the ball back after a rebound and Princeton has to foul. :26.6 left.

8:48 p.m.: Max Huc comes up with a pinball of an offensive rebound, and after it is knocked out of bounds by Maine, Princeton gets the ball back with less than a minute to go.

8:47 p.m.: Bernal hits the first and the second, and Maine leads 57-55.

8:46 p.m.: Zach Finley finds Max Huc for a nifty lay-in and it's tied again at 55-55. Maine's Junior Bernal will head to the line after the fourth foul on Kareem Maddox. 1:31 left in OT.

8:46 p.m.: Troy Barnies lays it in and Maine is ahead again 55-53 with two minutes left in the OT.

8:45 p.m: Dan Mavraides hits a two and it's tied again at 53-53.

8:45 p.m.: After a Princeton turnover, it's Maine's ball again. Owes goes for a jumper but can't hit, and the ball goes off Maine and out of bounds.

8:43 p.m.: Socoby hits the first and the second, and Maine leads 53-51 with four minutes in the OT. Davis' three-point attempt hits the rim but no more, and Princeton retakes the ball after a Maine miss at the other end.

8:42 p.m.: Kareem Maddox is whistled for a foul in Princeton's offensive end, and Maine gets the chance to score first in overtime. Maddox fouls under Maine's hoop, and the Black Bears' Mark Socoby goes down hard but will head to the line.

8:41 p.m.: Maine wins the overtime tip and Princeton's Dan Mavraides commits a foul, his fourth. The Maine free throw doesn't fall, and it's Princeton ball.

8:40 p.m.: Princeton went to OT three times last year, most recently Feb. 22 at Harvard.

8:39 p.m.: Junior Bernal's frozen rope hits backboard and rim but doesn't fall, and the Tigers will head to overtime.

8:36 p.m.: Same five out of the timeout for Princeton, and the Tigers commit a turnover under their own basket. Maine calls a full timeout with :03.6 left. Maine will have to travel the length of the court.

8:35 p.m.: Huc walks the ball up the floor, and Sydney Johnson opts for a full timeout with :31.1 left.

8:34 p.m.: On the floor for Princeton out of the timeout are Mavraides, Huc, Davis, Maddox and Finley.

8:33 p.m.: Bernal makes the second to tie it at 51-51 and Maine coach Ted Woodward asks for a 30-second timeout, still with :38.4 left.

8:33 p.m.: Maine's Junior Bernal tries to go coast-to-coast, but is fouled by Kareem Maddox with :38.4 seconds to go and heads to the line. He misses the first and can only tie.

8:32 p.m.: Huc hits the second and Princeton's lead is three. On Maine's next possession, Kaimondre Owes hits a short two and Princeton's lead is one with less than a minute to go.

8:30 p.m.: After a near over-and-back by the Tigers, Max Huc's attempted layup doesn't fall. He is fouled, however, and goes to the line. He misses the first, and Maine coach Ted Woodward calls a 30-second timeout. Huc has another attempt with 1:11 left and the score still 50-48.

8:28 p.m.: A timeout is called by Princeton under the basket after Davis' three-point attempt hits front rim. 1:43 left, Princeton ball, 50-48 Tigers.

8:27 p.m.: Sydney Johnson calls timeout with 2:04 left. The attendance for tonight is 1,555. Speaking of attendance, make sure you come out to Princeton's next home game, Tuesday, Dec. 2 vs. South Carolina.

8:25 p.m.: It's 50-46 after a Maine bucket, and following a Princeton miss, Maine threatens and Kaimondre Owes cuts it to two, closing in on two minutes left. 50-48 Princeton.

8:24 p.m.: Zach Finley hits both free throws and Princeton has a 50-44 lead. The Tigers get an offensive rebound, but Finley is called for traveling under the basket with 3:23 left.

8:21 p.m.: After baskets each way, it remains a four-point game. Finley is fouled going up and under, and the last media timeout comes with 3:57 left. Princeton 48, Maine 44.

8:19 p.m.: Max Huc gets a bucket, but Doug Davis commits a foul under the basket after a McNally lay-in. McNally hits the extra, and it's a four-point game at 46-42 with 5:30 left.

8:18 p.m.: Sean McNally tips it in for Maine out of the timeout, and the Black Bears are within five at 44-39.

8:16 p.m.: A Princeton turnover results in the media timeout with 6:46 left. 44-37 Princeton. The "Dress Like A Tiger" contest is on, and a youngster wearing an early-00s #3 jersey is way out in front until he can't make a layup. The kid wearing Scott Greenman's old jersey makes a shot to win the contest, getting a big cheer from the crowd. The winning youngster was apparently not hindered by the gym shorts he had to put on as part of the contest falling to his ankles.

8:15 p.m.: Doug Davis finds Zach Finley for a lay-up, and Princeton elads 44-37 with seven minutes left.

8:13 p.m.: Maine hits two free throws and it's a five-point game with 8:10 to play, 42-37. Fouls are 6-4 Maine.

8:09 p.m.: It's a seven-point Tiger lead again as Finley goes up and under for a lay-in. Maine commits a foul at the other end, and Princeton gets the ball back.

8:08 p.m.: We're back from the media timeout. On the floor for Princeton are Davis, Finley, Mavraides, Huc and Maddox. Owes for Maine lays it in, and it's a five-point game.

8:06 p.m.: Davis hits another jumper and Princeton's lead is 40-33 with closing in on 11 minutes left.

8:05 p.m.: Dan Mavraides fouls Maine's Kaimondre Owes, who will head to the line. He makes the first, and Zach Finley enters the game replacing Buczak. Owes misses the second, but Maine gets the rebound. 38-33 Tigers.

8:03 p.m.: Pawel Buczak is fouled with 12:48 left. He'll head to the line and miss both, and Maine gets the rebound.

8:01 p.m.: Doug Davis cans a three, and Princeton leads 38-31. Davis has 10 on the night, ensuring that his first two games of his career will be double-digit scoring games. Buczak commits a shooting foul at the other end where Maine's Junior Bernal will shoot two. He makes the first and misses the second, and Princeton gets the rebound. 38-32 Tigers.

7:59 p.m.: A promotion takes the floor during the break. In the contest, three kids bounced on large inflatable balls for half the court before picking up basketballs at halftime and seeing who can put it in the basket first. A youngster in a blue jacket wins.

7:58 p.m.: The ball is knocked out of bounds, back to Maine, resulting in the second half's first media timeout. Princeton 35, Maine 31, 15:31 left.

7:57 p.m.: Junior Bernal lays it in for Maine, and the Princeton lead is back to four at 35-31.

7:55 p.m.: Doug Davis hits a mid-range jumper and Princeton's lead is six at 35-29. Closing in on 17 minutes left, and Princeton gets a defensive rebound.

7:54 p.m.: A Kareem Maddox put-back is answered by a Sean McNally bucket, and Princeton's lead remains four at 33-29.

7:52 p.m.: The second half starts. On the floor for Princeton are Buczak, Briggs, Maddox, Saunders and Davis.

7:45 p.m.: Princeton's leading scorer in the first half was Mavraides, who added a two-point bucket to three threes for 11 points. Princeton is outshooting Maine 50 percent (12 for 24) to to 40.7 percent (11 for 27). Pawel Buczak has a game-high five rebounds.

7:40 p.m.: Women's soccer coach Julie Shackford is John Sadak's halftime guest on the broadcast on WPRB 103.3 fm. Shackford led Princeton back to the NCAA tournament this year, the program's first appearance since 2004.

7:35 p.m.: Out of the timeout, Princeton sends Mavraides, Huc, Davis, Finley and Maddox on the floor. After Princeton uses the entire shot clock, Max Huc is called for a foul trying to recover the rebound, and Maine has the half's last attempt. Junior Bernal lays it in, and the halftime score is 31-27 Princeton.

7:33 p.m.: Maine's Kaimondre Owes puts in a layup, and the Princeton lead is six. After a brief turnover, Princeton's Kareem Maddox ties it up, and Princeton gets the ball on the alternating possession. Sydney Johnson calls timeout with 43 seconds left and a 31-25 lead.

7:32 p.m.: Maine's Troy Barnies is called for a charge. Jason Briggs enters the game for Doug Davis. An attempt by Finley rims out and Maine gets the rebound. Still 31-23, and Maine's attempt falls away for a Tiger defensive rebound. Briggs tips a Princeton pass out of bounds for a turnover, and Maine gets it back.

7:30 p.m.: Max Huc steals the ball and receives a pass down low, laying it up and in for a 31-23 lead, Princeton's largest of the game. 2:30 left.

7:29 p.m.: The Princeton cheerleaders do an eye-catching stunt where one is held up horizontally as a plank while another stands on that cheerleader atop the pyramid. It ends well and the fans are impressed.

7:28 p.m.: After a Princeton defensive rebound, the Tigers miss a few chances on their next possession and the ball goes out of bounds to Maine. 3:41 left on the last media timeout of the half.

7:27 p.m.: Maine calls timeout after Princeton's Dan Mavraides hits a three-pointer, his third of the game on four attempts. The Tigers lead 29-23. Coming back out on the floor for Princeton are Finley, Mavraides, Maddox, Huc and Davis. 4:31 left.

7:25 p.m.: Princeton gets it back, and Dan Mavraides puts back Princeton's second offensive rebound of the possession. 26-23 Tigers with five minutes before the half.

7:23 p.m.: Zach Finley makes his first appearance, and Doug Davis throws an alley-oop dunk
pass to Kareem Maddox. The Tigers re-take the lead 24-23 with 6:11 left. Max Huc commits a non-shooting foul at the other end.

7:21 p.m.: Maine's Mark Socoby fouls Kareem Maddox. The third media timeout comes with 6:51 before the break and each team with two fouls. Maine 23, Princeton 22.

7:20 p.m.: Mavraides answers with a three for Princeton, his second, and the Tigers are within 23-22 with seven minutes left.

7:20 p.m.: Malachi Peay lays it in, and Maine takes a three-point lead briefly, before Max Huc scores to bring Princeton within 1 at 20-19, 8 minutes left. Andrew Rogers strikes again for Maine with a three, and Maine has a 23-19 lead.

7:18 p.m.: Maine's Andrew Rogers hits a three, and the Black Bears lead again, 18-17 with under 9 left.

7:17 p.m.: Doug Davis hits a three to re-take the lead, but Maine's Peay gets a bucket at the other end. 15-14 Maine, under 10 before the break. Mavraides quickly answers for Princeton with a three, and the Tigers are ahead 17-15.

7:16 p.m.: Princeton's lineup coming out of the timeout is Davis, Mavraides, Maddox, Buczak and Max Huc. Maine gets its first lead on a putback by Stanislav Chetinov after a Tiger turnover. 10:35 left. 13-11 Maine.

7:14 p.m.: McLemore's attempt goes unanswered, and Princeton takes possession. The second media timeout comes with 11:13 before the half.

7:13 p.m.: Maine's Gerald McLemore hits a three, and the game is tied with inside of 12 minutes before the break. Maine gets a Princeton turnover and has a chance to take the lead.

7:12 p.m. Maine's Malachi Peay is fouled by Dan Mavraides under the basket and goes to the line, but misses the first. He hits the second, and Princeton's lead is 11-8 with 12:18 left.

7:09 p.m.: Pawel Buczak gets an offensive rebound and putback for a layup, and Princeton is 11-5. Maine's Sean McNally answers at the other end. Princeton 11, Maine 7, 14 minutes left.

7:06 p.m.: After turnovers both ways, the first media timeout comes with 15:24 before the half.

7:05 p.m.: Maine's Gerald McLemore hits a three, and the Black Bears are back within two at 7-5. Princeton gets two offensive rebounds and on the third try, Doug Davis hits a layup. 9-5 Princeton. 15:30 left in the half.

7:04 p.m.: Pawel Buczak is fouled under the hoop going up for a layup, and Buczak heads to the line. He hits the first, hits the second, and Princeton has a 7-2 lead.

7:03 p.m.: Doug Davis, Friday night's 25-point scorer, responds with a long two and the Tigers are even. They get a turnover, and Kareem Maddox drains a three from the corner. Princeton 5, Maine 2. Doug Davis draws Princeton's first foul at the other end, but Princeton gets a rebound.

7:02 pm: Maine wins the tip, but its first possession goes for naught. The Tigers also come up empty on their first trip down the floor, and Maine takes over. Maine's Troy Barnies hits a mid-range jumper to put the Black Bears ahead 2-0. with 18:25 to play.

6:47 p.m.: The starting lineups are in. For Princeton (0-1), it's Jason Briggs, Doug Davis, Patrick Saunders, Kareem Maddox and Pawel Buczak. For Maine (2-0), it's Troy Barnies, Junior Bernal, Sean McNally, Mark Socoby and Gerald McLemore.

One More Match ...

The Princeton women's volleyball Class of 2008 will not end its respective careers in the NCAA tournament. Inside a packed Dillon Gym last Saturday, that dream was vanquished in three tight sets against Yale. Give the Bulldogs credit; they won the key points late in the first and second sets and held off a rally in the third, and hopefully they will represent the Ivy League well in the NCAAs.

But that loss does not erase the impressive four years posted by the Princeton senior class, a rare collection of players at varying positions who came together and achieved an incredible record in their time together.

That group, consisting of Lindsey Ensign, Kelli Grobe, Parker Henritze, Jessica Hoffmann, Bailey Robinson and Sasha Sadrai, will enter Wednesday night's match with a career record of 77-19. As freshmen, Ensign, Grobe and Henritze were consistent starters, and Henritze went on to earn Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors.

The next season, Hoffmann and Robinson moved into the starting lineup and Sadrai was becoming a back-row regular (if you aren't familiar with the sport, trust us, she played a lot). That season, Princeton went 21-3 overall, 11-3 in the Ivy League and finished second. Last season, starting five members of the Class of 2008, Princeton went 21-4 and became the first Ivy volleyball team to go 14-0 in league play. The performances of starters Jenny McReynolds '08 and current junior Sheena Donohue were also crucial to the title, but this piece is meant to point out that every member of that junior class played a key role in arguably the most dominant volleyball team in league history.

Despite not winning the Ivy League this season, Princeton has put together another strong year. The team is 17-4, 11-2 in the league, but simply couldn't find a way to beat Yale in two tries. When Princeton takes on Penn, its fiercest rival, tonight, they will want nothing more than to send this great class out on a high note.

Behind the Rankings

With three wins last week, the men’s hockey team leaped three spots in the national polls to eighth in both the Poll and the USA Today Poll. Princeton’s climb into the Top 10 got us wondering about how the team had been ranked in the past.

Dating back to the 1996-97 season, mainly because that’s as far back as we could find the archived polls, Princeton has been ranked 28 weeks. The highest was a sixth ranking on Feb. 1, 1999 in the USA Today Poll. Princeton climbed one spot from seventh that week following a sweep of Cornell and Colgate at home, which lifted the Tigers to 14-3-1 at that point of the season. Princeton was swept the next weekend at Colgate and Cornell and fell out of the poll. Note that at that point of time, only the Top 10 teams were ranked. Today, the poll ranks 20 teams and the USA Today poll ranks 15.

Princeton then went eight seasons without breaking into the rankings before returning early last season following a 3-0 start. Princeton did receive votes in many polls during that eight-season span but never cracked the rankings. Beginning last January, Princeton has appeared in 19 straight editions of the poll and starting in March, 10 consecutive USA Today polls. Princeton’s current ranking of eighth matches its highest ever in the poll. Additionally, Princeton received a first-place vote in the latest poll for the first time in the history of either poll.

A complete list of Princeton's all-time rankings can be found in this week's Game Notes, which will be posted on later today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One Fewer Team Does Not Make It Any Less Busy

A week ago, Princeton athletics saw 14 teams compete as the fall and winter seasons overlapped. This weekend (actually Saturday through Monday), that number drops all the way to 13.

Compare this to Central Michigan, Princeton's opponent in basketball last weekend, which has 16 varsity sports total.

This weekend features women's track and field coach Peter Farrell's eighth trip in four years to Terre Haute, Ind., where the Princeton women and two Princeton men will compete at the NCAA cross country championships. On the women's side, Washington is a prohibitive favorite, but it's fairly wide open after that between Princeton, West Virginia, Villanova, Oregon and Florida State.

The football season ends with the 88th meeting between Princeton and Dartmouth, and fans who bring a non-perishable food item to benefit the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank will get free admission to the game. The same applies to the Dec. 12 and 14 women's basketball games, as well as a $5 discount to the men's basketball game on Dec. 10 against Rutgers.

Fans can get into the women's basketball home opener this Saturday (against Stony Brook) by showing their ticket to the football game.

There's also women's hockey, men's and women's squash and men's and women's swimming and diving at home this weekend. Admission to those events is free.

TigerBlog cordially invites you to attend.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A little context on a 25-point debut

When Doug Davis scored 25 points for Princeton in its 55-53 loss to Central Michigan Friday night, he set a record for the most points a Tiger freshman has scored in his first game. He also scored the most points by a Princeton player in the first game of his first varsity season since Bill Bradley went for 28 against Lafayette in 1962.

Obviously, nobody is going to come out and say that Davis is going to be a 25-point per game scorer. Princeton has had exactly two players who have ever averaged 25 points per game for a season (Bradley three times and Brian Taylor once).

Still, his performance does deserve some historical context. For instance, Davis equalled the total of the previous two best first game freshman totals of 13 by James Mastaglio in 1994 and 12 by Brian Earl in 1995. Prior to Friday night, Stags, Earl and Neil Christel were the only Princeton players ever to reach double figures in the first game of their freshman year.

TigerBlog has looked up the first game, freshman year scoring total of some of Princeton's all-time greats:

James Mastaglio - 13 vs. La Salle in 1994 (record for a first-game frosh before Davis)
Brian Earl - 12 vs. Lehigh in 1995
Neil Christel - 11 vs. Colgate in 1978
Kit Mueller - 8 vs. Franklin & Marshall in 1987
Chris Young - 8 vs. Lafayette in 1998
Mitch Henderson - 8 vs. La Salle in 1994
Steve Goodrich - 7 vs. La Salle in 1994
Rich Simkus - 7 vs. Michigan State in 1979
Rick Hielscher - 6 vs. Monmouth in 1991
Will Venable - 3 vs. California in 2001
Gabe Lewullis - 2 vs. Lehigh in 1995
Spencer Gloger - 0 vs. Syracuse in 1999 (though he does hold the freshman single-game points scored record of 34 against UAB)
Sydney Johnson - 0 vs. La Salle in 1993 (though he only played sparingly; he had 14 in the second game against Lafayette and finished the season with 25 against Cornell)
Bob Scrabis - 0 vs. Lehigh in 1985 (he didn't reach double figures until the 11th game and then had double figures in 10 of the last 15)
Craig Robinson - 0 vs. Michigan State in 1979 (but he does rank fourth all-time at Princeton and his sister is married to the soon-to-be President of the United States)
Mason Rocca - DNP his first game
Judson Wallace - DNP his first game

Saturday, November 15, 2008

LIVE UPDATES: Football vs. Yale

UPDATED 2:50 pm

On the move deep into the fourth quarter, Brian Anderson's pass just bounced out of Trey Peacock's hands and into the hands of a Yale defensive back. It's been that kind of game. Yale has the ball, first down, less than 4 minutes left. Full recap after the game on

UPDATED 2:17 pm

The third quarter ends with Yale still leading 14-0. The quarter moved about as quickly as possible, considering TV timeouts. Princeton is near midfield now on a drive that began with a 7-yard hook and ladder (from Will Thanheiser to Jordan Culbreath). The Tigers will be going against the wind in the quarter, although its a pretty light wind at this point. The way possessions have been going, Princeton can't assume more than three chances the rest of the way, including this one, so points are a near must here.

UPDATED 1:29 pm

Halftime score is 14-0. Princeton got into a bit of an offensive groove with backup Tommy Wornham leading the charge, but a fourth-down attempt in Yale territory was incomplete. Anderson didn't appear to get injured, and head coach Roger Hughes did talk about the chance of Wornham seeing time to keep Anderson healthy deeper into the games. We'll see who takes the field when Princeton starts in the third quarter, although Yale will get the ball first.

UPDATED 1:05 pm

Yale just got another big turnover in the Princeton red zone and converted it into another touchdown. Brian Anderson scrambled out of trouble and tried to find Will Thanheiser, who went upfield as Anderson tried to hit him on a shorter route. The pass was picked by Yale captain Bobby Abare, the 10th of his career, and returned to the 17. Three plays later, Jordan Forney caught a slant for the 14-0 lead with seven minutes remaining in the half.

Princeton will get the ball and has the wind at its back, and it desperately needs some positive momentum going into the half.

UPDATED 12:27 pm

There have been better starts. Princeton fumbled an option pitch on the first play of the game, and Yale drove for the touchdown. The Tigers' second drive was thwarted by a sack, and Ryan Coyle's punt into the wind was fair caught at the 41. The Princeton defense needs a stop here, because the Yale defense is ranked No. 1 nationally.

UPDATED 12:08 pm

We're at the historic Yale Bowl. It's raining. Not as much as an hour ago, but it's raining. It's also overcast, but at least it's warm. The crowd is sparse, but at least they (and you) can watch the game on the Versus Network.

This will be Princeton's second game on grass and first game on wet grass since the Brown game in 2005. It will be interesting to see how Princeton handles the turf, especially in both the run game and the run defense.

The interlocking 'Y' and 'P' are at midfield, the cameras are rolling and the 131st edition of Princeton-Yale is about to get started.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Busy Friday Night

Updated 9:27 p.m.
The women's soccer game ends, and Princeton exits the NCAA tournament after a 2-1 loss. The Tiger teams end their Friday night of head-to-head competition at 3-3.

Updated 9:24 p.m.
Jen Om, a Virginia native, scores by knocking home a loose ball in front of the net as WVU failed to clear a corner kick, but the clock is closing in on 1 minute left.

Updated 9:17 p.m.
With the men's hockey win, Princeton's teams in head-to-head competition improve to 3-2 on the night. Unless the women's soccer Tigers can turn it around quickly, Princeton will be even for Friday.

Updated 9:15 p.m.
Matt Godlewski punctuates Princeton's 4-1 men's hockey win at Rensselaer, the goal coming with 1:04 left. Women's soccer is still down 2-0, inside of 10 minutes left as a fog descends on Klockner Stadium.

Updated 9:09 p.m.
The men's hockey team increased its lead to 3-1 at Rensselaer, adding an empty netter by Tyler Beachell. 1:13 left to go.

Updated 9:07 p.m.
Princeton's women's hockey team fell to Boston University 2-0 at Baker Rink, and the men's team was leading Rensselaer at last update, 2-1 with five minutes left in the third.

Updated 9:05 p.m.
From Charlottesville, Va., the Princeton women's soccer team remains in a 2-0 hole with 20 minutes to play against West Virginia in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Mountaineers are outshooting Princeton 9-3.

Updated final
CMU 55, Princeton 53.
Harman makes one of two FTs. CMU forces a turnover as Davis tries to go for the game-winning shot.

Updated 8 seconds left
CMU 54, Princeton 53
Davis hits a long jumper with his foot on the line. That's 25 now for him. Princeton fouls.

Updated 17 seconds left
Robbie Harman shoots two FTs for CMU. First one is good. Second one is also good. 3 point game. Plenty of time for the Tigers.

Updated 17 seconds left
CMU 52, Princeton 51
Davis with 23 points in his debut.

Updated 48 seconds
Davis straight to the rim for the layup. 21 for him. Tigers down three. Davis, steal and layup. Princeton down 1.

Updated 58 seconds left
Kellerman makes both ends of a one-and-one. CMU up 52-47.

Updated 1:13
Kareem Maddox gets fouled on a drive. Makes first. Second is good as well. Three-point CMU lead.

Men's hockey underway in third period, still 1-1.

Updated 1:35 to go
CMU gets fouled. Chris Kellerman on the line for two. He's CMU's top scorer. Rattles home the first. Second is good as well. CMU up five. Timeout Chips.

Updated 1:53 to go
Held ball. Possession CMU, up 3.

Updated 2:14 to go
CMU 48, Princeton 45. Princeton timeout.

Updated 3:00 left in bball game
Tigers down three with the ball.

Updated 4:30 to go
CMU 48, Princeton 43
Dan Mavraides three cuts deficit to two. Jeremy Allen answers with a big three for CMU.

Updated 6 min left
CMU 45, Princeton 38 - Davis with 19 of the 38. Question was asked of when last time a Princeton freshman had this many in his first game. TigerBlog is thinking.

Updated 11:39 in second at bball
CMU now up 40-29. Davis continues to be impressive. CMU's Chris Kellerman, a 6-8 shooter, has knocked down four threes.
Still 1-0 BU in women's hockey and still 1-1 in men's hockey.

Updated 15:07 in second
Men's hockey game now tied 1-1, also in the second. Patrick Cullen with the goal.

Updated 15:33 in second at bball.
WVU scores again, so it's 2-0 Mountaineers in the first half.

Updated 16 min in second
CMU now up 34-27. Biggest lead for either team.
Women's volleyball eases past Brown 3-0. Yale at 4 at Dillon Gym for the Ivy title.
Women's soccer goalie Aly Pont injured in first half, so Kristen Watson now in. WVU up 1-0.

Updated start of second in bball
Princeton women win 69-57. Adie Mecir leads with 19 points. RPI on the board 1-0 in the men's hockey game.
Princeton trails 1-0 in women's soccer as West Virginia scores on a corner kick 10 minutes in.
As for men's bball, Davis hits a jumper to start second half. He has 13 now.

Updated halftime of men's game
Princeton 23, CMU 22 - Davis with 11 at the half, including three three-pointers.
Women's basketball starting to pull away, now up 57-50 with 3 minutes.
Women's soccer underway.

Updated 3:57 in first in m basketball
Six minutes remaining in second in women's hoops. Princeton takes its first lead at 51-50. Men's hockey is still 0-0 with two minutes remaining in first.
Men's basketball is 19-17 Princeton. Davis had eight points - and a big cheering section.

Updated 5 min in first in basketball
Women's volleyball wins the first game against Brown 25-22. Princeton and Yale meet tomorrow night in the match that will probably decide the Ivy title.

Updated 7:53 in first
CMU 12, Princeton 10 - Davis and Maddox with five each.
Men's hockey is still scoreless.
With 9:27 to go in the second half, the women's basketball team is within four at 47-43.

Updated 9 min left in first
CMU 10, Princeton 7.
Boston U 1, Princeton 0 in first period of women's hockey.

Updated second media timeout at Jadwin
Central Michigan up 6-4. Tiger offense running well, but shots aren't falling right now. Davis looks very poised at the point. Men's hockey at RPI is scoreless in the first period; Tigers with an 8-3 lead in shots. Women's soccer about 15 minutes away from starting; Virginia won the first game 2-0 over Army, so the winner of Princeton-West Virginia plays UVa Sunday at noon.

Updated first media timeout
Women's basketball down 38-31 early in second. Whitney Downs leads the Tigers with 10.

Updated after basketball tips
Princeton starts Kareem Maddox, Doug Davis, Pavel Buczak, Jason Briggs and Patrick Saunders. Tigers get out 4-0 on baskets by Maddox and Davis.

Updated 6:55
Halftime at women's basketball. Fordham 32, Princeton 21.
Sabrina Anderson, an 11-year-old girl, knocks them dead with her version of the national anthem at Jadwin.

TigerBlog is courtside at Jadwin Gym, in Dillon Gym, at Baker Rink, in New York City and in Charlottesville, Va. It's a busy Friday night. We'll try to keep you updated as everything unfolds.

Tonight's events: men's basketball vs. Central Michigan, women's basketball at Fordham, women's hockey vs. Boston U., women's volleyball vs. Brown and women's soccer vs. West Virginia in the NCAA tournament.

TigerBlog To Provide Friday Night Updates

TigerBlog, the official Blog of Princeton athletics, will be updating men's and women's basketball, women's volleyball, men's and women's hockey and the NCAA women's soccer tournament all at once tonight. At least, that's the plan.

TigerBlog can be accessed off of or directly at

Updates will also be filed Saturday from football and NCAA field hockey on the blog.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Basketball Already?

The 1999-2000 Princeton men's basketball season began with the NABC Classic at Syracuse. TigerBlog, which didn't know it was TigerBlog back then, has a clear memory of sitting in the sports information office at Syracuse trying to get updates on Princeton-Yale football while watching Rutgers beat Syracuse in football on TV (back then, that was a huge upset).

That weekend stands out because of the newness of having football and basketball overlap.

Now, in 2008, it's taken for granted. The Princeton men's basketball team opens at home tomorrow night against Central Michigan, while the women are at Fordham. These games are hardly the only ones being played; there are 108 games involving Division I men's teams alone Friday night. And that's not even the first night of the season.

Television, of course, has driven this phenomenon. More games, more games on TV, more revenue, more dates, more early dates. More, more, more.

Is that good? For starters, it lessens the amount of preseason practice time. Granted, when teams couldn't play before Dec. 1, they had six weeks of practice time, which was probably too much. Now, you have basically half that amount.

Going back 21 years, Princeton played 26 games in the 1987-88 season, the first of which was on Nov. 28. There was one game in November and then eight games in December. This season, the men play 27 games, with four in November and six in December. It creates longer gaps between games, and could possibly be contributing to the fact that the in-season tournaments don't appear on the schedule as prominently as in year's past. Those games, where Princeton would play games on consecutive nights in two events a season at locations all over the country, are fewer and fewer now. If teams like Princeton did play in those events, the gaps between the remaining games would be even greater.

Still, the 2008-09 season does feature 14 home games - even if the first one is before the Yale football game.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Virginia is for Lovers... of Princeton Soccer

Though Roberts Stadium was not selected to host the NCAA women's soccer first and second rounds, some Tigers will feel right at home in Virginia when Princeton opens the NCAA tournament in Charlottesville Friday night at 7:30 against West Virginia.

Four Tigers went to high school in Northern Virginia, including head coach Julie Shackford, assistant coach Scott Champ, senior midfielder Jen Om and sophomore goalkeeper Alyssa Pont.

The Tigers have played games in the state of Virginia seven times in Shackford's 14 seasons. Before Shackford took over, the program had played in Virginia only once, a 1992 game at William & Mary, Shackford's alma mater. Princeton returned to W&M in 2002 and again in 2006.

This will also be the second time the NCAA tournament has brought Princeton to Charlottesville. In 2003, Villanova got past Princeton 2-1 in the first round.

But the Princeton-Virginia ties don't end there. While no Tigers share any high school alma maters with West Virginia players, two Cavaliers and Tigers wore the same colors in high school. Virginia sophomore Kristin Bowers and Shackford both went to Lake Braddock High, and Cavalier sophomore Kika Toulouse and Pont both went to Bishop O'Connell.

In addition to women's soccer's previous appearance on campus in Charlottesville, men's soccer (1999), baseball (2004), women's lacrosse (1998, 2006, 2007) and men's lacrosse (2004) have also had NCAA tournaments at UVa.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

FIeld Hockey Update

Final score - Princeton 8, Stanford 2
Full information will be on, and the selections for the NCAA tournament will be announced tonight at 8, available only on

Updated end first
Princeton 5, Stanford 0
With 50% of the game complete, TigerBlog projects Princeton will advance to the main draw.

First udpate
Princeton leads Stanford 2-0 in the first half of the NCAA play-in game after scoring twice in the first three minutes of the game.

As an aside, TigerBlog is a big fan of athletic events Tuesdays at 1.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tigers Of All Stripes To Play This Week

One of the best parts about Princeton athletics, and in fairness all of Ivy League athletics, is the commitment to broad-based participation. No one sport ever is considered the dominant one on campus, the one to which all the resources are directed. In an intercollegiate environment where Division I schools average 14-18 varsity sports, Ivy League schools easily double those numbers.

This week, more than most, shows just how unique Ivy League numbers are.

Princeton has 13 teams who will definitely be playing this week and another one who hopefully (and probably) will be playing. There are three additional teams who are off this week but play next week, meaning 17 different Princeton teams will be playing in an 11-day span beginning with tomorrow's NCAA field hockey play-in game between the Tigers and Stanford.

The team that is unsure if it will be playing is the women's soccer team, which finds out the answer to that question tonight at 8 on ESPNEWS with the announcement of the NCAA tournament pairings. Princeton is the Ivy League co-champ along with Harvard, but it is the Crimson who have the league's automatic bid. Princeton does have a high RPI, a 12-2-2 record and wins over NCAA-bound Fairfield and Boston University.

The men's and women's cross country teams host the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Saturday beginning at 11 at the Washington Road course, and women's volleyball plays its final three regular season matches, including a probable showdown with Yale f0r the Ivy title Saturday night.

The football team and men's soccer team also play, while the winter season continues with men's and women's hockey, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming and diving and wrestling. Next weekend features men's water polo and men's and women's squash.

That adds up to 17 teams and nearly 400 athletes who will be competing in an 11-day stretch.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Field Hockey Bracketology #2

With all the field hockey conference tournaments now completed and three NCAA tournament Play-In games schedule for Tuesday, it’s time for TigerBlog’s latest best guess at the field for the upcoming NCAA Division I field hockey championship. Once again, remember this is just a shot in the dark, but we had fun writing it and hopefully you'll have fun reading it. Also, if you want to see last week’s bracket, scroll down a few posts on the blog.

We start with the automatic bids, which go to the conference tournament winners, and we will project winners in the three play-in games.

Projected Automatics Bids
ACC: Maryland
America East: Albany
Big East: Syracuse
Big 10: Iowa
CAA: James Madison

Projected Play-In Games and Winners
American (Patriot) over Lock Haven (NEC)
Princeton (Ivy) over Stanford (NorPac) – once again, it's our blog; we can hope for the best
Massachusetts (A10) over Kent State (MAC)

So, we now have eight teams in the tournament and need eight more. We will add the next best eight teams from the RPI. They, in order, are Wake Forest, Connecticut, Duke, North Carolina, Penn State, Michigan State, Virginia and Louisville. You’ll notice that it’s the same 16 teams this week as it was last week.

We now have a field of 16 teams and we will seed them from 1-16 by RPI and pair the 1 and 16 seeds, 2-15, 3-14 and so on. There current RPI ranking in parenthesis). This gives us the following bracket. We will add sites in the next round.

Regional 1
No. 1 Maryland (ACC) vs. No. 16 Albany (A-East)
No. 8 Duke vs. No. 9 North Carolina

Regional 2
No. 2 Syracuse (Big East) vs. No. 15 Massachusetts (PI)
No. 7 Connecticut vs. No. 10 Penn State

Regional 3
No. 3 Wake Forest vs. No. 4 James Madison (CAA)
No. 6 Iowa (Big 10) vs. No. 11 Michigan State

Regional 4
No. 4 James Madison vs. No. 13 Louisville
No. 5 Princeton vs. No. 12 Virginia

This gives us a perfect bracket in terms of ranking, but we must remember that the NCAA also takes region and travel into account when placing teams in regionals and the NCAA wants to avoid league matchups in the first round wherever possible. This gives up problems in the first and third regional. At the same time, we do not want to ruin the bands of seeding. For example, the top four teams must be 1 seeds. It is not fair to move them down to a 2 seed for travel purposes. Likewise it is not fair to take a bottom-four ranked team and make them a 3 seed in a region.

For travel purposes and to avoid two league teams playing in the first round, we will adjust the bracket as follows and insert sites. Just a note regarding sites, only the NCAA knows what schools have submitted bids to host. These are just our best guesses based on those who deserve to host and region.

Regional 1 (at Maryland)
No. 1 Maryland vs. No. 15 Massachusetts
No. 7 Connecticut vs. No. 10 Penn State

Regional 2 (at Syracuse)
No. 2 Syracuse vs. No. 16 Albany
No. 5 Princeton vs. No. 11 Michigan State

Regional 3 (at Wake)
No. 3 Wake Forest vs. No. 14 American
No. 8 Duke vs. No. 13 Louisville

Regional 4 (at JMU)
No. 4 James Madison vs. No. 12 Virginia
No. 6 Iowa vs. No. 9 North Carolina

So that's our bracket. It's not perfect, but what is? Don’t forget there are three play-in games on Tuesday, including one at Class of ’52 Stadium between Princeton and Stanford at 1 p.m. We hope to see you there, and we will see the bracket when it is announced on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on

Friday, November 7, 2008

Princeton-Penn Football Updates

Updated final
Penn 14, Princeton 9

Updated 2:16 left
Garton again converts the third and eight. Penn, first and 10 at midfield. Clock running. Princeton out of timeouts.

Updated 2:24 left
Penn has third and eight again, this time at the 42. Princeton has used its last timeouts. This is pretty much the game.

Updated 3:03 remaining
Penn has put together two first downs, including a big 3rd and 8 conversion. It's 1st and 10 at the Penn 40.

Updated 6:16 remaining
Princeton drive stalls. Tigers punt. Penn ball on the 2 after Weston Palmer downs the ball. It's the third drive tonight that starts inside the five for Penn. Tigers with two timeouts left.

Updated 6:50 remaining
A catch by Culbreath, a run by Culbreath and a penalty on Penn brings Princeton to 1st and 10 at its 44.

Updated 7:30 left in fourth.
Princeton gets a stop, but a great Penn punt by Scooter Belasco pins the Tigers on their nine.

Updated 9 min remaining in fourth
Penn 14, Princeton 9
A great catch by Will Thanheiser on the one-yard line after a 46-yard pass from Brian Anderson sets up a TD run by Culbreath. Princeton goes for two, but a pass from Anderson to Berry falls short. Still, Princeton is back in it.

Updated 12:51 remaining in fourth
Still 14-3 Quakers. Princeton first and 10 on its 23.

Updated midway through third
Penn 14, Princeton 3
Penn takes the second half kickoff and drives 71 yards in 14 plays for a touchdown. The score came on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Garton to Matt Appenfelder.

Updated end of first half
Penn 7, Princeton 3
Without Culbreath, Princeton drives for its first score of the game. Ben Bologna kicked a 32-yard field goal with 10 seconds left to cap the seven-play, 63-yard drive, which featured a 35-yard pass from Brian Anderson to Adam Berry.

Updated one drive later
Culbreath not in, but Meko McCray goes for 11 yards on his first carry.

Updated 6:26 in second
Penn takes over on its 45 after a Jordan Culbreath fumble. Culbreath stayed down as the entire Princeton Stadium crowd (at least the orange and black part) held its breath. He walked off on his own.

Updated midway through second
Still 7-0
After a missed field goal, Princeton gets a three and out. Tiger ball on the Penn. 39.

Updated last minute of first
Barry Newell intercepts a Garton pass at the Princeton 34.

Updated 4:31 left in first
Princeton drive stalls, but Ryan Coyle's punt is downed on the 1 by Ryan Pritchard.

Updated 7:15 left in first
Penn 7, Princeton 0
Penn finishes a long drive with a Kiefer Garton TD run. Garton started in place of injured Penn QB Robert Irvin.

It couldn't be a nicer night for football at Princeton Stadium. Temps are still in the 60s. There's no wind at all. It's somewhat humid, and rain is forecast for tomorrow.

Princeton is wearing its orange uniforms again, just as it did a year ago on ESPNU against Cornell.

The hockey team lost 1-0 to Cornell in the first game of the ESPNU doubleheader.

Princeton Doubleheader Today On ESPNU

If you live too far away from TigerBlog Headquarters to attend today's events, you can still see two pretty good ones on your television.

Princeton and Cornell meet in men's hockey at 4 p.m., followed at 7 p.m. by the 100th meeting between Princeton and Penn in football.

Both of those games will be live on ESPNU.

If you are coming to the hockey game, you can take your ticket stub to the football game and receive free admission.

TigerBlog will be providing updates during the football game.

In 1876, Princeton defeated Penn six goals to zero in the first football game between the schools.
That win ignited a 28-game win streak for the Tigers to open the series with its most local rival in the Ivy League. Scores ranged from 95-0 (1887) to 4-0 (1888) to 4g,6t-4s (1881).

In 1892, Penn came to Princeton and pulled out a 6-4 win, ending the 28-game
skid. From that point, going all the way through last year’s game — which
actually featured less scoring than the 1892 game — the overall series has
been 35-35-1.

Princeton and Penn also play field hockey today at 5 at Class of 1952 Stadium.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Field Hockey Bracketology

With 10 of the 11 NCAA field hockey conference beginning their tournaments this weekend in preparation to hand out league titles and continue on to the NCAA tournament, we here at TigerBlog have taken our best guess at NCAA Field Hockey bracketology for this year's tournament. Remember this is just a shot in the dark, but we had fun writing it and hopefully you'll have fun reading it.

We start with the projected automatic bids and play-in game winners. We didn't predict any upsets with the top seeds taking each conference tournament and the home teams winning the play-in games.

Projected Automatics Bids
ACC: Maryland
America East: Albany
Big East: Connecticut
Big 10: Penn State
CAA: James Madison

Projected Play-In Games and Winners
American (Patriot) over Lock Haven (NEC)
Princeton (Ivy) over California (NorPac) - hey, it's our blog; we can hope for the best
Massachusetts (A10) over Kent State (MAC)

So we now have eight teams in the tournament and need eight more. We will pick up the next best eight teams from the RPI. They, in order, are Wake Forest, Syracuse, North Carolina, Duke, Iowa, Michigan State, Virginia and Louisville.

We now have a field of 16 teams and we will seed them from 1-16 by RPI and pair the 1 and 16 seeds, 2-15, 3-14 and so on. This gives us the following bracket. By the way, the sites are guesses. Only the NCAA knows what schools have submitted to host regionals.

Regional 1 (at Maryland)
No. 1 Maryland vs. No. 16 Albany
No. 8 Princeton vs. No. 9 Penn State

Regional 2 (at Wake)
No. 2 Wake Forest vs. No. 15 Massachusetts
No. 7 Duke vs. No. 10 Iowa

Regional 3 (at Syracuse for now)
No. 3 Syracuse vs. No. 14 American
No. 6 North Carolina vs. No. 11 Michigan State

Regional 4 (at JMU)
No. 4 James Madison vs. No. 13 Louisville
No. 5 Connecticut vs. No. 12 Virginia

This gives us a perfect bracket in terms of ranking, but we must remember that the NCAA also takes region and travel into account when placing teams in regionals. At the same time, we do not want to ruin the bands of seeding. For example, the top four teams must be 1 seeds. It is not fair to move them down to a 2 seed for travel purposes. Likewise it is not fair to take a bottom-four ranked team and make them a 3 seed in a region.

For travel purposes and to avoid two league teams playing in the first round, we will adjust the bracket.

Regional 1 (at Maryland)
No. 1 Maryland vs. No. 15 Massachusetts
No. 8 Princeton vs. No. 9 Penn State

Regional 2 (at Wake)
No. 2 Wake Forest vs. No. 14 American
No. 7 Duke vs. No. 10 Iowa

Regional 3 (now at UConn)
No. 3 Syracuse vs. No. 16 Albany
No. 5 Connecticut vs. No. 11 Michigan State

Regional 4 (at JMU)
No. 4 James Madison vs. No. 13 Virginia
No. 6 North Carolina vs. No. 12 Louisville

So that's our bracket. Of course there are a lot of games to be played between now and next Tuersday evening when the seedings are announced. We'll post an update on Monday following the completion of conference tournaments on Sunday.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The NorPac?

For those of you playing close attention to the field hockey team, you may have noticed that by clinching the Ivy League Championship, the Tigers have also secured a spot in an NCAA Tournament Play-In game against the champion of the NorPac Conference next Tuesday. The winner of that game will advance to the NCAA Tournament five days later.

So, what’s the NorPac? Well good question. The Nor stands for Northern and the Pac for Pacific. The seven-team league is comprised of three schools from California (California, Pacific, Stanford), two from Virginia (Longwood, Radford) and two from North Carolina (Appalachian State, Davidson). An eighth team, UC Davis, will join the NorPac next season.

Each team plays six league games, one against each team and California was the regular season champion at 5-1. Stanford and Pacific were each 4-2, with Radford and Longwood at 3-3. Davidson and Appalachian State were both 1-5. At No. 16, California is the only NorPac team appearing in the polls and it has an RPI that ranks 24th. By comparison, Princeton is eighth in the RPI.

While California did win the regular season, the right to the Play-In game will belong to the champion of the conference tournament, which will be played Thursday through Saturday at Longwood in Farmville, Va. The Championship game will be played on Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. Click here to keep an eye on what’s going on in Farmville.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

TigerBlog Endorses ...


Speaking of voting, the closest a Princeton athlete has come to being elected President of the United States was obviously in 2000, when Bill Bradley ran against Al Gore for the Democratic nomination. Had things gone differently, maybe Robert Ehrlich could have gone from Governor of Maryland to a Vice Presidential spot.

So what about the future? TigerBlog has long felt, even before there was a TigerBlog or any blog or even an internet, that former men's basketball player Matt Henshon was a political natural. Maybe the Harvard Law School grad may still go down that path.

As for current Princeton athletes, who may someday make it all the way to the biggest stage? Hard to say. How about one vote for Adam Berry of the football team? He certainly looks and speaks the part at the age of 22. If you go back one year, it's not hard to imagine that Dan Cocoziello could follow in the footsteps of, say, John Blutarsky, and make his way to the U.S. Senate. From there, anything is possible.

Anyway, since the choices this year are a Columbia undergrad/Harvard Law School grad against a Naval Academy grad, TigerBlog will not endorse either one.

Check back in two, three, four decades. Maybe we'll get a Princeton athlete on the ballot.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Weather, Or Not

So ESPNU asked Princeton to play its football game against Penn on a Friday night instead of at 1 p.m. Saturday, which is when it otherwise would have been. At the time, about six months ago, the obvious concern was that it would be in the 30s Friday night at then in the 50s Saturday afternoon.

Instead, an early look at the accuweather forecast for Princeton: forecast

suggests that perhaps the idea of playing a Friday night game in early November might just work out after all.

The forecast for Friday is for nearly 70 degrees during the day with a low of near 50 at night. Granted, it says "chance of rain late," but that probably means way after the game ends. In other words, the weather for Friday night in Princeton for football might just be perfect.

On the other hand, Saturday's forecast says "cooler with rain." The high is still 57, which is pretty good, but the chance for rain is much greater.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

All square (or triangle) in Ivy Women's Soccer

Princeton's 4-0 win over Cornell Saturday, coupled with Harvard's 1-1 tie at Dartmouth and Columbia's 2-1 win at Yale leaves all three teams tied atop the Ivy League with one weekend to go. The Tigers, Crimson and Lions stand at 4-1-1 in the league with 13 points.

Speaking of 4-1-1, here's the info you'll need to know what would have to happen for Princeton to get an Ivy League title, whether shared or outright, and possibly an NCAA tournament automatic bid.

Harvard and Columbia will play on Harvard's Ohiri Field at 11 a.m. Saturday. Penn will visit Princeton at Roberts Stadium at 4 p.m. Saturday.

If Harvard wins...
The Crimson will have 16 points and Princeton would have to beat Penn to gain a share of the Ivy title. Harvard would get the NCAA auto bid because of its 2-1 win over Princeton on Oct. 25 at Roberts Stadium.

If Columbia wins...
The Lions would have 16 points and Princeton would have to beat Penn to gain a share of the Ivy title. Princeton would have the NCAA auto bid thanks to the Tigers' 2-1 OT win at Columbia on Oct. 18, courtesy of Sarah Peteraf's second golden goal this season.

If Harvard and Columbia tie and Princeton wins...
The Crimson and Lions would have 14 points and Princeton would have 16, giving Princeton an outright Ivy title and the NCAA auto bid.

If Harvard and Columbia tie and Princeton also ties...
The three teams would finish with 14 points and all three would share the Ivy title. Harvard would get the NCAA auto bid thanks to its 1-0-1 record against the group.

Since Harvard and Columbia are playing each other, no scenario exists where Princeton could lose and still gain a share of the Ivy title.

Even if Harvard takes the NCAA auto bid, the Tigers have hope for an at-large bid thanks to the team's 11-2-2 record, which, of course, would be enhanced with a win to end the regular season. At-large bids for the Ivy League in women's soccer happened every year from 1998-2005, though only the league champ has advanced to the postseason the last two years. Three (or more) teams from the Ivy League have gotten bids on several occasions, including 1982 (Princeton, Harvard, Brown), 1994 (Brown, Harvard, Dartmouth), 1999 (Dartmouth, Penn, Princeton, Harvard), 2000 (Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton), 2001 (Dartmouth, Penn, Princeton, Harvard), 2002 (Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth) and 2004 (Yale, Harvard, Princeton).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

LIVE UPDATES: Football vs. Cornell

UPDATED 3:17 pm

Princeton gets stopped on its drive, and the defense takes the field with about 7 minutes remaining. Time to head to the field, but you can listen to Ed Benkin and Dan Loney on Full recap later on the Princeton athletics web site.

UPDATED 3:10 pm

Cornell opened up the offense, scoring on a 2-play drive. A 43-yard bomb landed perfectly in Bryan Walters' hands as he crossed the goal line. Cornell attempted a 2-point conversion, but good coverage kept Princeton ahead 24-19 with 9:03 remaining.

UPDATED 3:08 pm

Princeton paid off Cart Kelly's interception with a 5-play, 80-yard touchdown scoring drive. A 52-yard option run turned a third and short into a 1st and 10 at the Cornell 20, and on the next play, Anderson threw another missile to Thanheiser, who caught it at the 1 along the left sideline, kept his balance enough to fall into the end zone as opposed to out of bounds.

Culbreath now has 138 yards rushing. The last Ivy League runner to gain more than 100 yards against the Big Red? Jordan Culbreath.

UPDATED 3:04 pm

Cart Kelly recorded the first interception of his career last season against Cornell. He just had the biggest pick of his career a couple minutes ago. Cornell tried another deep fade, but this time Kelly got inside position, went high in the air and took the ball away in the end zone. Still a lot of time left (more than 11 minutes), but the play keeps Princeton up by more than a field goal.

UPDATED 2:54 pm

Big turn of events for Princeton. A 55-yard end-over-end punt by Coyle sends Bryan Walters back to his 19, where he fields the punt and turns around. The first block is behind a Princeton defender, earning a flag. 81 yards later, Walters is celebrating what he believes is the go-ahead touchdown. Instead, Cornell takes over inside its own red zone.

UPDATED 2:44 pm

Princeton leads 17-13 with 7:27 remaining in the third. A 33-yard flea flicker was caught by Will Thanheiser, who went up with a pair of Cornell defenders and stole the ball from both. Thanheiser was rewarded with a seven-yard bullet from Brian Anderson for the touchdown; it might have been Anderson's best pass of the game, as it hit Thanheiser in the back of the end zone at the perfect moment. It's been a remarkable 15 minutes for Princeton, which found its offense midway through the second quarter and now leads midway through the third.

UPDATED 2:08 pm

At halftime, Cornell leads 13-10. Princeton drove to the 2, but a bobbled snap on 3rd and short kept Princeton from trying a surge at the goal line. All things considered, Princeton will feel great trailing only 3 at half.

Cornell will get the ball first to open the second half.

UPDATED 1:55 pm

After being outplayed for the first 22 minutes of the game, Princeton finds itself down six points. Cornell scored on its last drive, although again it had to settle for a field goal. The Tiger offense finally got in gear at that point, moving 60 yards on five plays before Jordan Culbreath scored his seventh touchdown of the season, a 23-yard run that started in the middle of the line and made its way outside. Culbreath, who made two spectacular moves on one play just to avoid a loss, cut away from two would-be tackles on the score, and when he hit the sidelines (around the 15), the score was inevitable.

The Princeton defense dearly needs a stop, and a sack by Matt Koch on third down gets it done. Princeton takes over at its own 45.

UPDATED 1:31 pm

Cornell leads 10-0 after driving 90 yards on 11 plays. Nathan Ford hits a long fade to Nick Zerante on the left side of the end zone for the score. Zerante also made an unbelievable catch during the drive, catching a bullet over his head and barely avoiding a diving Cart Kelly on the play. The Princeton offense looks out of sync so far; on the bright side, teams that score first are 0-6 this season in Tiger games this season.

Even more on the bright side, the Princeton field hockey team leads Cornell 4-0 in the second half. That would clinch at least a share of the Ivy title, Princeton's third in the last two days.

UPDATED 1:13 pm

Cornell leads 3-0 with 9:37 remaining in the first, but you can call it a victory for the Princeton defense. Princeton got the ball first, but Meko McCray stepped out of bounds at the 3, which left the Tigers in awful field position. A sack on third down forced Ryan Coyle to punt from his own end zone, and Cornell took the field inside the Tiger 40.

The Big Red got to the 3, but was stopped on two plays. A false start brought the ball back to the 8, and good Princeton pressure forced Cornell quarterback Nathan Ford to throw one into the 40-second play clock (which stands 10 feet beyond the end zone and 10 feet in the air). Cornell kicked the field goal, and Dan Kopolovich is in to play quarterback on the second drive.

UPDATED 12:40 pm

Welcome to Schoellkopf Field on -- all things considered -- a lovely fall day in Ithaca. I say all things considered because, six years ago, it was frigid before kickoff, snowing by halftime and absolutely treacherous by the end of the game. My spinout on 79 East on the way home can attest to just how lousy the roads were that day.

No such issues today. It's a little chilly, but the clouds are leaving and the sun may break through soon. If it does, it will shine on a new surface; the old astroturf has given way to the FieldTurf that makes up Powers Field at Princeton Stadium. Cornell was the last team to use the astroturf; it changed surfaces in the last offseason. The end zones are bright, BRIGHT red with Cornell in one end zone and Big Red in the other. The big red C still adorns midfield and faces the home sideline at Schoellkopf Field, a historic and charming facility.

This game should be an interesting one, as is the trend in this series. Under head coach Jim Knowles, Cornell has been a much stronger team at home, especially against the run. The Red held Yale to zero rushing yards in their Ivy-opening meeting, a 17-14 win for the Red. On the other hand, Jordan Culbreath leads the Ivy League in rushing and had his way with Cornell (145 yards, two touchdowns) last season.

This blog will be updated throughout the game, and a full recap will be available afterwards on