Friday, September 25, 2020

Going Back - Two For One On 1,000 Points

TigerBlog was watching "Pardon The Interruption" Wednesday when Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon mentioned that it was the 37th anniversary of the day that Steve Carlton won his 300th game.

TB already knew this, because that was the same day that TB covered his first high school football game. In the newspaper the next day, the story of Carlton's 300th dominated the front page, while TB's story was way in the back. What was that about? 

The PTI guys had another "Carlton" story earlier in the week, and when TB saw "Carlton" on the rundown on the right side of the screen, he wondered if he'd had the date wrong all these years. Nope. As it turned out, Monday was the birthday of Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton on "The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air."

That made TB laugh. Anyway, he's not done with his nostalgia for the week. 

Today he offers this week's edition of "Going Back." This would have been TigerBlog for Feb. 17, 2003:

TigerBlog spent his weekend in Jadwin Gym, though at one point his thoughts drifted about 5,000 miles to the west, to a different basketball venue.

That one would be the Stan Sheriffs Center, located on the campus of the University of Hawaii. That arena plays a big part in what has become an extraordinary set of statistical anomalies.

And you know how much TigerBlog loves a good statistical anomaly.

TB's role this weekend was that of color commentator for the men's basketball games against Brown (an 80-73 loss Friday night) and then against Yale (a very gritty 56-49 win that keeps the Tigers very much in the hunt in the Ivy League race).

The Princeton men are chasing a third straight Ivy title and what would be a sixth in eight years. There have also been seven straight postseason appearances for the men, with four NCAA appearances and three NITs. The men have won four postseason games during this run.

It was a must-win Saturday night for the Tigers, who did so with four players in double figures, led by 15 from Ray Robins, who also had 10 against Brown. Will Venable went all 40 minutes in the win over Yale after going 39 against Brown.

The men are now 11-9 overall and 5-2 at the midway point of the Ivy season, looking up at unbeaten Penn and once-beaten Brown. There is a long way to go before the season ends with the Tigers and Quakers at Jadwin Gym. 

There will be more on the men's basketball team as the week goes along. For today, though, TB promised you a great statistical anomaly, and a great statistical anomaly you will have.

The best game of the weekend in the Ivy League was played in New Haven Saturday night, when the Princeton women defeated Yale 94-92 in three overtimes.

It was two different halves for Princeton that forced OT in the first place. The Tigers led 45-28 at the break, when it seemed like overtime was the last thing anyone would have to worry about. Princeton was on fire from three in the first 20 minutes, shooting 8 for 17 to build that 17-point lead.

And then it vanished. Yale stormed back all the way, knotting it at 78-78. It wouldn't be settled for three overtimes.

But again, where's the anomaly?

Here it is. Princeton seniors Maureen Lane (21 points) and Allison Cahill (24 points) both went over 1,000 point in the game. Two teammates, both of whom reached 1,000 points in the same game.

How often does that happen? That may never have happened before, right?

Well, just a second. In fact, the last time Princeton women's basketball had someone reach 1,000 points, it was also two someones. 

Going back four years, both Maggie Langlas and Kate Thirolf went over 1,000 points in the same game. Has that ever happened? 

Has a college basketball team ever had two players reach 1,000 points in the same game - twice? 

Oh, and where was it that Langlas and Thirolf went over 1,000? It was on the court at the Sheriff Center in Hawaii.

Why is that a big deal? 

Well, that just also happens to be the court where the most recent men's 1,000-point scorer did so. Gabe Lewullis scored his 1,000th point there in the 1998 Rainbow Classic. That made it three straight Princeton 1,000-point scorers who did so on the same court, only it was an away venue.

And the Sherrif Center just happens to be the Division I venue located furthest from Jadwin Gym.

So yeah, those are all great anomalies. 

And, by the way, congratulations to Maureen Lane and Allison Cahill for this incredible achievement. 

TB, for his part, would say that there is a much greater chance that someone comes along and breaks Sandi Bittler's career points scoring record or that Princeton's women's basketball team goes to eight NCAA tournaments in a 10-year stretch than there is that there will be two 1,000-point scorers in the same game ever again.

He will let you know if he's right.

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