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No. 25 Harvard loses 70-62 at Princeton

Harvard coach Tommy Amaker is more worried about the Ivy League standings than the national rankings.

Both took a hit on Saturday night.

Keith Wright had 16 points and 12 rebounds but No. 25 Harvard lost 70-62 at Princeton to end its unbeaten run in the conference.

The Crimson are making their third appearance in the Top 25 this season and likely will drop out for the third time. Losses to nonconference foes Connecticut and Fordham pushed the school out the previous two times.

Harvard (21-3, 7-1) still leads the Ivy League, but its advantage is down to one game over Yale and Penn.

"We're not really concerned with the rankings," Amaker said. "It's nice to have it but we're concerned with our league.

"Obviously this is a tough loss for us tonight. We'll play the season out and see where we are. Hopefully we can bounce back next week. It's a long horse race."

Ian Hummer had 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Princeton in his first game since he went 0 for 11 from the field in a 59-47 victory over Dartmouth on Friday night.

T.J. Bray added 12 points for the Tigers (13-10, 4-3), who defeated the Crimson at home for the 23rd straight time. Princeton has not lost to Harvard at Jadwin Gym since 1989.

"I didn't know about that, but that's OK," said coach Mitch Henderson, who played for the Tigers in the early stages of the streak. "This is a really good Harvard team, this is a big win for us. They're gonna be tough to beat right now. They're doing a great job and I know they'll finish the year strong."

"I never knew that stat," Amaker said. "Obviously Saturday night games in our league are going to be challenging for the road team, we found that out here tonight."

Harvard had won nine straight and was attempting to go 8-0 in the Ivy League for the first time. Brandyn Curry had 15 points and Kyle Casey added 12 points and eight rebounds.

Bray's jumper gave Princeton a 48-46 lead with 5:13 remaining and Harvard trailed the rest of the way. The Tigers went 14 of 17 from the free throw line in the final five minutes.

"This was a tough loss for us," Amaker said. "Princeton deserved to win. They did an outstanding job at getting the ball in the post. I was disappointed in our ability to make the plays defensively in the second half."

Brendan Connolly scored 12 points while Mack Darrow and Denton Koon had 10 each as Princeton won consecutive Ivy games for the first time this year.

In the first meeting between the teams since the Tigers won a one-point playoff game to get into the NCAA tournament last March, Harvard led for much of the second half.

After Bray's jumper gave Princeton the lead, Casey hit one of two free throws to cut the margin to one. Princeton then went on an 11-2 run to open a 59-49 advantage with 2:05 remaining.

The Tigers went 7 for 8 from the line in the final 52.5 seconds to secure the win.

Students in the near-capacity crowd stormed the court following Princeton's first win against a ranked team since Nov. 23, 1997, when it beat Wake Forest at the Meadowlands. It's the Tigers' first win over a ranked team at home since Jan. 3, 1977, against Notre Dame.

Princeton shot 62.5 percent (15 for 24) in the second half and 50 percent (25 for 50) for the game.

Using its backdoor offense frequently, Princeton took a 12-8 lead while holding Harvard to 4-for-15 shooting. The Crimson went on a 14-4 run to build its biggest lead of the half at 22-16. Harvard made 6 of 9 during the run and entered halftime with a 27-22 advantage.