No. 9 Princeton Crushes Cornell 72-59

After watching No. 9 Princeton easily defeat his team 72-59 Saturday, Cornell coach Scott Thompson figures the Ivy League champions will go far in the NCAA tournament.

"They are capable of being a Sweet 16 team. I really think they are that good," Thompson said of Princeton."When they are in their rhythm with their passing and cutting and shooting, they can play with anybody."

Princeton (25-1, 13-0 Ivy League) was more bashful about its Top 25 ranking.

"We're probably overrated in the polls," said center Steve Goodrich. "We haven't had to defend that ranking like other teams."

Cornell (9-17, 6-8) didn't put up much of an attack Saturday, hitting only 2-of-15 3-point attempts and shooting 42 percent from the field.

Princeton's 10-of-20 shooting from 3-point shooting range easily pierced the Big Red defense. Princeton, undefeated in the Ivy League, hit 54 percent of its shots.

Friday night's victory over Columbia made Princeton the first team in the country to clinch a spot in the 64-team NCAA tournament. But even with its berth assured, Princeton showed no signs of relaxing against Cornell.

Princeton took a lead seven minutes into the game, which Cornell never managed to threaten. The Tigers had an 11-point lead at the half, and in the second half, Cornell got within nine points only once. At one point after intermission, Princeton led by 22.

"We realize it's a special thing," said Princeton forward Gabe Lewullis."But we want to make some noise in the tournament."

Lewullis said the key for the Tigers has been focused play with low-key emotions.

"There's been no track record of these guys being unfocused or letting down," said Princeton coach Bill Carmody.

Steve Goodrich led the Tigers with 19 points. Lewullis had 17 points and six rebounds, while Brian Earl added 14 points.

Cornell's Brent Fisher, had 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds. DeShawn Standard added 11 points.

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