Yale came into Friday night's game leading the Ivy League in field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage defense.
Neither came through for the Bulldogs against Princeton, the league's top dog right now and winners of 12 straight after pinning an impressive 71-52 win on Yale, extending a nasty little streak of five consecutive losses at Lee Amphitheater.
Sophomore Devin Cannady poured in a season high-tying 29 points, including 20 in the first half on the strength of 6 of 7 hits from three-point range to lead all scorers.
He took one three in the second half — and made it.
"First and foremost it was just my teammates finding me in open spots," Cannady said. "But they played more zone this time and in a zone, you have your weaknesses, your weak spots, and I found myself in most of those weak spots and I was making my shots."
Princeton improves to 16-6 overall, 9-0 in the Ivy League. Yale is 14-8, 6-3.
Princeton shot 59.1 percent from the floor and a head-spinning 56.5 percent — or 13 of 23 — from three. And the Tigers had Cannady.
"It's hard to win when you're going against a guy who goes 7-for-8 from the arc," Yale coach James Jones said. "It gives them a tremendous boost and every time we got an opportunity, they hit another three. They shot 56 percent from the arc. We were the best team in the league in three-point field goal percentage defense and it got away from us tonight."
Myles Stephens was scoring outside (2 of 6 from three) and getting higher than everybody inside on his way to 20 points on 9 of 16 shooting for the Tigers, too.
"We have a team full of, in my opinion, real good basketball players and it's definitely beneficial when you can come together as a unit," Cannady said. "And I think that's what we did on the defensive end and offensively, just feeling it, flowing, making shots, so anyone could have a night like I did tonight."
It was the second worst loss of the season for Yale in terms of margin following a 24-point loss at No.14 Virginia in November. The Bulldogs, led by Miye Oni's 12 points and Anthony Dallier's 10, never got to within single digits in the second half. When Princeton's Amir Bell sank a three from in front of the Tigers bench, making it 62-45, it represented their largest of the game with a little over eight minutes to play.
Yale's only lead was 3-2 and they only had it for about 47 seconds.
In addition to shooting, the Tigers turned it up defensively, holding the Bulldogs to 38.8 percent and 33.3 from three. They did it with a lot of switching, a lot of hands flying and a ton of hustle.
"They have five guys who are all about the same size," Jones said. "They do a good job of switching on any kind of cross [passes] so some of the looks we get offensively were not there because of those, and they did a good job with bodying us and in the paint and making it hard to score the basket."
The win secured a season sweep of the Bulldogs, which means Yale will not be winning back-to-back outright titles. The Tigers are in the drivers' seat to win the conference crown.
Just as important, the Tigers clinched a spot in the first-ever Ivy League conference tournament, which will be played next month at the Palestra in Philadelphia. Harvard and Yale were tied for second going into Friday. Yale, which hosts Penn Sunday and plays at Harvard Friday, has slipped to third.
The top four teams go to the tournament.
"It's not our goal to make the tournament, the first goal is to hopefully be league champs," Tigers coach Mitch Henderson said. "It's a good feeling and it's exciting and I can feel it with every team in the league."
Princeton, which led by as many as 11 points in the first half, built a 38-29 lead at the break on some hot shooting from the field (61 percent on 14 of 23 shots) and a three-point clinic, led by Cannady. The Tigers hit 8 of 15 from long range with Cannady, the sophomore from Mishawaka, Ind., hitting on 6 of 7.
It was just the third 20-point game of the season for Cannady, who had seven points in Princeton's 66-58 win over the Bulldogs at Jadwin gym Jan.14.
Two of his threes Friday night came in a burst of four consecutive treys made by the Tigers that helped boost their 13-9 lead to 22-14 with 9:52 seconds to go until the break. They pushed the lead up again, although short-lived, to 35-24 on another Cannady three.
Dallier (team-leading seven first-half points) answered with a three on Yale's next trip down, but the Bulldogs were handcuffed by the Tigers defense. Yale shot 42 percent on three-pointers (3 of 7), but a good look was hard to find against Princeton.