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Yale edges Princeton 66-64 to win Ivy League tournament

Ivy League Basketball Tournament - Princeton v Yale

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 13: Azar Swain #05 of the Yale Bulldogs kisses the Ivy League Basketball Tournament trophy after defeating the Princeton Tigers in the championship game at Lavietes Pavilion on March 13, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rachel O’Driscoll/Getty Images)

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Azar Swain scored 23 points and Yale held on for a 66-64 victory over Princeton to win the Ivy League tournament on Sunday.

The Bulldogs will play in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time. Yale last went to the NCAAs in 2019 and was to be the league representative for the cancelled 2020 event. The Ivy League cancelled its 2020-21 season.

Second-seeded Yale, which led nearly the entire game, was up by nine with a minute left. But Ethan Wright hit a 3-pointer and Jaelin Llewellyn added two more, the final one with 24 seconds remaining, to get the top-seeded Tigers within two after Yale’s Bez Mbeng had made a pair of free throws for Yale.

After Yale’s Isaiah Kelly missed two free throws with 14.4 seconds to go, Llewellyn drove inside but his effort to kick out a pass went off the bottom of the backboard and struck him as he went out of bounds with 1.5 left. Yale, which had two five-second violations in the final minutes, threw a long inbounds pass that Llewellyn intercepted but his desperation heave wasn’t close.

Swain shot 9 of 21 with three 3-pointers. Mbeng added 13 points and 11 rebounds plus three steals and Matt Knowling had 12 points and five assists for the Bulldogs (19-11), who split with Princeton during the regular season but finished a game back of the first-place Tigers.

Tosan Evbuomwan scored 20 points with 11 rebounds and five assists for Princeton (23-6), which came in on an eight-game win streak. Llewellyn added 18 points and Wright 15. Princeton, ranked in the top 10 nationally in field-goal (49.05) and 3-point percentage (38.99) and eighth in scoring offense (80.4), shot 41%, made 10 of 30 from the arc and tied their season low for points.

Yale took a 7-4 lead on a Bbeng 3-pointer and led the rest of the way, holding a 32-25 halftime advantage. The Bulldogs led by as many as 11 in the second half, holding off several Princeton charges.

Yale shot 46%, made 6 of 17 from the arc and was plus-nine on the boards.