Columbia vs Princeton

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Basketball Game 2/9/08

Those who have been paying very close attention to will know that towards the end of last semester, I visited a basketball game between Columbia and Lafyette in which we were royally owned. Armed with the newfound responsibility of bringing images to the masses via the Columbia Daily Spectator, I somehow managed to snag a last-minute assignment where I got to take some photos of... basketball. Today, we play Princeton.

There was a bit of confusion surrounding the media pass (which is why my photo doesn't appear on it) because the assignment was very last-minute. This did mean, however, that I was able to roam around with relative ease at court-level.

That means that I can get even more up close and personal to the players than I normally do...

The game was surprisingly close... the lead didn't swap very often, but the gap was never more than about five points.

The closeness of the game and the pressure of playing in front of the home crowd seemed to push the players a little further than they might have pushed themselves otherwise. This photo made the paper on Monday.

Occasionally, they would push themselves so hard that their tongues would be forced out of their bodies.

Does this remind anyone else of that bit from the movie "Gladiator" where the emperor stabs Maximus in the back just before fighting him in the arena?

A common mistake in basketball is to forget that one is actually playing basketball and take the form of another sport - here rugby is being exchanged for basketball.

Focus on the ball!

During half-time these ridiculous people come out and shoot (yes, SHOOT) t-shirts into the crowd. I want one of those little t-shirt shooting contraptions!

The second half was very closely fought indeed, the difference was between 4 points and 1 point for most of it.

And sometimes, things got a little rough.

Looks like I wasn't the only media present.

One of the princeton players (identifiable by the "P" on his shorts) attempts a screen to block the attack of a Columbia player.

In fact, the game became so tense and exciting, that the cheerleaders were often found away from their stations watching the game.

Not forgetting that sport is all about having fun, these two get jiggy on the dancefloor in the middle of the game. time ran out, the concentration on some of the player's faces was intense.

ah... they're back.

One didn't need to look at the scoreboard to know that it was close, you could see it in the player's eyes. Just in case you think I'm just saying all this stuff to make it seem more exciting than it really was, you can see the scoreboard in the background of this shot. things got more and more tense, people occasionally got thrown to the ground.

This guy was frequently double-teamed which freed up our 3-point shooters to do their damage. In the end, that could've been the crucial difference.

Unlucky for this guy though.

d'oh, I dropped the ball again.

The crowd buoyed them on, and they really did very well under pressure.

Meanwhile, this poor chap kept getting double-teamed.

At this point the princeton defence began to try to undress him, but to no avail.

This is the point where the game actually turned. A slightly sloppy pass in our defensive zone was intercepted by this man...

Who took it upon himself to assert his presence on the game. This photo made the front of the sports section on Monday (a.k.a. the back page).

...and brought the ball all the way down to our attacking end.

Which led to this incident... which, in turn, led to a technical foul, which put us up by two points...

Two points quickly became four points... and here... capitalizing on a fast breakaway, is the point at which the game was effectively sealed. This photo made the front page the sports section on Tuesday... what the...?

Game over princeton... thank you for playing. The clock in the background reads 10.9 seconds...

And when the final whistle blew, I found myself trapped in the press area behind a wall of cheerleaders... I couldnt' get out... so I had no choice but to sit where I was and... *cough*... enjoy the view.

The good ol' marching band... playing everything from the eurythmics to guns n' roses. That weekend we won against Princeton AND Penn... which, in a school where winning at all is something of a rarity, was quite an exceptional performance.

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