The Legend of Romeo Langford grows.
Langford, New Albany’s heralded All-American, fought his way through a sprained wrist, fourth-quarter leg cramps and a busted nose to score 36 points as the Bulldogs held off Cincinnati Princeton 65-64 Friday night on national television.
“I just had to play through it,” said Langford, who said it was the most physical team they’ve played this season. He sprained his wrist in the first quarter.
“His wrist is fine,” said New Albany coach Jim Shannon. “He’s said he’d play through it so that tells me it’s not that big of a deal … If he tells me he’s good, I’m good. No, if he tells me he’s good, I’m great.
“It was a physical game,” Shannon said. “I thought we let both teams play. They were just more physical than us. They called a lot of fouls. I just don’t think they called all of them.”
The New Albany coach admitted they beat an excellent team. “I thought we played well enough to win the game,” he said. “But I thought they played well enough to win the game.”
Langford started red-hot, hitting three 3-pointers in the first quarter and scored 17 points.
Then the Vikings (10-2) got physical with Langford, the eighth leading scorer in the history of Indiana high school basketball.
For New Albany, the school’s 35-game homecourt winning streak appeared in jeopardy when Princeton scored the first six points of the third quarter and led 33-29.
The Bulldogs (12-1), though, quickly responded, starting with a Langford 3-pointer with 6:25 left in the third quarter.
From there, the game stayed tight.
Princeton’s Darweshi Hunter, who led the Vikings with 25 points, hit a layup with six seconds left in the regulation to tie the game at 42.
Langford missed a long-range 3-pointer at the buzzer.
In overtime, Princeton’s own McDonald’s All-American, Darius Bazley, fouled out with 3:29 left.
Bazley, who has signed with Syracause, finished with 24 points.