Saturday, March 7, 2015

GAME RECAP: Princeton 66, Cornell 53

 See the Recap from Princeton Athletics (click here)

Princeton >> Princeton was not about to let this one get away, splitting its season series with Cornell after a 66-53 victory Friday night at Jadwin Gym.
With the Tigers (14-14, 7-5) out of the Ivy League title race, they were looking to avenge a 68-60 loss to the Big Red back on Fed. 7. That loss involved getting on the wrong end of a 22-0 run over the course of seven minutes of the second half, squandering a 12-point lead entering the final eight minutes of the game.
“We had to come out with a win after we finished so many games the wrong way, so it was time for us to close out a game on top,” Clay Wilson said of the Cornell loss. “We hadn’t forgotten about it as a team and were ready to get a win.”
Princeton had to go through the most of the first half without its top big, Hans Brase. Foul trouble ended what had been a promising start for the junior, who had five points through the first four minutes of the game when he was called for his second foul. He didn’t reappear in the game until the final minute of the half, when he knocked down two free throws to give his team a 32-25 lead at halftime.
With Brase out, coach Mitch Henderson looked to his bench for production and he got some from Wilson. The Oklahoma native came off the bench with seven points and would go on to finish with a team-high 15 points, one point off tying his career best.
“Whenever I come in, I’m just ready to bring the energy and something I can do is cut really hard and that helps our offense move,” Wilson said. “The faster I cut, the more I can get open and I can get others open off my cuts. When I got in there, I was ready to play, my time is winding down, so I have to take advantage of every second.”
Princeton had to contend with Cornell’s Shonn Miller all night, as the Big Red forward tallied 25 points and eight rebounds.
Henderson will take the win, but wasn’t thrilled about 16 turnovers on the night.
“It’s something we haven’t had an issue with in four years, we got about four illegal screens, four pushes, I don’t mind it if guys are looking for each other or if they’re being aggressive,” Henderson said. “I thought about five of those were ‘within the game’ turnovers, the others were not being tough with the ball and I don’t think the pressure was overwhelming, but it’s nice to get a win when you have a lot of turnovers like that.”
With Brase back in the fold in the second half, he finished with 14 points. After scoring only three points in the first half, Spencer Weisz ended up with 10 points.
Princeton has its home finale with Columbia on Saturday before travelling to the Palestra to face Penn in its regular season finale on Tuesday.

PRINCETON, N.J. –Shonn Miller scored a game high 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but unlike the first meeting, it was a late Princeton run that put the game away to give the Tigers a 66-53 sin on Friday evening at Jadwin Gymnasium. The Tigers evened their record at 14-14 (7-5 Ivy), while the Big Red fell to 13-15 (5-8 Ivy).

Miller scored at least 24 points for the third time in his last four games and grabbed at least eight rebounds for the sixth time in the last seven, but Princeton's balanced offense (three double figure scorers, five players with at least eight points) and 47 percent shooting against arguably the league's best defense gave the home team the win.

After a 22-0 Big Red run late in the first meeting lifted Cornell to a 68-60 victory, an 11-3 run for the home team essentially ended the contest.

The Big Red committed just eight turnovers, but shot just 4-of-21 from 3-point range (19 percent). Galal Cancer had 10 points, three rebounds and two assists and JoJo Fallas notched five points, two rebounds and two assists. Devin Cherry had five points and four assists in the loss.

Cornell forced 16 Princeton turnovers, but the Tigers shot 56 percent after halftime to claim the win. The home team made 25-of-30 free throws, while Cornell attempted just 12 on the evening.

The Tigers had the better of an uneven first half of basketball, taking a 32-25 lead into halftime. The highlight for the Big Red was an amazing dunk by Miller in transition over a Tiger defender to get the visitors within 21-19. Cornell stuck around much of the first half despite continued struggles shooting the ball, but Princeton created some separation late in the first 20 minutes.

A 10-2 Big Red run that included an alley-oop dunk and 3-pointer by Miller, a driving layup by Robert Mischler and a 3-pointer by Cancer cut an 11-point Princeton lead to five (53-48) with eight and a half minutes to play, but the Tigers clamped back down. Cornell missed its next three shots, while Princeton got a backdoor layup and four free throws to extend the lead back to nine. The visitors wouldn't get back within seven points the rest of the way.

The Big Red will close out its season tomorrow when it plays Penn at the Palestra at 7 p.m.

No comments: