The Tigers became the second Ivy team to come away from Lafayette with a road win this week. On Sunday, Brain Earl’s Cornell Big Red earned him his first career victory as a head coach. Wednesday night, Princeton dominated the second half to establish a comfortable 71-55 margin of victory.
After two straight losses to open the season, the Tigers played tentatively at the outset, plagued again by poor shooting. Lafayette’s troublesome zone seemed to confuse the visitors for much of the first half.
Fortunately, Lafayette is having its own struggles on offense early in the season. The teams traded turnovers, personal fouls and a few baskets through the first 16 minutes. At that point Lafayette led 26-25. Hans Brase and Pete Miller each accumulated two early fouls. When Alec Brennan was ineffective coach Mitch Henderson inserted freshman Will Gladson, a 6’ 10” 255-pound native of Missouri.
Gladson made his presence known almost immediately. Of course, at his size he is difficult to ignore. He canned his first two field-goal attempts, three pointers from above the key, and he disrupted the Leopards’ inside game. Sparked by Gladson’s heroics, the Tigers closed out the first period on a 9-3 run to grab a lead they would not relinquish for the balance of the evening.
Princeton amped up its defensive intensity in the second half, virtually shutting down the Leopards. The Tigers moved out to a 12-point lead with 11 minutes left, effectively ending the contest.
Seniors Henry Caruso and Steven Cook each scored 14 points to lead the winners. Both displayed the strengths of their games, Caruso with some terrific work inside at both ends of the floor and Cook with some fabulous athletic moves to get himself open looks. Devin Cannady added 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists in a busy night’s work. Henderson’s team shot 50 percent, made 11 threes and outrebounded the Leopards 36-25.
For the evening, Gladson scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds in nine minutes. He can expect more work going forward.