Host Princeton bows to Fairleigh Dickinson, 77-66

The Tigers’ second Division I tilt, a home contest against Fairleigh Dickinson Wednesday, ended in a depressingly similar way to last week’s game at Lehigh.

Princeton held a 56-53 advantage at the 9:12 mark of the second period. The Tigers would not lead again. FDU went on a 20-7 run over the next eight minutes, coasting home with a convincing 77-66 road win. Tiger skipper Mitch Henderson alluded to the game as a “second punch in the face” for his club, per the Trentonian. For the second year in a row, the Knights have outscored the Tigers by 15 in the second stanza, although last year’s 22-point halftime advantage saved the Tigers.

The game started promisingly for Princeton, as Devin Cannady returned to the starting lineup, appearing to have recovered completely from what was described as a “high hamstring pull.” Cannady hit his first four threes from NBA range. His 15 points sent the home team into the locker room with a 34-30 lead.

Once again, the Tigers’ defense collapsed after the intermission, surrendering 47 points. Cold shooting continues to plague the Tigers, particularly from beyond the arc, although a 7-for-12 start was encouraging.  After the break, however, Princeton shot 0-for-9. The Knights, on the other hand, hit 8-for-15 in the second half, 12-for-21 for the game. FDU’s 15-point margin on three-pointers more than made the difference.

Cannady’s 21 points and seven rebounds were high for the Tigers. Myles Stephens helped with 18 points and four caroms. Otherwise, no one distinguished himself. Junior center Richmond Aririguzoh was severely limited in playing time by his continuing proclivity to commit personal fouls. He was disqualified after a disappointing 10 minutes of action. His fellow big man Will Gladson has been ineffective, evidently due to the effects of leg injuries dating back to last season. The freshman class has not shown up at this point. Drew Friberg, the sharpshooter from State College, Pa., failed to connect on seven three-point attempts, an especially rough Jadwin Dl debut with his parents looking on.

Jaelin Llewellyn observed the action once again in street clothes on the bench. His arrival remains a mystery. But it is impossible to assume that he will make enough of a difference to propel the Tigers into contention in an historically deep Ivy League.

The Tigers are 1-0 vs. Dlll opponents, and 0-2 in Dl. When it was suggested at courtside that Princeton might be a top 10 Dlll team, the Philly scribe in attendance opined that he was not sure.

Princeton returns to action at Monmouth on Saturday needing to play a good game, regardless of the outcome. Henderson sent 13 players into action last night, obviously searching for a spark. He has not found one yet.

2 thoughts on “Host Princeton bows to Fairleigh Dickinson, 77-66”

  1. I watched that game and I have to say that the Tigers look almost as bad as they did during the Joe Scott years. They look inexperienced and lost. Surprised the Cannady and Stephenson have not provided enough leadership. Afterall, they were part of that historic run through the Ivy just 2 years ago.
    Not sure what the problem is as it is clear that the head coach can coach so I am left with 2 theories: first, the young talent is not as awesome as initially anticipated. I recall watching t he game in Hawaii last year and the announcer saying that Much was perhaps “ the best freshman in the country.” A bit hyperbolic for sure as statements go, but it is obvious he is not near the best in our league. Second: the loss of Brian Earl also coincides with this downturn. Not sure if this makes a difference, but it’s possible.

    They better win Saturday …..

  2. To my eyes, the main problem continues to be the defensive effort. Coach Henderson has emphasized defense as the primary area in need of improvement, yet there is zero evidence so far that this team has improved from last year’s disastrous Ivy campaign in which the defense failed virtually every weekend. In fact, it looks like things may be worse without Amir Bell. Not to make too much out of one game but the play of Drew Friberg really hurt Princeton against FDU. He not only clanked shot after shot, ruining many offensive possessions, he also looked utterly lost at times on defense. The silver lining is he can only get better, right? The only positive I can think of right now is that maybe this team will reverse the pattern from last year and get better rather than regress. Last year, Princeton put together a fantastic West Coast road trip and looked poised to make run in the Ivy campaign. Instead, everything fell apart once Ivy play commenced. Maybe the opposite will happen this year.

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