Philadelphia, PA – On the 90th anniversary of The Palestra, the “Cathedral of College Basketball”, it only made sense that Penn would host Princeton, a team it has faced here more than other in The Palestra’s history. Despite the mystique surrounding this ancient building, there was little sense of magic in the air as Princeton buried Penn 64-49 behind a barrage of 14 three pointers.
Leading the charge was the reigning Ivy League Player of the Week, Spencer Weisz. The 6-4 senior guard hit 6-of-10 from deep en route to a game-high 22 points. Weisz, who is usually more of a facilitator than a scorer (leads team in assists and third in points), has averaged 20 points over his last three games. Absent from the scoring sheet was Princeton’s leading scorer Steven Cook. The 6-5 senior guard needed just one point to become Princeton’s second active 1,000-point scorer (Weisz holds that title). But Cook, who scored 19 in last Saturday’s wild win at Harvard, failed to score a single point in 32 minutes. Filling the point vacuum left by Cook was 6-5 sophomore forward Myles Stephens. Stephens was simply too big, strong, and athletic for Penn players not named AJ Brodeur. Using an inside-out game including several impressive post fadeaways, Stephens added 16 points.
Penn needed this game to stay alive in the hunt for the Ivy League’s first ever conference tournament, was led in the loss by the standout freshman center AJ Brodeur. Despite Penn’s poor record, Brodeur has been a revelation. The 6-8 rookie is already commanding double teams nearly every possession – a strategy that makes sense given Penn’s lack of surrounding talent. Brodeur, who scored 35 points several weeks ago in Penn’s shocking win at La Salle, put up just 10 points and six rebounds in Tuesday night’s loss.
With the win, Princeton moves to 6-0 in Ancient 8 play and 13-6 on the year. Unless the Tigers suffer a catastrophic meltdown down the stretch, they will almost certainly be back at the Palestra on March 11th for the Ivy’s first ever conference tournament. The Quakers drop to 0-6 in conference and 7-12 on the year and are seemingly out of the playoff hunt.
This article was written by Robert Smuckler, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can subscribe to our RSS feed from the upper right corner of our home page, follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
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