Princeton, NJ – Heading into the second half, it looked like the Princeton Tigers would cruise to victory in their Ivy League opener against arch-rival Penn. It turned out tougher than that but Princeton was still able to hold on for a 61-52 victory.
The Tigers’ leading scorer, Steven Cook, struggled with foul trouble and was held scoreless, yet Princeton led 34-17 at he half behind a combination of Penn’s poor shooting and the outstanding play off the bench of Princeton’s 6-4 junior guard, Amir Bell.
But with less than seven minutes to go, the score was tied at 44. What happened? Penn started to make shots. The architect of the comeback was 6-1 junior guard, Darnell Foreman. Foreman scored a game-high 17 points, many of which came in transition off a steal. “That kid Foreman was just running right down our throats,” Princeton Head Coach Mitch Henderson said. “He was really hard to guard.”
The Quakers, who went 0-for-7 behind the arc in the first half, hit 7-for-9 from distance in the second half. Fortunately for the Tiger faithful, after a much needed time-out with 6:49 to go, Princeton regained its composure and pulled away behind the stellar play of 6-1 sophomore guard, Devin Cannady.
Despite going 0-for-6 from behind the arc, Cannady has great mechanics and is able to create his shot off the dribble. “I thought the difference, in particular at the end of the clock, Cannady made a couple of really big plays,” Penn Head Coach Steve Donahue said. Princeton’s most important player on the night was 6-5 sophomore guard/forward, Myles Stephens. The New Jersey native went just 2-for-8 from the field, but hit a huge three pointer down the stretch and pulled down a game high ten rebounds (four offensive).
Stephens’ work defensively was a big reason Penn’s star freshman, AJ Brodeur, had his worst game of the year. Last week’s Ivy co-player and rookie of the week was doubled constantly and struggled at the foul line (4-of-10). Brodeur finished with a season-low six points but impressed all in attendance with his toughness and combination of quickness, strength, and jumping ability. The Quakers have something special in AJ Brodeur.
The loss drops Penn to 6-6 on the season ahead of January 13th’s match-up at home with last year’s league champions, Yale. Princeton extends their win streak against Penn to six games, improves to 8-6 on the season and faces Brown at home, also on the 13th.
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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