Princeton Men’s Basketball Opens Season With a Blowout Against DeSales
The Princeton Tigers Men’s Basketball Team stepped onto the court at Jadwin Gymnasium for the first time Friday night to open the 2018-2019 season with a 85-51 dismantling of DeSales University.
Without their senior guard Devin Cannady, Princeton looked to fellow senior Myles Stephens to run the show on offense and he did just that.
Stephens dropped 21 points on 7-16 shooting on his way to becoming the 35th player in school history to reach 1000 career points.
It did not take long for coach Mitch Henderson’s starting five to take control of the game through his up-tempo defense and high powered three point shooting offense.
The Tiger’s offense got into rhythm thanks to Myles Stephens finding freshman forward Drew Friberg on a pair of threes for his first buckets of his collegiate career.
On defense, it was six-foot-nine center Richmond Aririguzoh clogging up the middle and controlling the boards. The junior from Ewing, N.J. was a pivotal piece in Princeton’s plot to foil the Bulldog’s offensive game plan, not so much on the defensive end as he was on his own offense end.
Things began to unravel for DeSales when their focal point got into foul trouble early in the first half. Aririgouzoh forced DeSale’s big man Keba Mitchell into four first half fouls, much to the disapproval of head coach Scott Coval, who could be heard yelling “they’re not even paying us to be here, come on,” at the officiating crew.
DeSales made it a point early on to get the ball into the paint to Mitchell. In the first ten minutes of the half, the Bulldogs ran most of their offense through Mitchell, either giving him the green light to drive to the hoop or running plays off of him and letting him distribute.
It was clearly part of the game plan and, to Coval’s credit, it was working.
DeSales had their moments in the first half, but with Mitchell unable to stay on the court, Princeton dominated under the hoop, outscoring DeSales 34-22 in the paint and out rebounded the Bulldogs 52-32.
With 7:08 remaining in the second half, Princeton brought the ball past midcourt like any other possession, but this possession ended like only 35 others have in program history.
A pull-up three pointer by Stephens etched his name in the Princeton history books, taking his career point total to 1,000 and bringing the 1,600 in attendance at Jadwin Gymnasium to their feet.
The three also gave the Tigers their biggest lead of the night at 34 points, a margin that they would hold onto, winning with a final score of 85-51.
Princeton advances to 1-0 on the season and will travel up to Bethlehem to take on Lehigh University. Lehigh defeated Princeton 85-76 last season.
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