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The Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog is back and improved. We'll keep you updated on everything you need to know about Rider and Princeton hoops as well as the college basketball landscape.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

QUICK REACTION: No. 6 Syracuse 73, Princeton 53

As far as 20-point loses go, the Tigers can't be too upset with this one considering they were able to cut the Syracuse lead to just six points with 13:43 left in the game. Had they not fallen into a quick 10-2 hole, the complexion of the game could have been very different down the stretch. There was certainly more to be hopeful about in this one than in Princeton's last visit to a Big East (for the moment at least) gym, their 82-61 loss at Pitt in last year's CBI.


THE GOOD:
Shooters making shots: If there was any question about Clay Wilson's ability to get his shot up against bigger, more athletic perimeter defenses, Wednesday night was pretty good evidence to the contrary. The sophomore was 5 of 9 from deep, including the three that pulled the game to within six. In addition to dishing out seven assists, T.J. Bray also showed some signs of getting back on track, hitting going 2 of 3 from deep. One of his threes was from well beyond NBA range as the first half expired.

Execution vs. the zone: While they had too many turnovers (see below) the Tigers were able to run some nice offense against the vaunted Syracuse zone. Particularly memorable were the feeds from Ian Hummer in the high post to Brendan Connolly down low. Princeton shot 44 percent from the field in the game, a solid number that shows they were able to get some easy baskets.

Denton Koon: Another nice showing off the bench from Koon, who knocked down just the second three of his career as he continues the transition from being primarily a post player to the wing. He finished with nine points and two rebounds.


THE BAD:
Defensive rebounding: The Tigers probably weren't going to win the rebounding battle against a team like Syracuse, but not all rebounds are created equal. Syracuse was able to grab 13 offensive rebounds, including 5 (!) in the first 2:15 of the game. Although that situation eventually stabilized as the Tigers were able to claw back into the game, their slow start put them behind the eight-ball.

Turnovers: The Orange forced 24 Princeton turnovers in the game, and only committed 13. The recipe for underdogs trying to upset a heavily-favored opponent is usually to try to slow the game down and limit possessions, so like with offensive rebounds, turnovers were especially costly. Syracuse shot the ball 19 more times than the Tigers.

Will Barrett: It was a tough game for the junior, who has really been one of the pleasant surprises for the Tigers this season. He was held scoreless and had four turnovers in just 19 minutes.

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