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Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Princeton gets by Dartmouth, ready for Harvard

HANOVER, N.H. — If there were any worry about a potential trap game against Dartmouth the night before Princeton’s big matchup with Harvard, the Tigers put those concerns to bed fairly quickly Friday night.

More than 300 miles away from Jadwin Gym in its first Ivy road game of the season, Princeton put on a strong offensive performance, beating the Big Green 73-55. With the win, the Tigers improve to 5-1 in the conference and 12-8 overall.

“We definitely weren’t overlooking anything, by any means,” said sophomore Denton Koon, who led the Tigers with 18 points. “This is a good team with a lot of young guys that are very talented. We came here ready to play, knowing that we had two games this weekend.”

Though Princeton scored on each of its first six possessions, Dartmouth — a team comprised almost entirely of freshmen and sophomores — was able to hang with the Tigers early thanks largely to the play of freshman center Gabas Maldunas, who was extremely active down low and on the glass.

Princeton coach Mitch Henderson threw nearly every big man on his bench at the young Lithuanian, from Hans Brase to Brendan Connolly to Will Barrett. None were particularly successful, and Maldunas finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.

“We needed to find somebody that could stop him,” Henderson said. “Everybody needed a crack at it.”

With 10:51 left in the first, Dartmouth’s Malik Gill hit a 3 from the top of the arc, tying the game at 19.

“I was a little disappointed with the way we started the game defensively,” Henderson said. “I thought we made some nice corrections, but most of their points were earned. We made some mistakes and they made us pay for them.”

That deadlock, however, was short-lived. Koon came back and hit a 3 on the other end, forcing the Big Green out of their compact zone defense. Forced to match up, Dartmouth simply couldn’t handle the Tigers’ array of offensive weapons. Princeton proceeded to go on a 15-3 run.

“They mixed it up (defensively) on us,” Henderson said. “I thought (point guard) T.J. (Bray) was very good, and so was Denton, finding the guys that needed to be found. I thought Ian (Hummer) played within himself. When we move the ball we’re nice, but defensively we can’t get too spread out.”

The Tigers cruised into the half up 42-28, shooting 60 percent from the floor and 71.4 percent from behind the 3-point line.

“We just executed and found the open guy,” Koon said.

Princeton extended its lead in the second, building a 25-point margin at 72-47 with 5:48 left in the game. The Tigers looked to be on pace for their highest-scoring output of the season, but with many of their lesser-used players on the floor, only scored one more point in the game

Four Princeton players scored more than 10 points. In addition to Koon’s 18, Hummer had 14, Brase had 12 and Barrett finished with 11.

With Dartmouth now officially out of the way, the Tigers can now look ahead to Saturday night’s 7 p.m. showdown at Harvard. The Crimson are the only other Ivy League squad with just a single loss, beating Penn 73-54 Friday to improve to 6-1.

“We just have to be ready to go,” Henderson said.


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