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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

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Princeton stumbles to third striaght defeat

Princeton >> Mitch Henderson insists he won’t hit the panic button four games into the season, but based on Saturday’s head-scratching performance that culminated in a third-consecutive defeat, it may be time to wonder if Princeton will figure it out before it’s too late.

There wasn’t any evidence of that in a 79-68 home loss to Incarnate Word, a program still in the transitional phase to Division I.

“It’s a disappointing loss for us,” Henderson said. “I don’t want to make light of us, because I think we got a long way to go. We manage to let teams do what they do really well.”
Incarnate Word, located in San Antonio and representing the Southland Conference, is in its second season in Division I. The Cardinals won 21 games last season, their first at the Division I level, although 12 of those victories came against lower-tier competition.

UIW (3-0) won its first two games against a Division III and NAIA school, and four of its first five contests are against non-Division I opposition.

None of that deterred them against the Tigers.

The Cardinals shot 39 free throws and finished plus-13 from the line (35-22). All five of its starters scored in double figures, led by Jontrell Walker with 21 points.

Spencer Weisz paced Princeton (1-3) with 22 points, including 20 of the Tigers’ first 33.

Weisz single-handedly brought Princeton back after it got off to a sleepy start that coincided with the 11 a.m. tip-off. The sophomore forward scored 18 points during a 21-2 Tigers run, erasing a 17-point deficit and giving them a two-point lead early in the second.

Pete Miller’s dunk put Princeton ahead, 45-43, with 11:33 left, but UIW answered with a 10-0 run to retake the lead.

“We needed Spencer to make some bombs from deep just to get us back in the game,” Henderson said. “I’m sure I’m going to be more disappointed as we go a long, but my mantra with this team has been (that) we’re a work in progress and we got to keep going. Nobody’s feeling sorry for us.”

Three other Tiger players reached double figures with Steven Cook putting in a solid shift off the bench, scoring 14 points.

Henderson said Cook isn’t likely to come off the bench when the team travels to California for the Wooden Legacy Classic over Thanksgiving.

“I don’t think you can get frustrated because I’m seeing some signs,” Henderson said. “We’re not quite understanding what it takes to win.”

At least the coach has until Ivy play starts to figure it out.

“I keep asking those guys the same question: When are we going to crack through?” Henderson said. “We’re very much a sum-of-the-parts team. We have to get our point guard to stay out of foul trouble in the first half. Our shooters aren’t making shots. You really start to feel the world is collapsing in on you, but if a couple of those shots fall, man, it’s a pretty different game.

"I never want to hit the panic button, especially in the Ivy because I think you’ve got to get yourself better.”


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