Princeton handles Penn in Ivy League Opener
By: Ethan Hennessy
The Penn Quakers and Princeton Tigers met for the 242 time on Saturday night with Penn leading the series 126 to 115. The venue was the historic Palestra in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The palestra is not only the home court of the Penn Quakers, but it is also the venue that has hosted the second most NCAA tournament games (behind UD Arena), is the home of Philly Big 5 Basketball, hosted the first ever Ivy League Tournament, and occasional other events like a top 25 matchup in the first game of the Saturday’s doubleheader which was Penn State vs. Iowa. This building is overflowing with history which one can easily tell by walking the concourse. Pictures and signs of the wall describe famous players and coaches that have participated in games there, and the history of the Big 5 and Ivy League.
This particular game’s narrative was about two of the Ivy League’s best big men squaring off. Princeton’s Richmond Aririguzoh and Penn’s AJ Brodeur battled all night long. Aririguzoh had a better showing putting up 15 points and 14 rebounds in a 78 to 64 Tigers win compared to Brodeur’s 12 and eight in the losing effort. Richmond praised AJ Brodeur after the game when asked what he tried to do to get him off his game he said “He’s a great player, has been for the past three years. He’s a staple in the Ivy league, and for us it was just about making him uncomfortable making every catch hard, every finish hard.” He also mentioned how he was really conscious about staying out of foul trouble.
Princeton jumped out to an early lead, 10-6 at the first media timeout, and then 20-12 at the ten minute mark. It did take the Tigers a while to get the lead up to double digits, but they maintained that throughout the second half. Given the performance of their big men particularly Aririguzoh its not surprising that much of the reason for their success in this game was due to points in the paint. Princeton scored 52 of their 78 total points in the paint. Penn did go on a little run at the end cutting a 21 point lead down to 11 with 2:46 remaining. They then went to the press. However, the deficit proved to be too much for the Quakers as Princeton hit their free throws down the stretch to maintain the lead, and leave Philadelphia with a dominating road win.
Mitch Henderson in his 9th season leading Princeton said “This was a terrific way to start off the year and a terrific road win”.
In something you do not see often in college basketball regular season scheduling both teams next game is this same matchup just shifted location to Princeton New Jersey. I asked Henderson what does he need to do during this upcoming week to have the same result? He responded: “They hurt us on the boards. We’ll look closely at everything. I enjoy this type of stuff very much; its like playoff style coaching. I’m sure they’ll make some changes, but so will we.”
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