Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Red-hot St. Joe’s hands Princeton 1st loss of season
By DYLAN LUTEY
The Princeton-St. Joe’s game was arguably the biggest game on the college calendar on Sunday.
With a win, Princeton would improve to 9-0 and potentially enter the AP Top 25 on Monday. A win for St. Joe’s would extend their winning streak to five games with another quality victory.
In a back and forth affair at Hagan Arena, Billy Lange’s St. Joe’s club came out with a 74-70 win behind a game-high 21 points from Erik Reynolds II and 18 points from Lynn Greer III.
“Huge shoutout to [the fans],” Reynolds told reporters post-game. “I really feed off their energy; I feel like we all do. I really feel like their energy and their presence right there caused them to miss a couple of free-throws.”
The Hawks improved to 8-2 and would likely be a Top 25 team were it not for a home loss to Texas A&M Commerce on Nov. 17.
Princeton missed four free throws in the final 1:30 of the game, while Reynolds made 6-of-6 down the stretch.
Reynolds, who leads the team with 16.7 points per game, reached the 20-point mark for the third time this season.
With 1:54 left and a tie game the team’s leading scorer Xaivian Lee (20 points) went to the line and missed both of his shots from the charity stripe. Then, with 1:17 and a 70-68 lead in favor of the Hawks due to 2 clutch free-throws from Reynolds, Dalen Davis failed to convert either of his attempts.
Lange was happy with his team’s performance against a team he expressed a lot of respect for.
“Princeton’s a great team, not a good team, a great team,” Lange said. Their players are great, not good, great. We had to play very well tonight and we played well when we needed to. This is a good win for us right now.”
Despite the tough loss, Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson hopes it’s a learning experience.
“Guys were hanging their heads in the locker rooms… it’s not always gonna go our way,” Henderson said of the loss in a post-game press conference. “Thankfully this is not happening in the league right? Great environment, great college basketball game, [and] lots of things for us to take away from this one. I don’t really believe in good losses or anything like that but they were terrific.”
Looking ahead for each team, the Hawks will take on Iona (3-6) on Dec. 16 as part of the Holiday Hoopfest at UBS Arena (the home of the New York Islanders) and the Tigers will face Bryn Athyn, a Division 3 school, on Dec. 13.
Follow Dylan on TwitterFollow Adam Zagoria on TwitterFollow ZAGSBLOGHoops on InstagramAnd Like ZAGS on Facebook
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.