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The last four games against Duke.

Because the historical pieces Eleven years of season openers and Rutgers in the 2000s were both so well-received, here's a lengthy look at Princeton's last four games against Duke.

All but the 2007 meeting took place in Durham at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Tigers have an 1-17 all-time record against the Blue Devils, 0-9 on the road and 0-6 at neutral sites.

Two stats to gag on before Sunday's tipoff: Princeton is a horrid 17.2% from three point range in their last three games at Cameron (10-58) and a hideous 3-35 from behind the arc in their last two visits (8.6%).

Enjoy these archived recaps while Stephen Goldsmith and I drive south to North Carolina.

November 14, 2000 - Duke 87 Princeton 50 - Preseason NIT

This was John Thompson III's first game as head coach. The Tigers hung with second-ranked Duke for half a half, trailing 25-20, but the Blue Devils closed on a 21-3 run as Princeton committed 14 turnovers. Shane Battier hit nine of 12 three point shots and the rout was on. Mike Bechtold's 12 points paced Princeton. Here's what I wrote at the time:

Our seats were three rows behind the Tiger bench, surrounded by Duke students. Our seats had the word "guests" etched into the wood, and the row behind us had the word "buffer" etched into each bleacher seat, with stadium security asking students not to sit in these seats.

Princeton was warming up while we found our seats. Nate Walton was in uniform and moving fairly well for a guy last seen on crutches. It was only after Princeton had been taking layups for a few minutes that I noticed Chris Krug was missing. At halftime, when I called my dad looking for news on Krug, I learned Chris had missed the trip down with a virus.

Princeton started Walton at Center. C.J. Chapman and Ed Persia at Guard and Eugene Baah & Mike Bechtold at Forward. Persia picked up two fouls in the first two minutes and was replaced by Kyle Wente. The first thirteen minutes of the game were impressive. Princeton was well composed, found good shots and worked well against the press. Walton missed two backdoor layups, but the Tigers were moving without the ball, cutting hard and doing little things right. Princeton was down 25-20 with 7:37 in the first half. Thompson made some good decisions, including a length of the court "home run" pass to Kyle Wente off of an inbound pass that lead to an easy layup. El-Nokali, in street clothes, was acting as another assistant coach, advising C.J. during timeouts.

Duke turned up their defense, and Princeton made some poor passes which led to easy Duke baskets. Duke outscored Princeton 21-3 to finish the half and it was 46-23 at the break. Terence Rozier-Byrd played center with Walton moving to forward to finish the first half. Princeton shot 9-16 (56.3%) in the first half but turned the ball over 14 times. Duke shot 57%.

To start the second half, Duke hit five straight [!] three pointers. Walton came out to rest his ankle and Thompson went with five guards for a stretch, with Wente and Persia in at the same time. Logan, Wysocki and Hegseth all saw time in the second half. The final score may indicate "blowout" but Princeton kept fighting and played forty hard minutes. For a team playing the cards they have left in the deck, they do some nice things and I think this team can only get better.

Additional observations:

-Ed Persia has a good deal of Mitch Henderson in him. Threw his body all over the court hustling. Played tough and emotional but not out- of-control.

-Either everyone has gotten shorter or Mike Bechtold has grown an inch or two in the last year. Bechtold had a few nice blocked shots and I thought he played the best defense of any Tiger tonight.

-Name a better college player than Shane Battier. Wow.

-Duke has so many assistant coaches in suits they look like a legal defense team when they walk into the gym.

-Heard JTIII on Duke radio while leaving the parking lot. Thompson talked about how Princeton was a better team than they showed tonight and how they have to get better. I know I look forward to the Monmouth game and how the team can develop in the next eleven days.

December 17, 2003 - Duke 69 Princeton 51

I actually have no recollection of going to this game against third-ranked Duke, which took place four days after the Tigers fell 51-49 at home to Rutgers in the middle of the 2003-04 non-conference slate. Here's what I wrote after the final buzzer:

Freshman Loul Deng started a 15-4 run for Duke in the second half with a tip-in then bookended the spurt with an emphatic two-handed baseline slam to help the Blue Devils pull away from Princeton over a seven minute span of the second half, on their way to a 69-51 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Deng would finish with a team high 18 points and eight rebounds. Only a thigh cramp in the game's final two minutes could keep him off the court. J.J. Redick had 17 for the home team. Daniel Ewing added 15 in the victory.

The game's final score was not indicative of how competitive a basketball game had been played over the first 32 minutes. With under eight minutes remaining in the second half Princeton trailed just 51-43 and had two chances to get closer, but turned the ball over on consecutive possessions. Turnovers were one of the big stories for the Tigers, who fumbled the ball away a season-high 20 times. The visitors from New Jersey also did themselves no favors from behind the arc, finishing a woeful 2-18, including twelve straight misses in the second half. Yet despite these troubling statistics, there were definite positives to take away from the game.

Trailing 21-11 with 8:38 to go in the first half, Princeton mounted a 14-4 run to pull even at 25. The Tigers made their move with co-captain Judson Wallace sitting on the bench. Wallace came out with the game with more than eleven minutes remaining in the half, as Princeton elected to go with Mike Stephens in the middle. The Tigers went into the half down 31-27.

Stephens had perhaps his best game as a Tiger, scoring a career-high 10 points in 27 solid minutes, and on consecutive first half possessions, showing a newfound aggressiveness, first ripping the ball right out of the hands of Duke's Shavlick Randolph in the paint and then engulfing Chris Duhon's runner in the lane for a blocked shot. Stephens used his large frame to position himself in place for high percentage shots all night.

Andre Logan led Princeton with 16 points off the bench, converting his first six chances from inside the arc. Logan missed only his final two point shot, a turnaround baseline jumper with two minutes to go.

To start the second half Princeton went down low to Stephens, who scored off a feed from Logan. After Deng's first three point basket of the night, Scott Greenman fed Logan in motion just inside the arc for a smooth jump shot to bring Princeton within three. Stephens rejected a Randolph shot in close and scored at the other end to make the score 34-33 with 17:53 to go. Deng's tip follow boosted Duke's lead to three. Scott Greenman had a chance to tie, but his rainbow from outside was well off the mark. On the heels of an 0-4 performance against Rutgers, Greenman finished 0-5 from three point range.

After Deng scored and was fouled by Stephens, Princeton trailed by seven. Andre Logan's bank shot in the paint pulled Princeton back within four. Princeton had two chances to cut the lead back down to a single point. First Konrad Wysocki missed a three point shot from the near corner. Then Ed Persia failed to connect coming out of a media time out.

The Tigers would get no closer. A 14-4 Duke run finished the night.

Princeton finished the game 22-52 from the field (42.3%). Duke shot a similar 43.6% (24-55). Despite height disadvantages at nearly every position, Princeton was only outrebounded 32-29. The Tigers grabbed 11 offensive rebounds. Duke corralled 14.

Coach Thompson has talked all season about how the pre-Ivy League schedule is to prepare his team for conference play. A game like tonight will help brace the Tigers for the atmosphere of a Tuesday in March down in Philadelphia.

January 5, 2005 - Duke 59 Princeton 46

Will Venable scored Princeton's first 10 points and 14 of the Tigers' 18 in the first half versus fifth-ranked Duke. J.J. Redick was 3-10 from the field but 14-14 at the free throw line for a team-high 21. No other Blue Devil hit double figures. The game was Princeton's final contest before their three week exam break. The Blue Devils celebrated the 65th anniversary of Cameron this evening.

I've just got time for a few (becoming less and less) brief game notes and then I have to go to sleep. It has been a long day. Back up bright and early later this morning to drive home.

-Coach Scott said after the game that while Princeton was getting open three point shots in the first half, they weren't the result of offensive execution as much as they were the end product of Duke's defensive pressure. In the second half, the shots came out of the offense, not *because* of the defense. It didn't help the ball go in,
mind you, but it is an important distinction. The Tigers' 1-17 display from the arc is the worst three point showing by a Princeton team since a 1-17 performance versus Penn State in the 2000 NIT.

-Princeton had specific points of emphasis in the first half that did not work. When Princeton went away from having the center dribble up high and changed the offensive focus so that the ball stayed in the guards' hands, looking to bounce entry passes to the elbow, where Judson Wallace could look for cutters or create on his own, the offense had far greater success. Coach Scott recognized this after the game.

-As someone said to me after the final buzzer, "if I wanted to see J.J. Redick shoot free throws, I would have gone to a Duke practice." The fouls on jump shots and layups didn't hurt Princeton as much as the holds and bumps away from the ball. With the way Redick shoots free throws, these fouls were as bad as made baskets would have been.

-While we're talking about The Chronicles Of Redick, did you know J.J. has only committed seven personal fouls all season? Seven personal fouls!

-On a whole, despite some occasional miscommunications on switches, I felt Princeton's defensive effort was good enough to put the Tigers in a position to be close down the stretch. Princeton held Duke to a minimal number of three point shots (though Nelson's three after Princeton had closed to 38-31 was a gut-turner), created 13 steals and stayed out of foul trouble down low.

-Princeton had two chances to get within six in the second half, but turned the ball over on consecutive possessions down 41-33, including Venable's five second violation.

-Pick a superlative of your own to describe Will Venable's effort tonight that carried the Tigers until other offensive options began to materialize. 27 of Princeton's 46 points came via Venable baskets or assists, and the fact that he was able to walk, let alone play, after falling straight on his back driving to the rim, was extraordinary unto itself. Sure, there were seven turnovers, but at least two were trying to create backdoor opportunities that just missed the hands of Princeton cutters. Three weeks of ice/rest should help.

-After giving up 12 second chance points in the first half, Duke did not get a second chance point in the second half. Princeton was outrebounded just 18-17 after intermission.

-When coming to your father's aid as he tries to explain to anyone who will listen how Duke won't come to Jadwin, the two word response "Carolina did" is a sure-fire conversation-ender.

-Along similar lines, when your response to " haven't played any road games!" is "we played in New York!" and you omit the fact that the game was AGAINST OKLAHOMA, no real progress has been made in the discourse.

November 19, 2007 - Duke 83 Princeton 61 - Maui Invitational

Sydney Johnson's first loss as head coach and the first of three games Princeton played in Hawaii came versus tenth-ranked Duke. Current seniors Kareem Maddox (20 minutes) and Bobby Foley (one minute) each saw court time. Neither scored.

A 31-4 game-opening Duke run soured Princeton's debut in the EA Sports 2007 Maui Invitational. The Blue Devils coasted to an impressive 83-61 victory behind 21 points and 12 rebounds from freshman forward Kyle Singler. Singler scored Duke's first eight points as the three-time Maui Invitational champions raced by the entrants from the Ivy League.

Princeton's Lincoln Gunn, returning to the Lahaina Civic Center where he had been a ball boy as a child, was an efficient 6-9 from the field and canned three of his four three point shots for a team-high 16 points.

The Tigers did lead at one juncture, 2-0 after center Zach Finley's reverse layup on a feed from fellow sophomore Marcus Schroeder. Finley scored eight points on 3-10 shooting for the Tigers. You can read my complete recap of this game here.

Coco said,

November 13, 2010 @ 11:44 am


You report "The Tigers have an 1-17 all-time record against the Blue Devils, 0-9 on the road and 0-6 at neutral sites."
Where, when did Princeton defeat Duke?

Jon Solomon said,

November 13, 2010 @ 11:54 am

Princeton defeated Duke 72-55 at Jadwin Gym on December 12, 1981 towards the start of Krzyzewski's second season as head coach.

Gordon Enderle and Craig Robinson combined for 46 of the TIgers' 72 points.

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