Men's Basketball: Princeton falls in overtime after late Wagner rally
The basketball team suffered a heartbreaking loss at Wagner on Wednesday, falling 48-42 in overtime. The Seahawks’ comeback was the second time in two seasons that Wagner (2-3) managed to surprise the Tigers (2-4).
The game was a surprisingly low-scoring affair, given that senior forward Ian Hummer and junior guard T.J. Bray were both coming off career performances at Lafayette.
Last year, the Tigers suffered a demoralizing loss when the Seahawks came to Jadwin, as they turned the ball over 28 times. Wednesday, ball control was not as big a problem. Unfortunately for Princeton, the shots just were not landing. After three games of improved shooting percentage, the Tigers made just under 30 percent of their field goals. They also made less than half of their free throws, while the Seahawks made a respectable 71 percent.
Still, Princeton had control during the first half. Bray kept up the defensive pressure with six steals on the day, and at the half, the Tigers had a comfortable 23-14 lead. Offensive production could have been much better, with top scorer Hummer racking up only 11 points, but solid defense kept Princeton ahead by a comfortable margin.
“We handled everything they were doing really well in the first half, but we just lost our head,” head coach Mitch Henderson ’98 said.
Wagner chipped away at the lead slowly in the second half, led by forward Jonathon Williams’ 20 points. The Seahawks did not catch up until just over two minutes left in the second half, when Williams tied the game at 40-40 with a layup, which capped a 5-0 run by Wagner in the preceding two minutes. Hummer missed two free throws and Wagner missed three shots in the waning minutes of regulation to take the game into overtime.
“I think I tried to do a little too much,” said Hummer, who touched the ball on the Tigers’ last three possessions and was called for traveling with 13 seconds to go. “I know I didn’t get a shot, but I kind of forced the issue a little too much.”
Once the extra frame started, the Seahawks found their rhythm. Bray struck first, making the score 42-40, but it would be Princeton’s last bucket. After evening the score with a layup from forward Orlando Parker, the Seahawks sealed the game at the charity stripe, finishing 6-8 at the line in overtime and dashing the Tigers’ hopes of pulling out with the win.
Now 2-4, but still with high hopes, Princeton will travel to Ohio to take on Kent State on Saturday before returning to Jadwin for a four-game homestand.
“I like this group, I believe in them, but it’s not all roses right now,” Henderson said. “The way I like to think of our team is the way we played in the first half, but it’s certainly a 40 minute game, and we’ve had a couple of real heartbreakers here in the second half.”
Reader Comments (0)
No comments yet. Be the first to post your opinion on this article.