Princeton men’s basketball (4-0 overall) got out to its best start to a season since 1997-98 with two strong wins in the last week.
On the Wednesday of Thanksgiving break, Princeton hosted Lafayette (1-4), a team which it had lost to last season. However, this time around, the Tigers soundly defeated the Leopards, getting off to a hot 14-2 start and never looking back, eventually winning the game 104-52. It was an all-around team performance with five players scoring in double figures, including two freshmen, forward Noah Bramlage, who led the way with 14 points, and guard Devin Cannady. Princeton shot 48 percent from three, making 17 in total, and grabbed almost twice as many rebounds as Lafayette, leading 50-26 in that category. Furthermore, all 15 players on the roster got in the game, and no one played more than 20 minutes.
On Monday, the Tigers turned in another convincing performance, beating nearby Fairleigh Dickinson (2-5) 91-61 at home. After a close start, with the score tied with 7 minutes left in the first half, Princeton opened up a lead behind a slew of three-pointers and went on 14-4 run to end the half. The Knights never recovered and the game was well out of reach with 10 minutes to go. It was another team victory, with twelve players scoring and four in double digits.
Junior forward and leading scorer Henry Caruso turned in a monster double-double for Princeton, scoring a career-high 27 points on 10-11 shooting and pulling down also a career-high 10 rebounds. Hitting from three and finishing inside, Caruso keyed the Tigers’ first half run and kept Fairleigh Dickinson from recovering in the second half. Junior forward Steven Cook scored 17, shooting 3-3 from outside and 5-7 overall, and Cannaday continued his impressive start to the season with 10 points and 5 rebounds off the bench. The lone blemish on the win was a subpar day at the free-throw line, as Princeton shot 59 percent (20-34) which kept the game closer than it needed to be.
The Tigers will look to stay undefeated when they head to New York to face Stony Brook this Friday, Dec. 5.