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Three-and-a-half games into the Princeton men’s basketball season, things were already looking grim. Trailing 27–20 at halftime against Monmouth (0–7 overall), Princeton (2–2, 0–0 Ivy League) was continuing an abysmal shooting stretch, going 4 of 17 behind the arc, and was at risk of giving the 0–6 Hawks their first win. Then, senior guard Devin Cannady demonstrated why everything might turn out alright. The senior guard knocked down four three-pointers in the last five minutes of the game to lead the Tigers to a 60–57 win.

“[Cannady] didn’t shoot the ball well in the first half, but he stayed with it, and his teammates found him,” said head coach Mitch Henderson ’98. “He had composure the whole game.”

Cannady, who missed the first two games of the season with a hamstring injury, returned in the team’s Nov. 21 77–66 loss against Fairleigh Dickinson (3–2) and has provided a much-needed spark to the Princeton offense. He has scored 21 points in his first two games back, shooting 9 of 16 from three.

Besides Cannady and senior guard Myles Stephens, who is averaging 17.5 points per game, Princeton has struggled to find contributors on the offensive end. Junior Jose Morales, sophomores Sebastian Much, Jerome Desrosiers, and Ryan Schwieger, and first-years Ethan Wright, Drew Friberg, and Max Johns have all received significant playing time, but none have emerged as a consistent third scoring option behind Stephens and Cannady. First-year guard Jaelin Llewellyn, a four-star recruit, has yet to make his debut due to a foot injury, but Princeton will likely need him to take on a major role upon his return.

Prior to the season, Henderson highlighted the defensive end as the area in which Princeton would need to improve most to have a successful year. Holding Monmouth to 57 points represents the team’s most successful defensive effort of the season, and Henderson credited junior center Richmond Aririguzoh for anchoring the Princeton defense with his shot-blocking abilities.

“I thought our defense carried us,” Henderson said about the Monmouth game. “Our offense was bad, but we won the game on the defensive end.”

One highlight of the nonconference schedule came in the season opener against Division III DeSales (3–3) when Stephens scored his 1,000th career point in a comfortable 85–51 win.

“Coming in freshman year playing 10 minutes a game, I didn’t think that would happen,” Stephens said. “It’s a nice little milestone to check off your list before you leave a place like this.”

Princeton will continue its nonconference schedule Wednesday when it travels to Bangor to take on Maine (0–6). The team returns to Jadwin Gymnasium Saturday afternoon for an NBC Sports-televised matchup against George Washington (1–5).

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