Following a disappointing Friday night rout at the hands of Ivy League frontrunner Yale, Princeton found a way to salvage their home stint with an impressive win against third-place Brown, 73–54.
Like Princeton, Brown has outperformed their preseason Ivy League ranking of No. 5 so far this season, but the two came into Saturday’s game in opposite places in terms of momentum. The Tigers, despite starting off Ivy League play on a tear, were handily defeated 88–64 at home against Yale the night before. Princeton’s three top scorers — sophomore Jaelin Llewellyn, senior Richmond Aririguzoh, and junior Ryan Schweiger — finished the game with two, four, and four points respectively. Head coach Mitch Henderson ’98 made sure his team was ready to bounce back after suffering the loss to the Yale team which he jokingly referred to as the Lakers in Saturday’s post-game press conference.
“It’s always the longest 22 hours [between games], but a lot gets accomplished,” said Henderson. “I talked to Richmond [Aririguzoh] last night on the phone, and he said we have to be more determined.”
On the contrary, the Bears came into the game red hot, coming off two upset victories over Harvard and Penn, with the latter being on the road. The two victories come against Ivy League preseason ranks one and two. If their record did not make it clear, these two wins leave no doubt that Brown is a force to be reckoned with in the Ivy League this season.
The first half started off slow, as the Tigers and Bears were neck and neck, each clawing back after the other pushed ahead. However, with 10 minutes left to play in the half, Princeton was able to break free, going on a 15–2 run that was capped off by a powerful Llewellyn putback dunk in transition to go up 28–17. At the halftime buzzer, the score was 37–24 Princeton, thanks in large part to sophomore Ethan Wright’s 11 points on 5–5 shooting.
The Tigers were able to hold on strong to their lead in the second half despite Brown’s added intensity and constant full-court pressure. While at times sloppy, Princeton was still able to get its shots to fall — especially Llewellyn and Wright, who contributed significantly behind the arc. Wright’s performance was especially notable, as he would finish the game with 21 points on 9–10 from the field and 3–4 from three.
“He’s putting us on his back, and I thought he was terrific,” Henderson said. “You know — choir boy, good looks, but he’s got a little sass in him.”
Paired with Wright’s stellar shooting display, the Tigers’ defense was also a big benefactor. They held Brown to only a 36 percent field goal percentage, with their top three scorers all finishing with below-average point totals. The Bears’ biggest offensive threat, Brandon Anderson, scored 31 on Friday at Penn, but was held to 16 points on Saturday.
With a surprising Yale loss to Penn, Princeton has moved back up to take the top spot in the Ivy League. Henderson discussed the importance of finishing the season strong.
“We’ve now got four [games] on the road and the regular season finishes in three weeks, so here it comes.”