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Princeton men’s basketball drops home opener to Hofstra 83–77

<h5>Tosan Ebvuomwan takes it to the basketball vs. Hofstra.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of <a href="https://goprincetontigers.com/news/2022/11/7/mens-basketball-drops-close-contest-to-hofstra-83-77.aspx " target="_self">Go Princeton Tigers</a>.</h6>
Tosan Ebvuomwan takes it to the basketball vs. Hofstra.
Courtesy of Go Princeton Tigers.

On Monday evening, the Princeton men’s basketball team (0–1 overall, 0–0 Ivy League) took on Hofstra University (1–0 overall, 0–0 Colonial Athletic) at Jadwin Gymnasium in front of over 1,100 fans. The Tigers controlled the game most of the way, holding a 12-point lead at one point in the first half, but ultimately saw the game slip away from them in the final few minutes, losing 83–77.

“We made some bad, costly plays in the last three minutes with myself at the top of that,” senior forward Tosan Evbuomwan said in a written message to The Daily Princetonian after the game. “Can’t expect to win those games with so many turnovers in the closing stages.”

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Last season, when these two teams met at Hofstra, the Pride won by a very similar scoreline, winning 81–77 last December. The Tigers were led by Evbuomwan, who scored 22 points throughout the night. The Pride, meanwhile, were led by guard Aaron Estrada, who scored 27 points. 

The game started with Princeton winning the opening tip, and both teams got out to a fast paced start. Hofstra would open up a 10–5 lead as the team's head into the first media run. 

However, the Tigers would respond in amazing fashion, going on an 18–6 run. A three-pointer by senior guard Ryan Langborg would give the Tigers a 22–16 lead with 10:22 left in the half. 

After multiple defensive stops by the Tigers, Evbuomwan would continue his impressive half to open up the Princeton lead to nine at 27–18. 

Princeton, led by 17 first-half points from Evbuomwan, would jump out to a 40–28 lead leading to a late-half timeout for Hofstra. After the timeout, Hofstra managed a 10–2 run to end the half while Princeton held a narrow four point lead at the break. 

The Tigers shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, but struggled to shoot the ball from beyond the arc, shooting 18 percent on 11 shots. 

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Langborg, who scored 17 on the night, hit a three for Princeton to start a quick 5–0 run for the Tigers. The teams continued to exchange points back and forth and Princeton found themselves with a 53–47 advantage with 10:30 left. 

With 4:25 left in the game, it looked like Princeton had put the game away after Langborg scored five straight to make it 74–67, Princeton. 

Hofstra, however, would fight back into the game going on a 9–2 run to tie the game at 76 with 1:43 remaining. After Evbuomwan missed a crucial free throw, the first of a one and one, Pride guard Jaquan Carlos would hit a huge three for Hofstra to give the team its first lead since it was 10–9 early in the game.

After Head Coach Mitch Henderson ’98 called a timeout for Princeton, they would turn the ball over; in a matter of minutes, the game slipped away for Henderson’s team.  

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“I’m excited about this team,“ Henderson told the ‘Prince.’ “Last night was a great learning opportunity for us and I’m hopeful we can take what we’ve learned into the next game.”

The Tigers will play their next contest on Friday, Nov. 11, when they travel to Annapolis, Md. to take on Navy (1–0, 0–0 Patriot) in the Veteran’s Classic Tournament. 

Hayk Yengibaryan is a contributor to the sports section at the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any corrections requests to corrections@dailyprincetonian.com.

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