The TCNJ men’s basketball team was no match for Princeton University.
While the teams are only 11 miles apart from each other, this meeting showed the gap between the schools. TCNJ struggled, as they have much of this season, and they were no match for the Division I team.
The Tigers (8-7) defeated the Lions (4-16), 71-33, at Jadwin Gymnasium. The Lions have lost all five meetings against Princeton.
TCNJ has lost to Princeton for the past three straight years. They also lost to the Tigers in 1998 and 2001, as well.
The Tigers are a perfect 25-0 in their annual Division III game. And the 38 point win was the largest margin of victory in the series.
In 2011, Princeton defeated TCNJ by 33 points. Besides yesterday’s game and the 2011 game, all other meetings have been between 11 points.
And the TCNJ point total was the lowest since Rice scored 28 points in a 51-28 win at Jadwin Gym in January 2007. Plus, the Tigers 38-point win was the largest since Princeton defeated Goucher, another Division III school, in 2010, winning 88-35 – a 53 point margin.
“It's always important to challenge yourself and play the best competition possible,” said head coach Kelly Williams. “To have the opportunity to play a team like Princeton in their facility can only help our team and our program. We're a young team and when shots aren't falling for us, it makes it tough against a team that holds such a size advantage. But my guys will never lose due to a lack of effort and I just got done telling them there are brighter days ahead. We just need to stick with it and keep working.”
TCNJ never had the lead in the game. They were fighting double-digit leads for the entire game.
Lions’ center Drew Grapstul, who is seldomly used, scored with 9 seconds left to save the game for being a 40-point loss. His basket with 9 seconds left made the score 71-33.
Princeton’s largest lead came at 71-29. Bobby Garbade scored two of his 7 points on back-to-back free throws to put the Tigers up 42 points.
The Tigers had four 40-plus point leads in the second half. The Lions trailed by 24 points shortly into the half, when Ian Hummer scored two of his eight points on a layup to make it 41-17.
Princeton led 39-17 at the half. Denton Koon scored two of his 12 points with a jumper to make it 39-17 with 1:03 left in the first half.
The Tigers had three 20 point leads in the first half. All three 20-point leads came in the final three minutes.
At 8:32 left in the first, the Tigers had their second double-digit lead, as their first double-digit lead was short lived. They were up 11 points at 25-14 when T.J. Bray scored his lone basket, a three-point basket, to put the Tigers lead over 10 points.
It took the Lions four minutes to score their first basket. Jayson Johnson scored two of his three points to end the Tigers 9-0 run to start the game.