Army 56, Princeton 52
PRINCETON, N.J. - Senior forward Cleveland Richard scored a game-high 18 points to go with an Army single-game record eight steals, including seven in the first half, as the Black Knights held off a late rally by host Princeton to win 56-52 on Saturday at Jadwin Gymnasium in Princeton, N.J. With the win, Army raised its record to 2-1 under first-year head coach Zach Spiker.
The Black Knights turned a 13-point halftime advantage in a 20-point lead with a 14-7 burst in the opening six minutes of the second stanza, capped by a two-handed fast break dunk from Marcus Nelson, who finished with eight points and six rebounds. Army continued to control the pace of the game over the next eight minutes, leading by double-digits until the Tigers stormed back into the game behind a 13-1 run.
With Army holding a 50-34 advantage at the 6:33 mark of the final period, Princeton forward Dan Mavraides powered the Tigers' surge with a pair of 3-pointers during the run. He scored all 14 of his points during the second half, and helped Princeton trim the Army lead to just four points with 1:22 remaining.
The Tigers got to within three on a pair of free throws from Mavraides before Julian Simmons, who added 10 points in just 13 minutes, converted on a pair of free throws down the stretch to help keep the Black Knights in control.
Army, who opened the game on a 10-0 run, enjoyed a double-digit lead for much of the first half and did not surrender a point to the Tigers' offense until 7:41 into the game, thanks in large part to a strong defensive performance that forced 16 turnovers and yielded just 14 first-half points on a 6-for-22 shooting effort from Princeton.
Simmons' triple at the 7:06 mark of the first half game Army its biggest lead of the half, 21-6, before Army went into the locker room with a 27-14 lead at the intermission.
Senior guard Josh Miller grabbed a game-high eight rebounds to go with his five points in the win, while freshman forward Ella Ellis added six points for the Black Knights. Nick Lake scored 10 points and led the Tigers with seven rebounds on the loss.
Army (2-1) will continue a run of Ivy League opponents on Monday, when the Black Knights return to Christl Arena to host Harvard. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.