My travels took me to Lewisburg, PA this Saturday, site of the TicketCity Legends Classic Lewisburg Subregional. This is one of the many preseason "tournaments" that are held at the start of the season. I use the phrase "tournament" in quotation marks because many of them are not actually tournaments at all, as major conference schools automatically advance to the semi-finals that are played at a major arena, regardless of the outcome in the early round games. This year's winner, Vanderbilt, won the tournament despite suffering a Red Line upset to Cleveland State in their first game. While the major teams went to the championship in the Meadowlands, the mid-majors were sent to two different subregionals, one in Kingston, RI at The University of Rhode Island, and the other in Lewisburg, hosted by Bucknell University. I was excited to attend the games yesterday, as three of the four teams participating went to the NCAA Tournament last year.
The first game of the afternoon pitted defending Ivy League champion Princeton against defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Morehead State. After walking into the arena, I was amazed at how few people were in attendance. There couldn't have been more than about 500 people in attendance at the game when I arrived shortly after tip-off. That number continued to grow as the tip to Bucknell's game got closer, but for most of the first half, Sojka Pavilion was nearly empty, so much so that you could hear the coaches yelling instructions to their players, as well as the conversations between the officials and the coaching staffs.
Those who arrived late missed a very competitive first half. Neither team was able to take more than a four-point lead at any point. Princeton got off to an early start, taking a early 10-6 lead. But, a Morehead State run tied the game at 12. The game remained competitive throughout the first half, and the Eagles took a 20-18 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Eagles took over. Fueled by a 12-0 run, they were able to stretch their lead to 12. The Tigers tried to make a game out of it, and were able to trim the lead down to six. The game ended with Princeton fouling in order to stretch the game and force the Eagles to make foul shots down the stretch. As with many basketball games, the last two minutes seemed to take much longer. However, the Eagles converted their free-throws, and won by 12, 68-56. Terrance Hill finished with 16 points for the Eagles, and Lamont Austin finished with 11. Ian Hummer led the Tigers with 12.
With the win, the Eagles won their second game of the subregional, and maintained a chance to sweep all three games. The Tigers dropped their second game of the tournament, and look to leave Lewisburg with a win against West Alabama.
MOREHEAD STATE 68, PRINCETON 56 11/26/2011
PRINCETON 1-5 (0-0) -- T. Bray 3-5 0-3 8; I. Hummer 5-12 2-4 12; B. Hazel 1-7 0-0 3; W. Barrett 0-4 2-2 2; B. Connolly 1-1 0-0 2; P. Saunders 3-7 2-2 8; M. Darrow 2-4 4-4 9; D. Davis 2-5 0-0 5; J. Comfort 1-3 0-0 2; C. Wilson 0-2 0-0 0; D. Koon 2-3 1-1 5; C. Clement 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-53 11-16 56. MOREHEAD STATE 3-3 (0-0) -- D. Kelly 4-10 1-1 9; T. Proffitt 1-5 2-2 5; T. Hill 4-8 5-6 16; L. Austin 3-3 5-5 11; M. Chavis 5-7 1-3 12; K. Owens 0-1 1-4 1; M. Holden 1-2 2-2 5; A. Warner 0-2 3-4 3; D. Mathieu 2-2 2-2 6; J. Percell 0-0 0-0 0; D. Atkinson 0-0 0-0 0; D. Ferguson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-40 22-29 68.
Three-point goals: PRIN 5-25 (P. Saunders 0-2; D. Davis 1-4; J. Comfort 0-2; W. Barrett 0-4; M. Darrow 1-2; T. Bray 2-4; B. Hazel 1-5; C. Wilson 0-2), MORE 6-11 (T. Proffitt 1-3; T. Hill 3-3; D. Kelly 0-2; M. Holden 1-2; M. Chavis 1-1); Rebounds: PRIN 24 (I. Hummer 8), MORE 28 (D. Kelly 8); Assists: PRIN 14 (T. Bray 4), MORE 8 (L. Austin 3); Total Fouls -- PRIN 19, MORE 22; Fouled Out: PRIN-None; MORE-D. Kelly.