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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 21, 11 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Arena & Equestrian Center (4,600) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: Princeton 4-0, Portland 5-2. Away Record: Princeton 2-1, Portland 1-2. Neutral Record: Princeton 3-0, Portland 1-0. Conference Record: Princeton 0-0, Portland 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: In the finale of the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic the Princeton Tigers will take on the Portland Pilots at the Arena & Equestrian Center in Las Vegas.
Princeton certainly impressed in its first bout of the two-day event. The Tigers matched up with Pacific, and though both teams were 8-1 entering play, it didn't look like it as Princeton earned an 83-58 victory. The win was the eighth straight for Mitch Henderson's squad, which waits to face Kent State on Dec. 31 after this contest.
In the first day of the event, the Pilots routed Bradley, 74-53. The win allowed Portland to bounce back from a 72-69 loss to Montana State and earn the fourth win in the last five games. The Pilots are now 7-4 overall as they prepare for their West Coast Conference opener against San Francisco next.
This will be the first-ever matchup between Princeton and Portland.
A wide margin in scoring from 3-point range keyed Princeton to victory over Pacific. T.J. Bray knocked down four of 18 3-pointers for the Ivy League Tigers, while Pacific had just three shots fall from beyond the arc.
Brady (15 ppg, 7.2 apg) is the leader on a team that has the benefit of five double-figurer scorers. The 6-foot-5 guard is also the top distributor and shoots efficiently from 3-point range (.438) and from the floor overall (.489). Hans Brase (12.1 ppg) also shoots better than 40 percent from 3-point range, though he had just a single triple, while scoring 13 points against Pacific. Denton Koon (11.7 ppg), Will Barrett (11.1 ppg) and Ben Hazel (10.8 ppg) are all helping the Tigers' balanced attack. As a team the Tigers are scoring 73.1 points per game and shooting 45.1 percent from the floor.
Although they led 28-23 at halftime, the Pilots really pulled away in the second half. During the period they managed to connect on 64 percent of their field-goal tries. Portland finished the game with a 24-9 advantage in points off turnovers, while getting a game-high 18 points from Ryan Nicholas.
Normally Kevin Bailey (16.7 ppg) is the man leading the way in terms of points scored. The 6-foot-5 junior had an off night against Bradley though, netting just eight points on 3-of-11 shooting. Luckily for the Pilots both Nicholas (13.6 ppg, 9.7 rpg) and Thomas van der Mars (13 ppg, 7.2 rpg) are also solid scorers. In the win over the Braves, van der Mars tallied 15 points and eight rebounds. Portland is netting 79.6 points per game and shooting a solid 45.8 percent from the floor.
Although they are unlikely to erupt from 3-point range like they did on Friday, the balanced Tigers are also unlikely to fall to Portland.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Princeton 79, Portland 71
12/21 11:17:04 ET
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