What started as a day at the beach didn't end like one for the Princeton men's basketball team in Alicante, Spain.
CB Lucentum Alicante powered past the Tigers with a late second-quarter run and never looked back on the way to a 94-72 win in Princeton's third game in Spain. The Tigers are now 1-2 on the trip.
Alicante was set to be a Spanish first-division team this year, but the club chose to relinquish its invitation and remain in Spain's second division. On Tuesday night, however, there was nothing second-division about the home club.
After going on a 15-2 run over a less than three-minute span to close the second quarter, Alicante kept right on firing after the break, making 22 of 35 from the field (62.9 percent) to seal the win.
Princeton led 27-22 with 2:53 to go after a Denton Koon bucket, but Alicante followed that with its big run and kept the margin in double figures for most of the third quarter. A 7-0 run late in that period briefly made it a nine-point game at 59-50 inside the final minute, but a quarter-ending three-pointer by Alicante helped to stifle the rally.
Alicante went no easier on the Tigers in the fourth quarter, padding the lead over the final two minutes.
Princeton outrebounded Alicante 34-33 including 11 offensive boards, with Will Barrett getting a double-double on 16 points and 11 rebounds. He led Princeton in scoring as one of four players in doubel figures, ahead of Ian Hummer's 14, Denton Koon's 13 and Clay Wilson's 10. Princeton used the same starting lineup - Barrett, Hummer, Wilson, Brendan Connolly and Chris Clement - for the third time in as many games in Spain. Wilson and Clement continued to gain experience after seeing only sparing time to this point in their collegiate careers, filling in for the graduated Douglas Davis at one guard spot and junior T.J. Bray, who is out of action on the Spain trip, at the other.
Alicante started both of its American players, including 25-year-old Utah alum Shaun Green and 46-year-old Darryl Middleton, a Baylor alum who was drafted in the third round by the Atlanta Hawks in 1988. Middleton was one of three Alicante players in double figures, along with 21-year-old Spaniard Albert Sabat (18) and 37-year-old countryman Jesus Fernandez (16).
Earlier in the day, many team members enjoyed their only full day in Valencia, heading to the beach in the morning before making the two-hour trip south to Alicante. The travel party will see more bus time Wednesday during the five-hour trip to Madrid, where the team will spend the final four nights of the Spain trip.
Below, junior Will Barrett contributes the daily blog entry for Tuesday.
Hello Tiger Fans,
On the second stop of our Spanish tour, and my first out-of-country experience ever, we find ourselves in one of the most beautiful cities I've ever been lucky enough to see in person... Valencia. Unfortunately we only get two days here, but I already know from what I've seen and experienced so far these two days that Valencia will prove to be unforgettable.
In less then half of our first day here I've experienced things that I never have before in my entire life. If walking outside of, and directly through, a thirteenth century Valencian castle wasn't enough to satisfy my insatiable curiosity, then surely eating swordfish with Jimmy [Sherburne] for dinner at a restaurant called La Sardineria would be... but NO! Since we arrived in Spain I've seen tons of signs for "gelats" but haven't yet had the extra appetite to try one. Boy, was that a horrible mistake! With the combination of my previous knowledge of gelats (my parents went to Italy a few years ago, where they are called gelatos, and quickly became addicted to them) and my longing for a gigantic bowl of ice cream which I enjoy nightly back home, I ventured out and bought my first "gelat". Needless to say I fell victim to the same dairy-induced addiction my parents did in Italy. I've never tasted something so beautiful, yet so unexplainable, in my entire life. I quickly got a second, then went to bed with thoughts of gelats dancing 'round in my head. I'm officially going on record to say that I will be getting at least two gelats, daily, without failure, for the rest of the trip.
Snacks are great and everything but the beauty and serenity of Valencia is what really has me hooked. Whereas Barcelona was a bustling city that literally never slept, Valencia is a quieter, more laid back city that fits my personality perfectly. The labryinth-like, stone layered back streets of Valencia are beautiful yet eerily quiet but somehow open up to enormous squares where live music is playing, people are laughing, eating and drinking, and all of the buzz of the city simply disappears. On the way to our third game tonight was by far my favorite part of Valencia so far. On the way to the city of Alicante, the highway winded through huge mountain ranges with endless orange groves and Spanish-style houses carved directly into the sides of the mountains. It strangely reminded me, and a lot of my other teammates, of my other favorite place in the world, the western United States... except for the fact that the Mediterranean was constantly in the background. Everything about Valencia was unforgettable, except for our double-digit loss... which I will quickly forget about in order to move on to bigger and better things. But luckily for us Madrid is next and new wonders await! We miss everyone at home and can't wait to get back to work in Jadwin. GO TIGERS!!