Laing 14 Strong
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Ben Hazel had a career-high 18 points for Princeton.
Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications

Men's Hoops Passes Final Pre-Ivy Test at Liberty

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 01/04/2014
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Game 13: Princeton at Liberty

 80
(11-2)

Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014
Vines Center • Lynchburg, Va.

 74
(6-9)

Box Score

Princeton rallied in each half to knock off homestanding Liberty Saturday afternoon in Lynchburg, 80-74.

The Tigers went on a 15-0 run over less than five minutes in the first half to turn a five-point deficit into a 10-point lead at 24-14, which turned out to be Princeton's largest lead of the game.


Princeton took a seven-point lead into the break, but Liberty charged out of the gates in the second half to erase the Tigers' lead and pull ahead by as much as seven as late as 57-50 with more than nine minutes to go.

That's when Ben Hazel, who had a career-high 18 points, took over. Hazel scored 10 straight Princeton points, including fueling a 7-0 run to tie the game at 57-57, and it was a back-and forth battle into the final two minutes before Princeton pulled away.



  FGM-A 3FGM-A FTM-A Reb. O-D-T Ast. TO Blk. Stl.
Liberty
26-49 (.531)
10-20 (.500)
12-16 (.750)
4-25-29
14
10 4 0
Princeton 26-54 (.481)
9-28 (.321)
19-24 (.792)
7-19-26
16
4 3 4

  Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks 3FGs
Liberty John Caleb Sanders (25)
Tomasz Gielo (7)
John Caleb Sanders (5)
None
4 tied at 1
Davon Marshall (4)
Princeton T.J. Bray (24)
Hans Brase (6)
Bray/Weisz (4)
T.J. Bray (2)
Ben Hazel (2)
Ben Hazel (4)


7-13, 2-15: Those were Princeton's 3-point splits by half. The Tigers overcame an 0-10 start from beyond the arc in the second half after nailing seven 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes. Ben Hazel, on his way to a career-high 18 points, hit a team-best four 3-pointers.


Hans Brase grabbed an offensive rebound off a Will Barrett missed free throw when it was 71-67 Princeton with 1:45 to go. Brase also scored on that possession to put Princeton up six with 79 seconds to play.

• Today's meeting with Liberty was the first between the programs.

• Princeton has now won 21 straight games when leading at the half and the Tigers are now 37-8 at the half under Mitch Henderson when leading at the break.

• T.J. Bray's four assists drew him closer to head coach Mitch Henderson, with Bray remaining in sixth place on the career list at 299 and Henderson at 304 in fifth. The stat has been kept since 1974-75.

• Princeton has won its fourth straight game to open a calendar year.

• Ben Hazel's previous career scoring best was 14, last set on Dec. 11 at Rutgers.

• Princeton's four turnovers were a season low and the team's lowest since Dec. 22 against Rider, also with four.

• Princeton is 6-0 when it does not win the rebounding battle. Liberty outrebounded its 10th straight opponent.

• Princeton out-assisted Liberty 16-14. The Tigers have out-assisted 11 straight opponents and 12 of 13 this season. T.J. Bray (above, left) and Spencer Weisz (above, right) co-led Princeton with four assists apiece.

• Princeton's .481 shooting clip marked the 10th time this season that the Tigers have shot better than 40 percent from the field. Hans Brase (5-7), T.J. Bray (8-11) and Ben Hazel (6-11) all shot at least 40 percent today.

• T.J. Bray's 24 points were one off his career high of 25 set against Portland two weekends ago. He has scored 20-plus points four times this season after doing so twice in his first three seasons.



Princeton and Penn will get the Ivy League season going Saturday at 6 p.m. at The Palestra in a game to be televised on NBC Sports Network.
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