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Incredible Comeback Makes History for Men's Hoops at Penn State

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 12/14/2013
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Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications
Will Barrett tied his career high with 24 points.
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Game 9: Princeton at Penn State

 81
(8-1)

Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013
Rec Hall • State College, Pa.

 79
(8-4)

Box Score

If you're down 20 points with 10-plus minutes to play, it doesn't sound like it's going to be your afternoon.

Yet that's where Princeton was, the prospect of a lopsided loss and a snowy, slippery ride back to campus ahead. The Tigers still have to take the ride back, but at least it'll be a happy bus after Princeton's first win over a Big Ten team since 1985 and the first one on a Big Ten team's home floor since 1955.

Princeton was still down 18 at 60-42 with six-plus minutes to play when the rally kicked into high gear. The Tigers reeled off eight straight points to make it 60-50 before a Penn State timeout that momentarily cooled off the comeback.

Penn State scored its last field goal in regulation with five minutes to go on a Ross Travis dunk with five minutes to play just after that Nittany Lion timeout. Over the last five minutes, Princeton outscored Penn State 14-4 to close the gap.

Princeton's first lead since it held a 4-3 advantage came in the overtime when Hans Brase scored on Princeton's first possession of the extra period. Will Barrett backed it up with a 3-pointer to put Princeton up 71-66, and the Tigers held on from there.

The Tigers were in the hole thanks in part to starting the game 0-8 from 3-point range, not making one until Ben Hazel hit a three with 9:10 to play in the opening period. Princeton ended the first half 2 of 10 from distance and with a rebound deficit of 18-7.

Princeton's win came in spite of a final rebounding deficit of 44-22 and not totally overcoming the cold start from distance to finish 10-32 (.313) beyond the arc. Penn State shot 50 percent in defeat.



  FGM-A 3FGM-A FTM-A Reb. O-D-T Ast. TO Blk. Stl.
Penn State 29-58 (.500) 4-14 (.286)
17-23 (.739)
7-36-43
10
20 3 3
Princeton 26-62 (.419)
10-32 (.313)
19-26 (.731)
3-19-22
17
10 5 13

  Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks 3FGs
Penn State Newbill/Frazier (24)
Travis Ross (12)
Tim Frazier (6)
Tim Frazier (2)
Donovon Jack (2)
Tim Frazier (2)
Princeton WIll Barrett (24)
T.J. Bray (6)
T.J. Bray (13)
Koon/Weisz (3)
Hans Brase (3)
Will Barrett (6)


20-10: Early on, it was Princeton's cold shooting from 3-point range that was the stat of the night. By the end, Princeton benefited from 20 Penn State turnovers to just 10 on their own. Speaking of turnovers, T.J. Bray had just two of them while racking up 13 assists, a program record for a stat kept since 1974-75.

 

Will Barrett's 3-pointer on the second possession of the overtime opened up a five-point Princeton lead at 71-66. Princeton never relinquished the lead, though it had to hold on tight, and Barrett finished with 24 points, tying a career high.


 

• Princeton's 8-1 start remains its best since the 1997-98 season, when it was 8-1 after nine games on the way to finishing the regular season with just one loss.

• It may have been a huge comeback, but it wasn't Princeton's largest. At Penn on Feb. 9, 1999, Princeton trailed 29-3 and 33-9 at the break before rallying to beat the Quakers 50-49.

• Princeton had five players in double figures for the first time this season, led by Will Barrett's 24 points. Hans Brase (above, left) chipped in 14, while T.J. Bray and Ben Hazel (above, right) added 11 apiece.

• This was Penn State's first game in its former gym, Rec Hall, since Jan. 7, 1996.

• The meeting was just the fourth between Princeton and Penn State in nearly 40 years. After 1974, the teams played twice in 2000 and again in 2007, all Penn State wins.

• The win broke an 11-game losing streak for Princeton against Big Ten teams, since defeating Wisconsin in 1985 in Arizona, and broke an 18-game streak against Big Ten teams on their home floors, since defeating Northwestern in 1955. Since then, the Tigers did also notch victories over Illinois in Chicago and against Penn State at The Palestra, both in 1965 and the latter in the NCAA Tournament.

• T.J. Bray had a program-record 13 assists, moving him into eighth place in program records with 277 career helpers, past Nate Walton '01 (270). Bray's former coach Sydney Johnson '97 is next at 280 assists. The stat has been kept since the 1974-75 season. The previous single-game program record was 12, last achieved by William Ryan '84 in 1984.

• Will Barrett tied his career-high with 24 points, last achieved on Mar. 2, 2013 at Dartmouth.

• The win ended a seven-game winning streak in the series for Penn State, which now leads the series 8-4. Princeton's last win over the Nittany Lions was in 1970.

• Penn State entered the game holding opponents to a .338 clip from beyond the arc, including holding two opponents below 20 percent over the last three contests.

• Princeton overcame shooting a season-low .313 from beyond the arc. Its previous low was .323 at Rice on Nov. 23.

• Penn State's 20 turnovers were a season high for a Princeton opponent. The previous high was 15 against Lafayette, also in overtime.


Princeton and Pacific (7-1) will meet for the first time Friday night in Las Vegas in the South Pointe Holiday Hoops Classic. The Tigers, those from Stockton, Calif., will play Menlo College tonight in their final game before meeting Princeton and have lost only to Oregon this year in a game Pacific led by seven at the half in Eugene.
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