Princeton lost its season opener at BYU and the American Conference struggled with some mid-major opponents on the opening Monday of the regular season.
Most Notable Game:
New Hampshire 57, Temple 52
Cincinnati was the only American team to escape a challenge from a mid-major as Connecticut and Temple both fell on their home courts on Monday night. New Hampshire is now 2-0, but the first win was against non-Division I opponent Lesley. Against Temple the Wildcats played absolutely stifling defense, holding the Owls to just 0.80 points per possession. Temple shot just 36% (14-39) inside of the arc and 22% (6-27) beyond it. David Watkins (15 points on 5-7 three-point shoting), and Daniel Dion and Tanner Leissner, who each scored 12, provided all the offense UNH would need.
New York Games:
Saint Joseph’s 85, Columbia 65
The Hawks are a fringe Top 25 team and this was on their home court, but this is still rough. Columbia was run out of the gym in the first half and was down 50-27 at the break, but kept things more or less even in the second half. Freshman Jake Killingsworth led Columbia with 17 points on 6-9 shooting. Nate Hickman added 14 points in only 19 minutes of action due to foul trouble. Both teams played their bench liberally in the second half, so the stats aren’t particularly revealing overall.
Fordham 101, NYIT 75
The Rams crushed a non-Division I opponent. That’s what Atlantic 10 teams are supposed to do. Joseph Chartouny led the way with 17 points and 14 assists, but all five started finished in double-figures. Both Jesse Buntin and Christian Sengfelder had 12 points and seven rebounds. NYIT was actually only down seven at the half before Fordham pulled away. Junior college transfer Will Tavares scored 13 points off the bench for the Rams after being in foul trouble during most of the game against ETSU and only scoring two points.
UMass Lowell 87, Wagner 76
What a difference a few days make. The Seahawks were riding high after a win over UConn, but tonight the Huskies lost to Northeastern and the Seahawks came crashing back to earth with a loss at UMass Lowell. The River Hawks scored 1.16 points per possession, which has to make Bashir Mason extremely irate. Lowell shot 9-18 from three and an incredibly efficient 32-36 from the free throw line.
Wagner was without Romone Saunders, who is going to miss six weeks after being injured during the game against Connecticut. Corey Henson led the Seahawks with 19 points. Michael Carey scored 11 points, but shot just 4-15 from the field, including 3-12 on two-point attempts. He did though have 13 rebounds. Freshman Blake Francis, who was a late signing after Greg Senat’s scholarship was switched to the football team, scored 12 points in 21 minutes for the Seahawks. Lowell was led by Isaac White’s 20 points, including a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line.
St. John’s 77, Binghamton 61
Marcus LoVett scored 23 points and Shamorie Ponds added 21 points and 10 rebounds as the freshmen helped take down Binghamton. St. John’s is now 2-0 and has slipped inside of the Top 100 in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings. The defense was surprisingly strong in this one. The Red Storm held the Bearcats to only 0.80 points per possession. Binghamton shot just 12-30 (40%) inside the arc. Kassoum Yakwe struggled offensively, but he blocked five shots.
The Rest of Division I:
BYU 82, Princeton 73
The Ivy League favorites went out west to take on a tough BYU squad and dropped their season opener by XX points. Hans Brase struggled with foul trouble in his first game back since missing the entire 2015-16 season due to injury. He finished with 11 points on 4-11 shooting for the Tigers. The Tigers stuggled from deep, shooting just 10-35 (29%) from beyond the arc. Devin Cannady led the Tigers with 18 points and six rebounds. And while Princeton was able to close within two at one point during the second half, the Tigers were never able to get over the hump. Just too many layoffs that went off the side of the rim and three-pointers that were a little too long.
Eric Mika was nearly unstoppable in the paint for the Cougars. He scored 26 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. TJ Haws chipped in 20 for the Cougars. BYU is generally considered to be a tournament level team, but Princeton was hoping to steal a big road victory against a young team in order to start the charge towards an at-large bid. Now that seems a little less likely.
Cincinnati 74, Albany 51
The Great Danes frustrated the Bearcats for a half, with a gritty zone defense, but Cincinnati took control of things in the second on the way to a convincing 23-point victory. David Nichols scored 13 points and six assists for Albany and Joe Cremo add 12 points. No other Albany played scored in double-figures. The Great Danes especially strugged from deep, shooting just 2-14 (14%) from three. The Bearcats didn’t shoot especially well from distance either, but grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and 23-40 (58%) on two-point attempts.
Lafayette 61, Saint Peter’s 57
The Leopards were down 10 points with 3:49 to play before storming back for the victory in Jersey City. Lafayette closed the game on a 16-2 run for the win. Matt Klinewski led the way with 26 points and Nick Lindner added nine points and nine assists. Saint Peter’s was carried offensively by Quadir Welton. He scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Nnamdi Enechionyia scored 12. The Peacocks scored just 0.80 points per possession in the loss, partly due to shooting 6-23 from three and 9-15 from the charity stripe.
Providence 80, Vermont 58
The Catamounts made things interesting for a half, only trailing by six at the break, but Providence pushed the lead to 12 with 16:09 remaining and didn’t look back. Emmitt Holt scored 22 points for the Friars and Rodney Bullock added 18. Kyron Cartwright had nine points and 12 assists. Vermont was led by Payton Henson, who scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds. No other Catamount managed to score in double-figures. Dre Willis came the closest with nine.