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Game Preview: Princeton Tigers look for second straight win against Liberty Flames

After getting off to a hot start, Princeton dropped two straight, but look to build on its most recent victory when the Tigers face Liberty on Thursday night.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Princeton will take the floor at home Thursday night against the Liberty Flames. The two teams have had drastically different starts to their respective seasons.

Let’s take a look at Princeton

The Tigers started off the season sizzling, winning their first four games. They have stumbled slightly as of late, dropping two consecutive games to Stony Brook and St. Joseph's. Princeton was able to rebound its last game, and posted a solid win against Lipscomb on Dec. 12. That game saw three Tigers (Henry Caruso, Pete Miller and Spencer Weisz) all post double-doubles. It was the first time in program history that three players recorded double-doubles. As three players registering double-doubles would indicate, Princeton’s victory was due to a balanced performance on both ends of the floor. The Tigers finished the game shooting 40.9 percent from the field and outrebounded Lipscomb 55-29.

Despite Princeton’s recent troubles, they still have the best record in the Ivy League at 5-2. The Tigers have handily defeated their opponents this year, winning their games by a whopping average of 22 points. They are lead by junior forward Spencer Weisz, who is averaging a strong 9.4 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game and 4.4 assists per game so far this season.

What about Liberty?

Liberty comes to Princeton on a seven-game losing skid, sporting a 3-8 record. The Flames will enter Princeton Saturday night looking to lift morale and snap their losing streak.

The Flames have a new go-to player in 6-10 center Evan Maxwell who has come of age during his sophomore season. Maxwell averaged only six minutes per game last season, along with 2.1 points and just over one rebound. This season, Maxwell is logging more than four times the amount of minutes, at 25.5. His productivity suggests that he’s a deserving recipient of increased playing time, as he is currently averaging 13.9 points per game, along with 7.8 rebounds.

Who wins?

It appears that this game is tilted for a Princeton win. It’s hard to see Liberty withstanding the Tigers offensive capabilities. The Tigers have won games so far by playing unselfishly, and the roster features three players averaging double digits. On the other end of the floor, it will be an uphill battle for the Flames to settle in to an offensive rhythm. The Tigers have outrebounded their opponents at a clip of nearly 8 per game.

Prediction

Princeton 90, Liberty 75