Sparked by Return of Senior Standout Cannady, PU Men’s Hoops Rallies for Win at Monmouth
CAN DO: Princeton University men’s basketball player Devin Cannady dribbles upcourt in a game last season. On Saturday, senior guard Cannady scored 21 points to help Princeton overcome a 12-point second half deficit to edge Monmouth 60-57. Cannady, who scored the last eight points of the game for the Tigers, was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week. Princeton, now 2-2, plays at Maine on November 28 before hosting George Washington on December 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
After being sidelined for the first two games of the season due to a hamstring injury, Devin Cannady didn’t miss a beat as he took the court for the Princeton University men’s basketball team last Wednesday against visiting Fairleigh Dickinson.
“I always do a pretty good job of staying in shape, so it was good to just get back out there and let my legs be free,” said senior guard Cannady.
The 6’2, 182-pound Cannady did a very good job of shooting in the first half, going 5-of-5 from the floor, including 4-of-4 from the three-point range along with a free throw to total 15 points as the Tigers led 34-30 at the break.
“I have taken a lot of shots in the last three years, so it felt good to be back on the court and doing that,” said Cannady.
“Myles [Stephens] was doing his thing and Richmond [Aririguzoh] was playing well. It was nice for the freshman to get a taste of what it is like having me and my vocal leadership on the floor.”
The Tigers, though, didn’t play well in the second half as FDU rallied, going on a 13-2 run late in the game to pull away to a 77-66 win before a crowd of 1,291 at Jadwin Gym.
Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson credited the Knights with outplaying his squad down the stretch.
“It was a great win for them, they deserve it, “ said Henderson. “They beat us in every single way possible. We were not fun to watch or root for tonight. We were really sloppy. That starts with Greg [FDU Greg Herenda] and his program and how he got his guys ready to play.”
It was fun for Henderson to see Cannady back in action. “It was great; I thought he played like a senior, but he can’t do it by himself,” said Henderson of Cannady, who ended up with 21 points in the evening. “We have got to get more from the others.”
With Princeton dealing with injuries and shuffling the lineup accordingly, it has been hard for the others to get into a groove.
“We haven’t played enough games with the group that we have got,” said Henderson.
“We have been punched in the face now in two games in similar situations (a 72-57 loss at Lehigh on November 16); we are allowing these big runs. We missed a lot of layups tonight. We have got work really hard on making those layups and then tightening up on the defensive end.”
While Henderson wanted his players to learn lessons from the FDU loss, he was happy they didn’t have time to dwell on the setback.
“We have got to really look hard at it and flush it,” said Henderson. “We have got Monmouth on Saturday; thank God we are playing another game really soon. We have got to let these guys play through some mistakes, they have to figure it out.”
Cannady, for his part, was looking forward to the clash at Monmouth. “It is always nice to have games not too far away after a tough loss,” said Cannady.
“It is going to be nice to be with our families and hang out with our teammates on Thanksgiving. Friday has to be a really great practice and then it is get back at it on Saturday.”
Producing a great performance on Saturday, Cannady scored 21 points to help Princeton overcome a 12-point second half deficit to edge Monmouth 60-57. Cannady, who scored the last eight points of the game for the Tigers, was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week. The Mishawaka, Ind. native now has 1,266 points in his career, 12th best in program history, and 227 three-pointers, the third-most for the Tigers.
In Henderson’s view, the comeback victory, which improved the Tigers to 2-2, could give the squad a big lift as it plays at Maine on November 28 before hosting George Washington on December 1.
“It’s one of those wins – I hope that I’m right – but I really feel like it’s a gutsy win and it’s going to propel our group forward in a really cool way,” said Henderson, as quoted on the Princeton sports website.