PRINCETON, N.J. –
Powered by five double-digit scorers, the Princeton University men’s basketball team tied its best start in program history of 9-0 with an 81-70 victory over Drexel Tuesday night inside Jadwin Gymnasium.
The Tigers also started 9-0 in the 1919-20 and 1914-15 seasons, and with one more win would earn a program-best start of 10-0. Princeton also remains one of only 14 unbeaten teams left in the nation in 2023-24.
Sophomore Xaivian Lee added 23 points, nine rebounds, which tied his career-high, along with game and career-high six assists, a figure that tied the game-high. Sophomore Caden Pierce finished with 19 points on 9-for-10 shooting and also had five rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while freshman Dalen Davis scored a season-high 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting. Senior Matt Allocco had 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting, a game-high six assists and three rebounds and senior Zach Martini finished with 10 points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting from the field and 2-for-2 shooting from three, long with three rebounds.
Princeton got off to a strong start thanks to a Martini layup followed by three-pointers by Martini and Lee that put Princeton ahead, 8-1, with 17:40 on the clock. The Tigers and Dragons would trade baskets until back-to-back threes by Lee put Princeton in front, 24-13, with 8:10 left in the half.
A layup by freshman Jacob Huggins kept the Tigers ahead by 11, 32-21, at 3:49 then a Pierce layup with 0:05 remaining sent Princeton into halftime with a 36-26 lead.
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to extend their lead to 12 after halftime, with a layup by Allocco giving Princeton a 40-28 advantage with 19:10 remaining. A Pierce layup followed by a junior Blake Peters three-pointer saw the Tigers get in front by 15, 45-30, with 17:45 on the clock.
The momentum stayed with the Tigers, as another Davis three-pointer followed by an Allocco jumper gave Princeton a 58-41 advantage at 12:56. The Dragons trimmed the deficit back down to 13, but a three-point play by Lee put the Tigers up 67-51 with 7:43 on the clock.
A Lee layup with 4:09 remaining ignited a 7-0 run that put Princeton ahead, 76-61, with 2:01 left to play. Drexel narrowed the deficit down 78-70 with 0:38 on the clock but a pair of Allocco free throws along with a Peters free throw inside the final 35 seconds secured the 81-70 triumph for the Tigers.
Princeton takes on Saint Joseph’s (6-2) at 1 p.m. on Dec. 10 inside Hagan Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.