Princeton Tigers (0-2; 0-2 ATS; 1-1 O/U) vs. Saint Joseph’s Hawks (1-1; 1-1 ATS; 2-0 O/U)
NCAAB: Saturday, November 8, 2017 at 7:00pm EST
Line: Saint Joseph’s -4.5
The Saint Joseph’s Hawks will square off with the Princeton Tigers in non-conference play Saturday night from the Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena in Philadelphia. The Tigers fell 65-56 to BYU on Wednesday night, and the Hawks pulled out an 86-82 overtime win over UIC in their previous action. Saint Joseph’s defeated Princeton by a 74-68 score last season.
Princeton’s Offense Falters in Second Straight Loss
The Princeton Tigers did not shoot the ball well in their 65-56 home loss to BYU on Wednesday night. The Tigers posted a weak 37.7% efficiency from the field, however they did out-rebound the Cougars 36-23. Devin Cannady was stellar in the losing cause, netting 19 points on a 6 for 13 clip from the field and made four steals. The junior guard was one of the go-to guys on last year’s 23-7 team, posting 13.4 points per game, and scored 12 points in the Tigers 85-75 loss to Butler in their season opener. Myles Stephens contributed with a 10-point effort in the loss to BYU. The 6-foot-5 junior guard played a big role last season and had a big 21-point night in the loss to Butler last weekend. Amir Bell had a night to forget in the loss to BYU, going 1 for 9 from the field for two points after dropping 22 points against Butler.
Princeton is a solid team that will be tough to beat this season, especially in conference play as they return some key pieces on last year’s quad that saw them go 14-0 in IVY League play. They are averaging 75 points in two games, and have allowed 75 and 56 points respectively in their first two games.
Hawks Rebound with OT Win Against UIC
The Saint Joseph’s Hawks rebounded from their season-opening loss by recording an 86-82 overtime road win at UIC on Monday night. The Hawks shot 45% from the field and held UIC to a 40% performance. James Demery was tremendous in the victory, sinking 25 points on 50% shooting and added five rebounds. The senior forward has gone a combined 16 for 29 from the field in two games after scoring 16 points in the season-opening loss to Toledo. Freshman Taylor Funk is off to a promising start, scoring 16 and 22 points respectively in his first two games and leads the Hawks with an average of 7.5 boards. Scoring depth should be a strength for this Hawks team as they also feature Shaver Newkirk who was well on his way to having a big season last year before going down with a tough injury 12 games in. The senior guard has scored a combined 38 points in two games this season.
The Hawks will be without Lamarr Kimble for the rest of the season with a foot injury which is a crushing injury to one of the Hawks best players. They have scored 98 and 86 points especially in their first two games. They are conceding an average of 90 points per game early on this season.
The Princeton Tigers are:
- 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games against A10 opponents.
- 8-20 ATS in their last 28 non-conference games.
The Saint Joseph’s Hawks are:
- 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games against Ivy League opponents.
- 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games against a team with a winning percentage below .400.
I am going with Saint Joseph’s in this contest. Saint Joseph’s is a talented team that features strong depth led by Shavar Newkirk and James Demery who both have the ability to put up big points. The Hawks feature three players shooting over 50% in their first two games, and they should have a strong night offensively. Furthermore, Princeton only shot 37.7% in their home loss to BYU in their latest action and they will not be a strong as last year’s squad. Opponents are shooting 50% against Princeton through two games, and I expect a strong shooting performance from the Hawks in this one.