12/07/08 — Dawgs' last chance to force OT clangs off rim

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Dawgs' last chance to force OT clangs off rim

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on December 7, 2008 2:00 AM

PRINCETON -- Princeton brought its signature high-octane offense to its non-conference contest against Midway on Friday night.

The Bulldawgs left their defense in the locker room.

Midway prevailed 80-75 behind some excessively hot shooting and exorcised a worrisome demon. The Raiders, winless in 21 games last season and 0-5 in 2008, snapped a 26-game losing streak.

"I thought our guys played really hard tonight, they gave it all they had," said Midway head coach Clint Williams. "We have been getting better all season, and tonight it all came together."

For the second consecutive game, the Dawgs suffered a defeat after seeing a last-second scoring chance clang off the rim. With 18 seconds to play and the score 78-75 in the Raiders' favor, the Dawgs forced a near turnover that turned into a jump ball.

The possession arrow gave the ball back to the home team, who immediately put it in the hands of offensive leader David Gurganus. Driving down the lane, Gurganus kicked the ball into the left corner where forward Andre Nixon hoisted a potential game-tying 3-pointer.

The ball fell short and the Raiders rejoiced.

A pair of free throws from Jonathan Poole sealed the victory.

"We couldn't get a stop," said Princeton head coach Jeff Davis. "To their credit, they shot the ball extremely well, but we didn't play any help defense and we didn't have anyone willing to step up a take a charge when they drove the lane."

One big reason for the Raiders' offensive outburst was the return of Poole and several other players who had missed the opening four games of the season due to the school's run in the football playoffs.

"We have been working some guys back in, getting on the same page," said Williams. "I started the same five that have been all year, but that added depth makes a big difference."

Four Raiders reached double figures in the scoring column, led by Zacorey Williams 19. Kyle Knowles added 16 points, while Denzel Jones chipped in 14. Jonathan McDowell rounded out the visitors in double digits with 10.

Gurganus paced the Dawgs with a game-high 25 points. The junior guard also dished out six assists. Patrick Jacobs used an 8-for-8 night at the free throw line to reach 17 points. Benton Myers added 15 and Nixon delivered 10 points.

Princeton (2-4 overall) made 19 of 24 free throws on the night.

"I never though that we would be 2-4 at this point in the season," said Davis. "We need to work to get better, because our schedule is tough and getting tougher."

The Dawgs entertain Hobbton on Tuesday and visit Midway on Dec. 12.