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Princeton tops St. Joe's

PRINCETON, N.J. _ If you were going to play your third game in 5 days and your second game exactly 41 hours after leaving your archrival's gym, the place to do it would not be Jadwin Gym.

It did not take 5 minutes to make that crystal clear Sunday evening. The basketball began to fly around the court, from one of set of Princeton hands to another and then into the basket, time after time after time. The young Saint Joseph's Hawks probably were somewhere between dizzy and exhausted. Bt the time they realized what had hit them, they were out of the game with a lot of game still to be played.

The final was Princeton 74, St. Joe's 65. It seemed much worse and, for a time, it was.

This is not Pete Carril's Princeton. These Tigers are willing to play faster. They played way too fast for the Hawks, leading by a crazy 30-12 after 10 minutes, a mere 120-point pace. The Tigers (5-3) had made 12 of 18 shots, including six threes. On three of their misses, they got the offensive rebound and scored.

It got so bad that the Hawks were down to one timeout with 53 seconds left in the first half after sophomore point guard Carl Jones apparently called one during a scramble for a loose ball. In the ensuing confusion, the Hawks bench got a technical foul apparently for arguing something. That wasn't clear, but the difference between the teams was quite clear.

As signs go, it was not a good for the Hawks when Patrick Saunders who had made five ``threes'' in 15 chances on the season and was averaging 5.2 points, hit three straight treys in the opening minutes. Saunders cooled off. His team never really did. And St. Joe's (3-5) has lost three in a row right after winning three straight.

The Hawks got some serious juice when the second half began by employing a three-quarter-court trap. It got the Tigers playing even faster than they were. Princeton did not score on its first nine possessions.

And the Hawks, behind the defensive pressure and two Ronald Roberts monster dunks, got a 44-19 deficit down to 50-40. The Tigers started to make shots again and it was done.

Jones (24 points) was terrific again for the Hawks. He got some help in the second half. He needed iy in the first.