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Princeton's Postseason Ends with CBI Quarterfinal Loss at Fresno State

Princeton's Hans Brase
Princeton's Hans Brase

Courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications

FRESNO, Calif. -- Though the Princeton men's basketball team began the second half with an inspired rally to climb out of an eight-point hole, the Tigers couldn't sustain that momentum in a 72-56 loss at Fresno State in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) quarterfinal.

Fresno State led by as many as 11 points in the first half as Princeton made just 3 of 15 from beyond the arc, entering the break with an eight-point deficit. Out of the locker room, Princeton went on a 6-0 run and briefly led on a Steven Cook bucket two minutes in at 34-33.

But Fresno State kept Princeton's side of the board stuck on 47 for nearly five minutes as the Bulldogs scored 11 straight points after the Tigers had pulled within two at 49-47 just before the midway point of the half. Princeton never got closer than eight from that point, and the Bulldogs advanced to the CBI semifinals.

• Senior T.J. Bray scored 17 in his final game to finish his career with 1,024. That puts him in 29th place on the all-time Princeton scoring list as he passed Will Venable '05 (1,010) tonight.

• Bray had four assists to bring him to 374 for his career, finishing his time as a Tiger in third place on the school's career assist list behind only William Ryan '84 (413) and Kit Mueller '91 (381). The stat has been kept since the 1974-75 season.

• Bray's four assists gave him 133 for the season, third-most for a single season at Princeton since the stat began being kept in 1974-75. Ryan had 161 in 1983-84 and Mueller had 140 in 1989-90.

• In addition to his place on the assist list, Bray finished sixth in career steals with 150, also a stat kept since 1974-75. Bray played in his 118th career game tonight, tied for third all-time at Princeton with Patrick Saunders '12 and behind only Douglas Davis '12 at 122 and Ian Hummer '13 at 123.

• Princeton's 21 wins were its most since 2010-11, when the Tigers won 25. The wins also made Mitch Henderson '98 the third coach in program history to win at least 20 games in two of his first three seasons alongside Butch van Breda Kolff '44 and Bill Carmody.

• This was Fresno State's first win in a series that has had four meetings, three of them in Fresno. Princeton won in 1986 in Indianapolis, in 1995 in Fresno State's former building, and in 2003 in the Bulldogs' current home.

• Princeton is now 1-2 in CBI quarterfinals. The Tigers won at IUPUI in 2010 and lost at Pittsburgh in 2012.

• With six three-pointers tonight, Princeton built on the program record it set last time out at Tulane, now with 276 this season. The previous record was 265, set in the 1997-98 season.

Hans Brase's double-double with 19 points and 10 boards was his first since he achieved the statistical feat at Butler on Nov. 16 (15 pts., 11 reb.).