---- — By Todd Hummel
For The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- The Bucknell men's basketball team entered the week shooting 51 percent from the floor and nearly 49 percent from the behind the 3-point arc.
"We have played at a level offensively (in games) above what we have practiced in the first five games," Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen said. "We had given the illusion of a team that had arrived, but that was far from the case."
After shooting under 50 percent and under 40 percent from behind the arc in a loss Tuesday on the road at Mount St. Mary's, the Bison had their worse offensive game of the young season at Sojka Pavilion on Saturday night against Ivy League-foe Princeton. Unfortunately for Bucknell, it's offensive performance bled over to its defensive effort in a 66-53 loss to the visiting Tigers.
"This is a really disappointing performance and, more importantly, a disappointing effort," Paulsen said. "We had a lot of guys (that) when they struggled to score they took a 'woe is me' attitude. It's honestly something I've never had to say about one of our teams."
The Bison (3-4) took their final lead of the game with five consecutive points to start the second half for a 32-30 advantage, but over the final 17:41 of the game, Princeton outscored Bucknell by 15 points.
"I told the guys in the first media timeout of the second half that this game would come down to who could make plays," Princeton coach Mitch Henderson said. "We made enough plays on both ends of the court in the second half to get a good win over a good basketball team."
Bucknell shot 43 percent from the floor, but made just eight field goals in the second half and were just 1-of-11 from behind the arc, including 0-of-7 in the second half.
Forward Hans Brase led the way for the Tigers (5-1). The German sophomore had 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
Princeton opened the game 4-for-18 from the floor and just 2-for-10 on 3-pointers as Bucknell opened up an eight-point lead with 9:19 left in the first half.
"Bucknell made us think a little bit too much about what we were doing (offensively)," Henderson said. "We are better when we are just moving, not thinking. Then, they were really getting out on our shooters a little bit."
Over the next eight minutes, Princeton hit 4 of 6 three-pointers and had an 11-0 run to take its first lead since early in the game.
From that point, Bucknell struggled to control the Princeton offense, allowing the Tigers to get to the line (the Bison committed 19 fouls) or shoot threes. After struggling early, Princeton was better than 50 percent from behind the arc (8-of-15) the rest of the game.
The lone bright spot for the Bison was the play of sophomore guard Chris Hass, who scored a career-high 15 points.
"He played really well at Mount St. Mary's and (Saturday). He's young and inexperienced, but he's talented and played really hard," Paulsen said. "He was a positive for us."