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Princeton drops opening game of their Spain trip 76-66 to Assignia Manresa

Princeton v NC State

RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 16: Ian Hummer #34 talks to Denton Koon #4 of the Princeton Tigers against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at the RBC Center on November 16, 2011 in Raleigh, North Carolina. NC State defeated Princeton 60-58. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

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Harvard returns enough talent from their NCAA tournament team to be considered by many to be the favorite to win the Ivy League in 2012-13.

But which team (or teams) can offer up the biggest challenge to the Crimson?

Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson hopes that his Tigers are the answer to that question, and their 10-day trip to Spain is the first step towards making sure that’s the case.

Princeton dropped the first of their four games in Spain on Friday afternoon, falling 76-66 to Assignia Manresa.

Senior forward Ian Hummer led the way offensively for Princeton with 21 points, with Will Barrett (13 points) and Brendan Connolly (12 points) also reaching double figures.

The biggest issue for Princeton on Friday was turning the ball over as they racked up 25 turnovers with Barrett having seven of them.

Barrett, a 6-10 forward, is shaking off the rust after playing in just eight games last season due to a foot injury in Princeton’s 69-54 win over Lafayette on November 30.

He and guard Chris Clement, who played 32 minutes on Friday, will be key players for Princeton this season in their quest to return to the NCAA tournament.

Junior guard T.J. Bray and senior guard Jimmy Sherburne sat out the opener for Princeton, leading to more playing time for a player who averaged just 2.5 minutes per game last year.

With Douglas Davis having graduated Bray (starter last season), Clement and Sherburne are three of the players Princeton will rely on in the back court in 2012-13.

Overall Princeton returns three of their four leading scorers from a season ago, but the loss Davis and forward Patrick Saunders is something the Tigers will need to account for.

Barrett and Connolly are the players expected to handle some of the workload that Saunders leaves behind, so their play in Friday’s opener is a step in the right direction.

Princeton returns to the court on Sunday as they take on second division Spanish team CB Prat.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.