Women's Basketball: Tigers rout Rider for bounce-back win
The scoring mishaps that plagued the women’s basketball team at Marist last weekend eroded on Tuesday night, as the Tigers opened their first home game with a high-flying 88-42 win over Rider.
The Tigers shot 49 percent from the field, piecing together a strong offensive performance from the outside, hitting six three-point shots. Princeton also received solid contributions from across the depth chart, as 12 different members of the squad scored in the game.
The win brings the Tigers to 2-1 overall, following a tough match against Marist that saw a shortfall of the offensive power Tiger fans have come to expect.
“The last game was a tough loss, and we were all eager to get out there and play hard and bounce back,” freshman guard Michelle Miller said. “I think we took a good step forward today looking toward our tough game against UC Riverside and UCLA.”
Princeton began Tuesday night’s game with some awkward fumbles, as the hosts were occasionally unable to connect on passes and suffered breakdowns in transition opportunities. But about eight minutes into the first half, the Tigers pieced together the offensive progression that home fans have become used to over the past few years.
Rider’s Carleigh Brown put in a hard-fought layup in the middle, and on the return Princeton was still looking to find its rhythm on offense after multiple botched passes and a slight 11-10 lead.
But the game soon reached its inflection point, as the Tigers pulled away for good. From the middle of the lane, senior guard Niveen Rasheed found sophomore guard Blake Dietrick wide open for an easy three-point shot. Dietrick would drain two more shots from long range before the end of the game, racking up 11 points by the night’s end.
That play signaled the pace of the rest of the match, as within the next six minutes, Princeton reeled off a 14-0 run to take a 15-point lead behind contributions from Dietrick, junior forward Kristen Helmstetter and sophomore guard Mariah Smith. The Tigers closed out the half with a commanding 41-23 lead.
The home opener was also the first opportunity for Tiger fans to get a glimpse into the already promising freshman class. As the match progressed, the freshmen started to take on their own roles, holding down Rider in the second half.
“All the girls are really welcoming, and I’m definitely really appreciative of their inclusiveness, and it’s really been a great experience so far,” Miller said.
Seven minutes into the second half, freshman forward Alex Wheatley found an open spot for a layup, starting another six-minute onslaught by the Tigers, with a three-point shot from Dietrick and contributions from Miller and freshman guard Amanda Berntsen leading an 18-2 run.
Princeton slowed down the pace of the game for the remaining 10 minutes, closing out the match and a positive start to the first home game of the season.
Miller contributed eight points in her 19 minutes of play, while freshman forward Annie Tarakchian contributed seven to the effort. Rasheed found the top spot on the score sheet again last night, putting up a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Senior center Meg Bowen was powerful in the paint, putting up 12 points, the second-highest total on the home squad.
The Tigers will travel to sunny California for their next match, visiting UC Riverside and UCLA over Thanksgiving break before returning home to host a much-anticipated match against nearby rival Rutgers.
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