After suffering a two-game skid before Thanksgiving, the women’s basketball team saw mixed results this weekend in Oregon. The Tigers (3-4) started strong in the Pacific Northwest with a solid 94-76 win over Portland State on Saturday, but fell 110-90 against a relentless Oregon offenseon Sunday.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick 4-0 leadon Saturdayafternoon in Portland but were unable to control possession or pace as the first half went back and forth between both sides. The game’s first 20 minutes saw five separate lead changes and four periods at which it was tied. Princeton struggled against Portland State’s (2-3) dominant possession and was down 44-42 at the half.
A different Princeton squad emerged from the locker room for the second half, however, as the Tigers’ reenergized offense gained fluidity to roll over the Vikings. The Tigers scored 11 of their 13 second-chance points in the game’s final 20 minutes and simultaneously intensified their defense to force off-angle shots from Portland State’s offense. The Tigers had a 55-50 lead after going on a 9-0 rally just minutes into the second half, and they did not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.
The Tigers’ 50-point second half came from a variety of contributors. Junior guard Blake Dietrick made seven of 10 shots from the field and made all four of her three-point attempts to lead the Tigers with 19 points. Freshman guard Vanessa Smith continued to impress with a career-best 17 points, 11 of which came during the second half. Sophomore guard Michelle Miller and sophomore forward Taylor Williams each put up 12 points, and senior forward Kristen Helmstetter and sophomore forward Alex Wheatley had 10 points to round out the six separate players who scored double digits for Princeton.
Moving from Portlandon Saturdayto Eugeneon Sunday, the Tigers peaked early rather than late in a 20-point loss to Oregon (4-2). The Tigers came out swinging early, as Dietrick continued to thrive out in the Beaver State with 21 points in the first half. Making all eight shots from the field and all five attempts from behind the arc in the first half, Dietrick finished with a career-best 26 points that rallied her teammates to a hot first-half start. The Tigers ultimately made 20 of 37 shots in the first half, good for a 55-46 lead going into the locker room at halftime.
But the Ducks' second-half surge proved to be too much for the Tigers to handle. After maintaining a double-digit lead early in the second frame, the Tigers lost their lead when Oregon went on an 11-0 run to tie it up as the game headed south of the 14-minute mark.
The Ducks took their first lead of the game with10:21remaining, and what had been an 11-5 run for Oregon ultimately became a 29-10 rally that put the Tigers behind by 18 with less than four minutes in regulation. Ducks forward Jillian Alleyne had a game-high 27 points, and guard Katelyn Loper added 24 to solidify the Ducks’ victory.
The Tigers continue their four-game road stretch this week, when they take on Navy in a7 p.m. matchup on Fridaynight in Annapolis.