The women’s basketball team earned two important road victories this weekend,defeating Columbia 70-41 in New York City on Friday night before beating Cornell 71-56 in Ithaca the following evening. With the back-to-back victories, the Tigers (13-6overall, 4-1 Ivy League) extended their current winning streak to three games and are 10-2 in their last 12 games. Princeton sits tied for second place in the Ivy League whileCornell (11-9, 3-3) and Columbia (4-16, 1-5) occupy the fifth and seventh place spots,respectively.
The Tigers’ matchup with Columbia on Friday evening proved a tale of two halves. Despite shooting 50 percent from the floor in the period, significantly higher thanthe Lions’ 33 percent total, Princeton went 0-5 from three-point range and finished thehalf with a narrow 29-25 advantage. But the second half told a different story, in whichan energized Tiger squad outscored Columbia 41-16, shooting over 62 percent from the field.Sophomore guard Michelle Miller set the tone early in the half with two quick three-pointers, vaulting Princeton to a 39-27 lead before the five-minute mark of the period.Miller, who scored 14 points in the contest, was one of three Tigers to finish the gamewith double-digit points. Sophomore forward Alex Wheatley led all scorers with 18points, followed by junior guard Blake Dietrick’s 15.
Princeton carried its momentum to Ithaca on Saturday, as the Tigerspicked up where they had left off the evening before. Although the Big Red jumped outto an early lead, by the end of the period Princeton had regained a commanding 38-26margin that would serve as a cushion for the rest of the matchup. The Tigers performedparticularly well in the paint, out-rebounding Cornell by a substantial 43-29 margin.Dietrick led all players in scoring, totaling 19 in addition to grabbing six defensiverebounds. Sophomore forward Taylor Williams scored 12 points, and Miller earned thefirst double-double of her college career. In addition to notching 11 points, Miller led theTigers with 12 rebounds.
The victory over Cornell represented the ninth defeat for the Big Red. Cornell has now dropped two consecutive games, while Columbiahas likewise lost five straight matchups. Despite Princeton’s recent success, the Tigersremain a half game behind Harvard (15-5, 5-1) in the Ivy League standings. AlthoughPrinceton already fell to the Crimson 78-68 at home at the end of January, the Tigers willhave a shot at redemption when they travel to Cambridge in a few weeks.
But first, Princeton will focus its attention on two important home matchups thisweekend. Brown (8-12, 2-4) will take on the Tigers at Jadwin Gymnasium on Fridayevening, and Princeton will take on Yale (10-10, 4-2) at home the following night.Although the Tigers have yet to face either squad this season, Princeton swept both teamslast year in very strong showings. In fact, neither team has defeated the Tigers for severalyears. Yale last beat Princeton in 2009, and the Bears haven't beaten Princeton since 2006.