Princeton runs past Columbia, Cornell to reach top conference record| Feb 29, 2016
With this weekend’s wins over Columbia (12-14 overall, 1-10 Ivy) and Cornell (14-12, 6-6), the women’s basketball team has swept 39 out of its past 42 Ivy League weekends.
On Friday, the Tigers beat Columbia for the 16th time in a row, running past the Lions, 77-48. Princeton started off strong, quickly gaining a nine-point lead in the first several minutes and finishing the first half with a 6-0 run to make it 41-28. Senior guard Michelle Miller and senior forward Alex Wheatley helped their team dominate the first half by scoring a combined 17 points through 8-of-11 shooting. The Tigers then outscored the Lions 21-5 throughout the entire third quarter and went on to claim a convincing victory against Columbia.
Impressively, Princeton had five players reach double figures. Miller and Wheatley led with 18 and 10 points respectively. Junior guard Vanessa Smith and senior forward Taylor Williams both scored 11 points, and senior guard Amanda Berntsen put up 10. The Orange and Black shot 53.7 percent while holding Columbia to just 28.1 percent shooting.
Columbia’s forward Tori Oliver carried much of her team’s weight, scoring 14 points and spending the most time on the court. Forward Devon Roeper grabbed an impressive 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, three Princeton players had five rebounds or more: seniors Annie Tarakchian, Berntsen, and Miller.
The win was an important one because it put Princeton in the top spot in the Ivy League along with Penn. With Penn’s loss to Cornell the same night, Princeton and Penn are now tied for the best conference record.
If the transitive property could apply, Princeton demonstrated its superiority over Penn by beating Cornell the next day. The Tigers took down the Big Red 94-57 to secure their 10th straight win.
The two sides were well balanced in the first quarter, though Princeton came out slightly on top, 15-11. The Tigers began separating themselves in the second quarter, scoring eight consecutive points early in the period. Later in the period, Princeton went on a 21-6 run to put the game out of reach for Cornell.
The visitors continued their offensive dominance into the second half, outscoring Cornell 21-10 in the third quarter and 26-22 in the fourth quarter.
Wheatley scored an outstanding 23 points, a new career high, on 11-of-14 shooting in just 19 minutes of play. As a result of her forceful play this weekend, Wheatley was named the Ivy League Co-Player of the Week. This is her third career POTW recognition and second this season.
Senior Annie Tarakchian also had a stellar night, posting her 18th career double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Tarakchian is now the eight player in program history to surpass 700 career rebounds and stands seventh best in Princeton history. Smith scored 12 points and also added four assists and seven rebounds.
Overall, the Tigers shot 67.3 percent while holding Cornell to just 32.8 percent. They also out-rebounded the home team 41-23. Cornell’s guard Maddie Campbell and forward Nia Marshall scored 22 and 11 points respectively,for the Big Red.
Marshall, who played high-school basketball with Princeton’s Smith at the Hathaway Brown School in Ohio, came in as the Ivy League’s leading scorer. On Saturday, however, Princeton held her to just 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting, pushing her to below her average 17 points a game.
After two weekends of play off-campus, the Tigers will return to Jadwin Gymasium this Friday to face Harvard and this Saturday to face Dartmouth.