Princeton won its 15th straight game against Yale (11-15 overall, 2-7 Ivy) last Friday, beating the Bulldogs relatively closely with a final score of 94-81.
The game started out fairly even, but about five minutes into the first quarter, the Tigers scored six straight points to distance themselves by nine points from the Bulldogs. Yale continued to challenge its visitors, however, pushing the margin to just five points by the end of the first quarter.
The Orange and Black amped up its offense in the second quarter to take a 22-point lead by halftime, thanks mostly to a 27-8 run. Their outstanding second quarter play increased the team’s shooting percentage in the first half to an impressive 64.3 percent.
The hosting team was far from out of the game, despite scoring just eight points in the second quarter. The Bulldogs went on a 9-0 run toward the beginning of the third quarter and reduced their deficit to 14 points by the end of the period. In the fourth quarter, Princeton could not manage to widen its lead, but thanks to consistent, offensive play eked out a win by 13 points.
All four seniors on the starting squad scored in the double-digits. Senior guard Amanda Berntsen played exceptionally well, scoring 20 points on seven of 10 field goals. Senior guard Annie Tarakchian posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Senior guard Michelle Miller scored 16 points, while senior forward Alex Wheatley led the way with 22 points and four rebounds.
Overall, Princeton shot 56.9 percent and 57.1 percent from beyond the arc. The team held Yale to just 39.4 percent shooting and out-rebounded the Bulldogs 42-28.
The next day, the Tigers completed their Ivy League weekend sweep by trumping Brown 83-57.
Despite the convincing final score, the Tigers struggled in the first quarter. Just three minutes into the game, the Bears scored 12 consecutive points. Interestingly, in the middle of the run, Princeton head coach Courtney Banghart subbed out three of her starters, Wheatley, Tarakchian and Miller, and put in senior forward Taylor Williams, sophomore forward Leslie Robinson and freshman guard Qalea Ismail. After a timeout with 4:17 remaining, the Tigers began to improve their play and slowly reduced their deficit to two points by the end of the quarter. The visitors continued to edge out the Bears, securing a three-point lead by halftime.
An 8-2 run at the start of the third quarter helped Princeton gain steam and establish its dominance in the game. The Tigers scored 25 points to Brown’s 10. A continued strong offense helped Princeton claim the victory by a 26-point margin.
All five starters scored in the double-figures. Seniors Michelle Miller and Alex Wheatley both scored 14 points. Berntsen continued her accurate shooting by scoring 13 points in six of eight shots. Senior Annie Tarakchian put up 12 points and eight rebounds and junior guard Vanessa Smith added 11 points and eight rebounds.
Entering the game, Brown had been holdings its opponents’ shooting to under 30 percent. Princeton broke the trend by scoring 57.7 percent from the floor while holding Brown to just 29.4 percent shooting. The Tigers blocked 13 shots and out-rebounded Brown 46-31.
Saturday’s victory marked Coach Banghart’s 100th career Ivy League win and improved Princeton’s record to 19-4 overall and 8-1 in the Ivy League. The Tigers will face Columbia and Cornell this weekend.