The Princeton women’s basketball team continued its win streak at home with solid wins over Cornell (13-8, 5-2 Ivy) and Columbia (12-11, 1-7).
The Tigers started out against Cornell on Friday with three straight layups. The Big Red held the lead once in the first quarter, but Princeton quickly separated itself again, ending the first half at 32-26. Princeton further distanced itself in the third quarter, scoring 21 points to Cornell’s nine. The home team’s offensive attack stayed consistent throughout the game as the Tigers came out on top, 71-51.
Before Friday evening, Princeton and Cornell had been tied with only one loss in the Ivy League. The key for the Tigers was watching out for Cornell’s junior forward Nia Marshall, who came into the game as the conference’s leading scorer. On Friday, however, Princeton held her to 23.1% shooting for seven points, her lowest score of the season.
Princeton outrebounded Cornell 45-27, with senior forwards Annie Tarakchian and Alex Wheatley each contributing six. Tarakchian, Wheatley and senior guard Michelle Miller each scored at least ten points for the Orange and Black. The team overall shot 43.8%, while Cornell shot just 35.7%. Cornell’s junior forward Nicholle Aston scored 22 points for her team, keeping the Big Red in the game when their star player was not playing her best.
The next day, the Princeton team was back in action as it won its 23rd consecutive game in Jadwin Gym, beating Columbia (12-11, 1-7) 86-54.
The Tigers quickly distanced themselves from the Lions, capturing an 11-point lead in the first quarter. Overall, it was a solid and relatively comfortable team effort. 12 of the 15 players on the roster scored on Saturday, collectively shooting 46.5% from the floor.
Miller led with 16 points on an impressive 7-of-10 shooting, as well as five assists. Senior guard Amanda Berntsen also played well, racking up 12 points. Senior Alex Wheatley was a defensive asset, grabbing 13 rebounds, three blocks and three steals, tying her career high with five assists. Sophomore guard Kenya Rush scored ten points, a career high, during just nine minutes on the court. The balanced effort by the Princeton team this weekend demonstrated the growing depth of the roster as the underclassmen are clearly developing a stronger presence on the court.
Princeton further solidified its reputation as a strong rebounding team by out-rebounding the Lions, 49-29. While the visiting team had entered the game as the third best shooting team in the Ivy League (42%), they were held to just 30% shooting on Saturday. Freshman guard Emily Surloff, although not among the starting five, carried much of the weight for Columbia, scoring 15 points. Sophomore guard Alexa Giuliano scored 10 points for the visiting team.
The two convincing victories brought the Princeton Tigers to 17-4 overall and 6-1 in the Ivy League. Princeton has swept 37 of its last 40 Ivy League weekends. The team will look to continue that streak as it travels to Yale and Brown this Friday and Saturday, respectively.