The Princeton women’s basketball team ended its first semester on a positive note, winning this Saturday at home by a score of 74-62 against the Yale Bulldogs. Princeton caps off a series of three straight home conference games with its first win after losing closely to both Penn and Brown close in its previous games.
Princeton used a ferocious fourth quarter comeback to earn the win on Saturday. Trailing by seven heading into the final quarter, the Tigers outscored the Bulldogs 25-6 to turn a seven-point deficit into a 12-point win. Offense keyed the rally as the Tigers shot a ridiculous 77.8 percent in the final quarter, their highest percentage of the year.
“I think we just dialed in,” commented junior forward Leslie Robinson. Noting the defensive effort as well, Robinson added, “We realized how much we needed this win and we just came together as a team on defense which led to our offensive success.”
Robinson was one of four players for Princeton who scored double digits in the win. She was second on the team with 16 points behind fellow junior Tia Weledji who scored 17. Robinson also added 11 rebounds to record her second double double in as many games and third all season. Freshman Bella Alarie — who in the last game against Brown broke the freshman record for blocks in a game with 7 — also had a double double, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Team defense was a standout performer in Saturday’s game; after giving up 98 points to the Bears just the day before, the Tigers held the Bulldogs to 62. The defense especially clamped down in the second half, allowing Yale to shoot only 37 percent from the field. The defense also did not give up a three for the entire second half.
One of the keys for the Tigers’ win was their domination on the glass. The Tigers owned the boards against Yale, out-rebounding the Bulldogs 40-25. The Tigers out-rebounded a second straight Ivy League opponent and will look to continue that trend after finals.
“We came together [Friday] as a team and knew when we got back out there [Saturday] that we needed to get a win. We did that and we got the W,” said Robinson.
Standings Watch: After their first week of Ivy League action, the Tigers sit fifth in the Ivy League standings at 1-2. Penn and Brown — the two teams Princeton has lost to — sit above them at first (3-0) and fourth (1-1), respectively. Also ahead of the Tigers are Harvard and Cornell, who are tied for second currently (1-0).
Rematch: Princeton’s second game against the Bulldogs this season will come on Feb. 17 in New Haven, Conn. It will be the beginning of a four-game road trip for the Tigers during the middle of conference play.
Up Next: While most of the Ivy League continues play, the Tigers will be off the next two weeks for final exams. The three-week break ends on Feb. 3, when the Tigers will be at home in Jadwin hosting Dartmouth. The Tigers won both meetings against Dartmouth last year and the year before.