This Wednesday, Nov. 29 will be a double header for Princeton hoops as both men and women play at Jadwin Gym. The women will take the court first and be up against a team they became familiar with last season.
After finishing in second place in both the Ivy League regular season and falling in the championship round of the Ivy League tournament, the Tigers were given a home game in the first round of the WNIT, where they would face fellow tri-state area college Villanova. Last season, the Tigers were upset in Jadwin 59-54, putting a sour end to an otherwise great season. In the defeat, the Tigers were unable to stop the Villanova starting five, who accounted for all but 6 points in the Wildcats win. Villanova was also able to contain then-freshman Bella Alarie last season as she was held to only 9 points, one of the lowest marks in her Tiger career.
On Wednesday, the Tigers hope to extract revenge on a team that cut short their seventh straight appearance in a postseason tournament. Princeton will have its chance, not just to extract revenge on Villanova, but on the exact lineup that burned the Tigers last season as all four key contributors in last year's win are back for the Wildcats once again. While the Tigers don’t have everyone from last year, many of the matchups will remain the same for the WNIT game, so expect the Tigers to exploit what went well last season and try to cover up the weaknesses from a year ago.
This game was a motivator for the Tigers throughout the offseason, as many of the returners felt that they did not end the season with a good performance. Simply put, the Tigers are hoping for a much better showing this year than they had last season against almost the identical team.
Look for Princeton to play a much more up tempo game than we are used to seeing out of them as fast break points were very effective in the loss last season. Princeton will try to push the pace and dominate on the offensive glass; one and done chances last year for their offense really hurt them down the stretch of the low scoring affair.
Villanova comes into this game undefeated with a hot 5-0 start. The winning streak includes a victory over the No. 11 ranked Duke Blue Devils on their home court. Princeton will be looking to slow down an offense that averages around 73 points per game in the young season while attempting to counter with an offense that has also been hovering around the 70 PPG mark. Expect this game to be a much higher scoring affair than the one last season.
While still early in the year, this game comes a great opportunity for the Tigers to beat a notable opponent and put a good win on their resume that could prove to be critical come later this season.