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Princeton has come out firing on all cylinders here in the Ivy League Tournament semifinal, and has given the strong contingent of Orange and Black much to cheer about in the opening half. 

No. 1-seeded Princeton leads No. 4 Yale 39–23 at halftime. The Bulldogs have had no answer for the suffocating Tiger defense as they were held to a 26.9 field goal percentage in the first half. On the other side, the Tigers have found plenty of open looks down low and beyond the arc; Princeton sliced through the Yale defense throughout the first quarter, leading to open perimeter looks in the second quarter.

Senior Leslie Robinson has been key for the Tigers in this one so far. Early in the game, her efforts down low — nabbing two offensive rebounds in the same possession — gave Princeton an 8–6 lead. Robinson had five points and three rebounds in the first quarter, then added to that total in the second as she carved up the Bulldog defense in the paint.

Heading into the second quarter, Ivy League Player of the Year sophomore Bella Alarie nailed a jumper with 8:05 remaining to stop a 5–0 Yale run. Yale would get as close as five points back about midway through the second quarter after Roxy Barahman drove in for a layup and one opportunity to cut the Tiger lead to 26–21. Then the biggest run of the game began for the Tigers.

Freshman Carlie Littlefield, the team’s three-point weapon all season, finally hit from deep with 4:16 to go, putting Princeton up eight. Then senior Tia Weledji hit a three, followed by another Littlefield three, to put the Tigers up 35–21 with 2:39 to go. Princeton would close the half on a 13–2 run to lead 39–23 at the break.

For the Tigers, the classic formula of suffocating shooting defense leading to offensive looks has worked almost to perfection. As the second half gets underway, look for the Tigers to put more pressure on Yale down low as they look to advance to their second straight Ivy League Tournament final. 

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