Women's basketball clinches conference title, Ivy League tournament bid| Mar 4, 2018
Playing in its final games of the regular season, the team posted its first triple double in program history courtesy of senior forward Leslie Robinson, honored its seniors, and -- in the meantime -- won the regular season Ivy League conference title and qualified for its second consecutive Ivy League tournament bid. They defeated Brown 79–44 Friday night and Yale 64–53 Saturday to finish alone atop the Ivy League standings with a 12–2 conference record.
The story of the weekend for the Tigers was the performance of their three seniors, Robinson, guard Tia Weledji, and guard Kenya Holland. Against Brown, Robinson dominated in every aspect of the game, recording the first triple double in Princeton women’s basketball history with the remarkable stat line of 10 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists. Against Yale, Holland knocked down five three-pointers, scoring fifteen points.
“They became stars of this team by playing their roles perfectly,” said Head Coach Courtney Banghart of the seniors. “I hope all the classes below them see what leadership is.”
In Friday night’s game against Brown, Princeton dominated from start to finish. They led 23–7 after one quarter, 46–23 at halftime, and coasted in the second half to a 35-point victory. In addition to Robinson, the Tigers were led by freshman guard Abby Meyers, who scored 18 points off the bench, and sophomore forward Bella Alarie, who added 13. Having secured at least a tie for the best record in the Ivy League, the team cut down the nets in celebration after the game.
Saturday night’s win against Yale did not come quite as easily for the Tigers. Perhaps hungover from the previous night’s crucial win and the emotional pregame Senior Day festivities, Princeton came out of the gates slowly. Yale cruised to a 19–14 lead after one quarter before Princeton fought back to tie the game at 30 going into halftime. From there, Alarie took over. She scored 14 of her 18 points in the second half to propel Princeton to its 64–53 win.
“Our guys had to gut that one out, and we did a good job doing that,” Banghart said.
“We play together so well, and we trust each other so much that we still make it through those tough games,” Robinson said.
Despite the magnitude of their accomplishments this season, the team still has work left to do. They will travel to Philadelphia next weekend for their second consecutive Ivy League tournament.
“There’s a big one next,” said Banghart. “We’ll get into our prepare mode, and we’re looking forward to it.”
The Tigers will look to improve on their performance in last year’s tournament, when they lost to Penn in the championship game. If the Tigers win the tournament, they will clinch a spot in the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years. They will play Yale in the semifinals of the tournament Saturday and, with a win, move into the championship game Sunday.