PREVIEW: Women’s basketball heads to New England for road back-to-back| Feb 14, 2019
This weekend, women’s basketball (11–9 overall, 3–2 Ivy) will face Harvard (11–8, 4–2) on Friday, Feb. 15 and Dartmouth (10–9, 3–3) on Saturday, Feb. 16.
Princeton is currently one of three teams with only two conference losses, with Harvard and Yale currently ranked ahead of the Tigers, sitting at 4–2 in the Ivy League conference. Penn is currently undefeated in conference with a 5–0 record.
After her record-breaking game against Columbia, junior Bella Alarie scored 38 points against Yale and 20 against Brown. Having Alarie playing at a whole other level the past couple of weeks has taken the Tiger women to a competitive level against some of the better teams in the conference.
In the most recent episode of her podcast, “The Court Report with Courtney Banghart,” head coach Courtney Banghart explained that Alarie is “quite the treat” to have on the court and that her average Ivy League scoring is remarkable and something extremely exciting to be a part of.
After the Yale loss, Coach Banghart explained, the Tiger women learned that the “non-feature players, so everyone but [Alarie], need to be much more aggressive.”
Banghart explained that this current Tiger team has been “very hard to read.” She said that it can be hard to read the mindset of the team because of its youth. She did say, though, that the team is a lot of fun to watch when it listens and executes.
The Tigers are working hard to make sure that everyone is playing heavy defense this coming weekend, as Harvard currently leads the Ivy League in three-point field goals per game at 9.2 and Princeton is in last in the conference in defending the three-point line.
The Dartmouth matchup will pose a challenge for the Princeton offense. The Big Green is ranked No. 77 in the country in scoring defense and has been defending three-point shots quite well, as its opponents shoot under 30 percent from beyond the arc this season.
Coach Banghart explained that both of these teams are very talented and could be potential postseason competition. With the possibility of participating in March Madness on her mind, Coach Banghart explained that this is the best chance for her and the team to scope out their competition.
Alarie was also named as one of the last 10 candidates for the Katrina McClain Power Forward of the Year award. This award is currently in its second year and recognizes the top power forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. The five finalists will be announced early next month and a winner will be selected and announced in mid-March.
The Harvard game will be on Friday at 7 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion in Cambridge, followed by the Dartmouth game on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Leede Arena in Hanover. Both of the games will be covered by ESPN+ and live stats will be provided on the Harvard and Dartmouth websites.