With a game against a supposed lowly Penn team last Saturday night, the women's basketball team looked to capitalize upon its success over the winter break.
With four of five games on the road, including two at the Lady Griz Holiday Classic in Missoula, Mont., Princeton (5-7 overall, 0-1 Ivy League) had managed to go 3-2 over the recess and seemed poised to reach .500 once again.
But the Quakers (4-7, 1-0) came into Jadwin Gym Saturday and stunned the Tigers with a thrilling come-from-behind 55-52 victory, opening the Ivy League season on a disappointing note for a young Princeton team. The victory was the 200th of Penn head coach Julie Soreiro's career.
Princeton's team is not as young as Penn's, though, which boasts only four returning letterwinners and 10 freshmen. In what was expected to be a rebuilding year for the Quakers, they showed the older Tigers how to handle the pressure late in the game.
The Quakers overcame a 10-point deficit with just over nine minutes remaining by going on a 17-4 run to close the game. Penn hit four free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Princeton had one last chance, but sophomore guard Kate Thirolf missed a last-second three-pointer that would have tied the game.
Two freshmen paced the Penn squad. Rookie sensation forward Diana Caramanico, already a four-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week honoree, had 12 points and a game-high 19 rebounds, while guard Erin Ladley led the way for the Quakers with 20 points.
For Princeton, sophomore guard Maggie Langlas continued her strong holiday play against Penn, with 11 points and team highs with seven rebounds, five assists and six steals.
The six-steal performance was Langlas' career high, continuing a trend she has started recently. Langlas' 24 points against Michigan, nine rebounds against Fairleigh Dickinson and nine assists against Missouri-Kansas City were all career bests.
The team played its first game of break at home against FDU and handly won, 72-48, ending a three-game losing streak.
Princeton then travelled to Michigan the first week of break. The Wolverines defeated the Tigers, 61-58, but Princeton came back strong to beat Eastern Michigan, 69-60.
At the Lady Griz Holiday Classic, the Tigers lost in the first round to host Montana in front of the largest crown (4,711) the Tigers have ever played before. Princeton redeemed itself in the consolation round against UMKC, 64-46, on the strength of 15-for-30 shooting in the second half. Langlas and Thirolf were named to the all-tournament team.
The Tigers will look to make up for their loss in the Ivy opener when they host Yale and Brown this weekend.