It's no surprise that Harvard is atop the women's basketball Ivy League standings.
What may catch one's eye, though, is that this weekend's matchup between Harvard and the Tigers Saturday at Jadwin Gym could be for first place. Due to Princeton's recent five-game winning streak, the Tigers (10-7 overall, 4-1 Ivy League) find themselves in a second-place tie with Penn and could end the weekend in sole possession of first with victories over Harvard (14-2, 5-0) and fourth-place Dartmouth (9-8, 3-2).
After starting off the season slowly, the Tigers seem to have finally found some chemistry. They have only trailed for 13 minutes in Ivy play and have won their league contests by an average of 19 points.
Leading the way recently has been junior center Lea Ann Drohan. After often experiencing foul trouble in the beginning of the season, Drohan has managed to stay on the court during the team's surge.
While Princeton has been somewhat of a surprise, Harvard is merely living up to expectations. The Crimson went undefeated last year in league play and have recently extended its Ivy unbeaten streak to 31 games.
For Harvard, everything centers around senior All-American forward Allison Feaster. The nation's leading scorer at 29.1 points per game, Feaster has feasted on Princeton in her previous six games. She has averaged 21.1 points and 12 rebounds against the Tigers over her career.
Feaster is coming off a huge week that first saw her become the Ivy League's all-time women's leading scorer against Lehigh. She also passed 1,000 career rebounds in that game. She ended the week with 36 points against Yale and became the first women's basketball player in league history to score 2,000 points.
If Princeton is to win the game, it must try to neutralize perhaps the league's greatest player ever. Drohan must stay out of foul trouble, and backup sophomore center Brooke Lockwood will have to provide some valuable minutes.
Assuming Feaster will continue her domination of opponents, the Princeton guards will have to step up and challenge Harvard's perimeter players. Senior guard Zakiya Pressley is coming off her best game of the year last Saturday against Columbia, where she had 14 points, seven steals and six assists.
For the Harvard contest to be the game for the league lead, Princeton must first get past Dartmouth Friday. Although the Big Green is in fourth place, its record is slightly deceiving. Dartmouth's three victories have come against the league's three last place teams.
With this weekend marking the end of the first half of the Ivy season, Princeton will need two strong performances to legitimize itself as a contender for the stretch drive.