This Saturday, the women's basketball team is on the road again, heading to Georgetown for its second away game in a row. The Tigers (2-1) look to continue a two-game winning streak, while the Hoyas (1-2) have lost their past two games.
The last time the teams matched up was in the 2010-11 season, when Princeton fell to Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Hoyas and Tigers have matched up only three times in the past, with Georgetown coming out on top twice.
Princeton will rely on its offense to improve its record, both against Georgetown and for the season.Junior guard Blake Dietrick leads the team with an average of 15 points per game, while both senior forward Kristen Helmstetter and sophomore forward Alex Wheatleyhave averages in the double digits. The team has dominated in rebounds every game so far, led by Helmstetter and sophomore guard Annie Tarakchian. With shooting averages of above 50 percent in the past two games, Princeton has a season scoring average of 47 percent, close to Georgetown’s 45 percent.
“I like this group's aggressiveness on the offensive end,” head coach Courtney Banghart said. “We're still working on consistent pace and contact in our execution, but this is a team that can score 1-15. We take pride in sharing the ball —there is a selflessness to this team, where personal statistics aren't important. To a person, we just want to win the ball game. That's what special teams are built on.”
As the Tigers look to continue their winning streak, they will have to keep the fouls under control, as they committed 25 against Rider on Tuesday, and their defense will need to improve to match their offense.
“Accountability and urgency on the defensive end is something we're focusing on and have been since early October,” Banghart said. “Georgetown is an athletic team. We will need to defend the ball better than we did against Rider and play with more urgency overall on the defensive end, from the start and throughout a possession.”
The Tigers will have to look out for Georgetown freshman center Natalie Butler, who leads the team in both points and rebounds. The Hoyas have three players averaging in the double digits, but since Shayla Cooper, their second-best scorer, will not be playing in Saturday’s game, the Hoyas can expect to see a dip in their scoring average.
As the Tigers are setting themselves up for a potential fifth Ivy title after graduating a particularly strong Class of 2013, these first games of the season are the building blocks for a successful season.
“We will have the team ready,” Banghart said. “We'll prepare them for what they will see from this Georgetown team and for what steps will make us a better team down the road.”
After Saturday's game, Princeton will return homeon Tuesdayto play St. Joseph’s at Jadwin Gymnasium as part of its Holiday Hoops Food Drive and Faculty Appreciation Night.