A three-week hiatus after final exams did nothing to stop the momentum of thePrinceton women’s basketball teamas it cruised through games against Harvard and Dartmouth to remain undefeated. The No. 19-ranked Tigers (19-0 overall, 3-0 Ivy) dominated Harvard 96-46 on Fridayand Dartmouth 83-65on Saturday. The game against Harvard was the eighth game this season in which the Tigers beat an opponent by over 30 points, and the second highest margin by which they have won this season.
Junior forward Alex Wheatley and junior guard Amanda Berntsen started the Harvard game off with a pair of layups from Wheatley and another from Berntsen to bring the Tigers to a 6-0 lead. A pair of shots from the charity stripe, a layup from Harvard’s Temi Fagbenle and a jumper by Harvard’s AnnMarie Healy brought the Crimson within reach of the Tigers, but three-pointers from junior guard Michelle Miller and senior guard Blake Dietrick allowed the dominating offense of the Orange and Black to quickly kick into action. Sophomore guard Vanessa Smith, who has been playing increasingly well this season, netted four free throws over the course of a minute to give the Tigers a double-digit lead. After a Crimson three-pointer, Smith netted a layup, which, combined with a Dietrick three-pointer and a pair of free throws and a layup from Wheatley, left the score at 36-19. At the end of the first half, the Tigers were up 44-26.
The Tigers kept the Crimson shooting at 17.6 percent on field goals during the second half. Princeton's defense smothered Harvard, as the Crimson was kept from scoring for over six minutes during the second half. Four different Tigers scored in the double digits, with Dietrick scoring 18 points with six assists, four rebounds and three steals. She was followed by Berntsen with 17 points, a career high, Wheatley with 15 and Smith with 14.
While Dartmouth fared better in the first half than Princeton did, the Tigers' offensive prowess would ultimately prove too much for the Big Green to handle. After a quick jumper during the first minute from Dartmouth’s Milica Toskovic, junior guard/ forward Annie Tarakchian opened the game against Dartmouth with four shots from the charity stripe. Always on their game, the Tigers shot just under 70 percent during the first half in an impressive showing that only saw the Tigers down for the first minute of play. The largest Tiger lead of the first half came with five minutes left after a Wheatley layup left the Tigers up by 14. With less than a minute left in the period, the Tigers saw their lead shrink to single digits with a jumper from Dartmouth’s Tia Dawson at the buzzer, leaving the score at 44-35.
Coming into the second half, Wheatley dominated on the court, outscoring the Big Green 9-2 during the firsttwo minutes of the period. Despite a renewed defensive effort during the second half that kept the Tigers shooting at 51.9 percent, the Big Green shot only 30.4 percent. Dietrick and Miller joined Wheatley to net a combined three layups, bringing the score to 59-42. The Tigers continued to pull away from the Big Green, and in the final 21 seconds of play, another four Tarakchian shots from the charity stripe allowed the Tigers to finish the game with an 18-point lead.