In terms of record, it’s hard to imagine a better start to Carla Berube’s tenure as the head coach of Princeton women’s basketball (4–0). Through four games, the Tigers remain undefeated, with three of their four wins coming by double digits.
Princeton has begun to garner national recognition for their play. After beating Big East opponent Seton Hall and 2019 NCAA Tournament qualifier Florida Gulf Coast, the Tigers received 13 voting points in the most recent USA Today Coaches’ poll, which would rank them 33rd in the country.
The Tigers aren’t yet concerned with unbeaten streaks and rankings, though.
“I wasn’t looking at what our record could be from game to game,” Berube said after the team’s win over Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday. “Our staff and the team are really just taking it game by game. If we’re playing the way we’re capable of playing, and we do a good job of executing the scout and knowing our opponent, then we’re going to be in games.”
Meanwhile, junior guard Carlie Littlefield was recognized for the second week in a row as Ivy League Player of the Week. In the first four games of the season, she’s averaged 17.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game.
The biggest question entering Wednesday night’s game against Iowa (2–1) will be the availability of Littlefield, an Iowa native herself, and senior forward Bella Alarie. Both left the game Sunday early with injuries, and Berube said their status would be monitored on a game-to-game basis.
Regardless of whether Littlefield and Alarie suit up, the Tigers will have their hands full with an Iowa team that advanced all the way to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament last year. The Hawkeyes lost the Naismith Trophy winner and Associated Press Player of the Year, Megan Gustafson, to graduation, but they still returned a talented roster, including their second leading scorer last year, Kathleen Doyle.
Iowa, a Big 10 team, will be the first of three power conference teams Princeton plays this year. The Tigers will also face Penn State (Big 10) and Missouri (SEC).