After a pair of convincing victories against Harvard and Dartmouth last week, women’s basketball (15–1, 3–0 Ivy League) welcomes Cornell (9–7, 2–2 Ivy) and Columbia (11–6, 2–2 Ivy) to Jadwin Gymnasium this weekend.
The Tigers are on an 11-game win streak and currently sit a win behind Yale (14–3, 4–0 Ivy League), who sits at the top of the Ivy League standings. They hope to continue the excellent start to Carla Berube’s tenure as the head coach and cement their position as Yale’s closest rival in the Ivy League.
The Tigers come into the contests with Cornell and Columbia with the best scoring defense in the nation and the most steals (10.5) and block shots (5.5) per game in the Ivy League. They will be particularly keen to maintain their momentum this weekend, as they have a key showdown with Yale the following week.
Princeton will first play a Cornell team that is coming off a disappointing loss against Yale, in which they led by 14 points at the half before proceeding to allow Yale to hit 70 percent of their threes in the second half on their way to a 67–74 defeat. But Princeton will be wary, as Cornell boasts the sixth- and seventh-highest scorers in Ivy competition this season: senior guard Samantha Widmann and senior center Laura Bagwell-Katalinich.
Princeton then will take on a Columbia team that is fresh off a victory against Brown and are led by reigning Rookie of the Year sophomore forward Sienna Durr and first-year guard Abbey Hsu, who was just named Rookie of the Week for the third time this season.
Hsu is a particularly dangerous three-point shooter who currently ranks second in the Ivy League in terms of three-point field goal percentage, shooting 41.9 percent from deep.
The Tigers will be buoyed by the announcement this week that senior forward Bella Alarie was named a Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Semi-finalist. Alarie is putting together an astonishing season, averaging 17.8 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game (second and third in the Ivy League, respectively), while also leading the Ivy League in blocks and free throw percentages. Alarie is not only putting up spectacular individual numbers but is also doing so in the context of an incredibly successful season for the Tigers.
Princeton will play Cornell on Friday with a 6 p.m. start before taking on Columbia on Saturday at 5 p.m.