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Women's basketball obliterates Brown, clinches spot in Ivy Tournament

<h5>Junior guard Julia Cunningham takes the ball up the floor during the fourth quarter of Princeton’s win over Brown on Friday.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of @PrincetonWBB/Twitter.</h6>
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Junior guard Julia Cunningham takes the ball up the floor during the fourth quarter of Princeton’s win over Brown on Friday.
Courtesy of @PrincetonWBB/Twitter.

The Tigers continue to show the rest of the conference why they’re on top.  

On Friday night, the Princeton women’s basketball team (19–4, 11–0 Ivy League) dominated Brown (6–18, 1–11) in a crushing 88–42 victory. This thrashing win was the Tigers’ largest of thistheseason, just beating out their 43-point win against Dartmouth on Jan. 22. With this win, the Tigers officially clinched a spot in the Ivy League  Tournament which will begin on March 11. 

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Although the final score appears to reflect a game dominated by the Tigers’ prowess, Princeton struggled to find an offensive and defensive rhythm in the first quarter. 

“I thought that we came out really slow in the first half of the Brown game,” junior guard Julia Cunningham told The Daily Princetonian. “We’re still working on putting together a full 40 minutes of us playing at our best.”

Cunningham’s right: the Tigers came out with comparatively little energy, entering the second quarter tied at 14. Going into halftime, they had established a 32–25 lead; they only really began heating up in the second half. 

Through a strong defensive performance, the Tigers held Brown to just six points in the third quarter, forcing 12 Brown turnovers in addition to grabbing nine steals. In the end, they recorded 21 steals, just one shy of the program record for total steals in a single game. Brown shot only 30 percent on field goals in comparison to the Tigers’ 69 percent in the quarter. 

The Tigers’ defensive strength accompanied their offensive explosion in the second half. As a part of the 56-point onslaught, senior guard Abby Meyers led the way with 11 points and two assists, totaling 25 points by the end of the game. Sophomore guard/forward Maddie Plank added 12 points in the second half, for a game total of 14 points herself. 

Even with a less-than-ideal team offensive performance in the opening half, Princeton definitely found their rhythm. Ten Tigers scored in the second half. They shot 60.6 percent from the field and an extraordinarily high 75 percent from beyond the arc.    

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Cunningham, who recorded her third career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, is already looking ahead. 

“For the rest of the season we are focused on one thing — winning the Ivy league. That's been our goal all season and now we’re at the most crucial part of the season,” she told the ‘Prince’.

“We’re taking it day by day and game by game at this point and trying to focus a lot on ourselves and getting better each day in practice,” she added. “I’m really excited for the next few weeks — we have three tough games with Columbia on Wednesday, Harvard on Saturday and Penn the following Friday.” 

Currently, with an undefeated record in conference play, the Tigers sit in first place in the Ivy League. They lead second-place Columbia by one game and third-place Yale by four and a half games.  

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Akshay Swani is a contributor to the Sports and News sections at the 'Prince.' He can be reached at ns9735@princeton.edu.

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