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Women’s basketball annihilates Yale 74–36 in Alumni Day rout

<h5>Princeton women’s basketball with team alumnae during alumni weekend.&nbsp;</h5>
<h6>Photo courtesy of @princetonwbb/Twitter.&nbsp;</h6>
Princeton women’s basketball with team alumnae during alumni weekend. 
Photo courtesy of @princetonwbb/Twitter. 

The Tigers are still on top.

This Saturday, amidst an eventful Alumni Day, the women’s basketball team (19–4 overall, 11–0 Ivy League) dominated conference foe and longtime rival Yale (14–10, 7–5) by a score of 74–36. The Tigers, currently undefeated in league play, out-hustled the Bulldogs in every quarter of the game to extend their Ivy League winning streak to a whopping 37 games.

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Yale claimed the first lead of the game with a layup from forward Camilla Emsbo. Princeton quickly responded and took the lead for the rest of the game.

Sophomore guard Kaitlyn Chen and senior guard Abby Meyers led the Tigers with 14 points each. Chen was awarded “Player of the Game” with an accompanying five assists and three steals. Meyers added three steals of her own.

On top of their offensive production, Meyers and Chen led a stifling Tigers defense that certainly fulfilled the team’s motto to “#GetStops.” The Tigers were diving for loose balls, communicating well, and flying around the court to stop the Bulldogs’ offense, holding them to only five points in the third quarter. Yale struggled to find shooting opportunities with Princeton’s defensive prowess, turning the ball over 25 times. When they did get the chance to shoot, success was minimal; the Bulldogs shot just over 32 percent from the field.

“We were getting great stops on defense and we always know that when we do that, it propels us forward on the offensive end,” sophomore forward Ellie Mitchell, who led the Tigers with 13 rebounds, told The Daily Princetonian.

Hard-fought defense certainly translated to good offense, demonstrated by Princeton’s 47.5 field goal percentage. The Tigers scored 31 points off of Yale turnovers, turning their aggressive defense into easy buckets.

When they weren’t busy scoring on break-away layups, the Tigers set up their offense and executed plays to perfection. Princeton moved the ball well in the half-court and utilized screens to get open looks, shooting an impressive 47 percent from three-point range. Sophomore forward Maddie Plank came off the bench and immediately hit back-to-back three-pointers, and junior guard Maggie Connolly added two more three-pointers herself.

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Though the Tigers routed Yale in Jadwin Gymnasium on Saturday night, no game was won without hard work and intensity on both sides of the court. Princeton came out from the tipoff firing on all cylinders and never let up. Yale has been a good scoring team all season, so holding the Bulldogs to fewer than 40 points is certainly a testament to the Tigers’ defensive skill.

The Tigers brilliantly showcased their talents in front of a crowd of alumni players sitting court side. As a part of Alumni Day, former Princeton women’s basketball players were honored at the game’s halftime and rewarded with a huge win from their alma mater.

“Princeton basketball, even when you graduate, is an extension of yourself for the rest of your life, so seeing the team win by 30 points is an amazing feeling for us even when we’re not on the court,” former player Amanda Berntsen ’16 told the ‘Prince.’

The Tigers will take on an even bigger foe — Columbia (19–4, 10–1) —  this coming week on Wednesday, Feb. 23. The Columbia Lions are second place in the League, with their only loss being against the Tigers earlier this month. This matchup will truly test the Tigers’ strength: will they be able to continue their Ivy League dominance?

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Eric Fenno is a contributor to the Sports and Prospect sections at the ‘Prince.’ He can be reached at ef4960@princeton.edu.

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