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Spring break recap: lacrosse dominates nationally ranked teams, women's basketball wins Ivy Madness, men's track competes in NCAAs

<h5>First-year McKenzie Blake against UVA.&nbsp;</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of <a href="https://goprincetontigers.com/sports/womens-lacrosse/roster/mckenzie-blake/19522" target="_self">GoPrincetonTigers.com</a></h6>
First-year McKenzie Blake against UVA. 
Courtesy of GoPrincetonTigers.com

Women’s basketball at Ivy Madness 

Ranked No. 22 in the nation by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), the women’s basketball team (24–4 overall, 14–0 Ivy League) clinched the Ivy Madness tournament title in Cambridge, Mass. The tournament started with a five-point win against the Harvard Crimson (13–14, 7–7) with a score of 72–67. Senior guard Abby Meyers led the Tigers with 22 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Kaitlyn Chen followed with 18 points and four rebounds. Sophomore forward and defensive star Ellie Mitchell earned a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds that were crucial in allowing scoring opportunities for Princeton. 

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In their second and final matchup of the tournament against the Columbia Lions (22–6, 12–2), the Tigers won by double digits with a score of 77–59. Although the two teams were tied 16-all in the first quarter, Princeton pulled far ahead in the second, entering halftime with a 12 point lead. Chen scored 30 of the Tigers’ 77 points, earning her the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player honor. 

With the tournament win, the Tigers are guaranteed a spot in the NCAA March Madness tournament, which will be their ninth appearance. March Madness begins on Wednesday, March 16. 

Check out these articles for a full recap of Ivy Madness against Harvard and Columbia

Men’s basketball at Ivy Madness 

Entering as the first seed into the Ivy Madness tournament, the men’s basketball team (23–6 overall, 12–2 Ivy League) claimed victory over the Cornell Big Red in a nail-biting matchup. With Cornell having proven to be one of Princeton’s greatest competitors, it came as no surprise that the tournament game was a close battle until the end, with a buzzer-beater win and five-point loss handed to the Big Red. Senior guard Jaelin Llewellyn led the Tigers in scoring with 23 points followed by junior forward Tosan Evbuomwan with 21 points. Tied 73-all with less than a minute left in the game, Evbuomwan powered through Cornell’s defense to score a layup that gave Princeton the lead, ultimately leading them to victory. 

On Sunday, the Tigers took on the Yale Bulldogs in a battle for the Ivy Madness tournament title. Despite another close game and strong offensive plays in the final minutes, the Tigers fell 66–64 to the Bulldogs — just one basket away from another Ivy title. Evboumwan led the team with a double-double, scoring 20 points accompanied by 11 rebounds. Llewelyn contributed 18 points to the score in the Tigers’ efforts to take down Yale. 

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Despite this loss, Princeton will play No. 3 seed Virginia Commonwealth University on Tuesday night in a wildcard matchup. 


Check out these articles for a full recap of Ivy Madness against Cornell and Yale

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Men’s track at NCAA Championships 

After winning Ivy League Championships at the end of February, eight Tigers from the men’s team competed in the NCAA Championship meet this past weekend. All eight earned All-American honors, earning them fifth place in the national meet. 

Junior Sondre Guttormsen won the NCAA title in pole vaulting. He is the first Tiger to become NCAA indoor champion since 2002. Guttormsen’s brother, junior Simen Guttormsen placed fourth in the pole vault and earned a personal record of 5.60 meters. 

In the distance medley relay (DMR), a team composed of first-years Harrison Witt and Sam Rodman as well as seniors Sam Ellis and Michael Phillipy placed fourth with a time of 9:26.01. This is the second best time in the DMR in school history. 

Junior Andrei Iosivas earned fourth in the Heptathlon with 6069 points, breaking his own Ivy League record from Heps earlier in February. Iosivas’ time of 6.71 in the 60 meters earned him the NCAA Championship meet record. In the shot put, senior CJ Licata had a distance of 19.75 meters, placing him in eighth to wrap up the indoor season.

With just a couple of days off, the Tigers will begin training for the outdoor season hoping for another historic season.

Men’s lacrosse vs. Georgetown, Rutgers

While most students were on break this past week, the men’s lacrosse team (4–1 overall, 0–0 Ivy League) remained busy — busy winning, that is. Princeton, who was ranked No. 18 by Inside Lacrosse in week three of the season, have climbed their way to No. 7 after defeating No. 3 Georgetown and No. 4 Rutgers. 

In their game against Georgetown (5–1, 0–0 Big East), the Tigers held a one-goal lead and extended that lead to two goals with 2:05 remaining in the game. Junior attack Alex Slusher led the Tigers with five goals, followed by junior midfielder Sam English with three. The win was a direct reflection of Princeton’s offensive and defensive prowess. While the offense was on fire, the Tigers’ victory could not have happened without the defense, who caused key turnovers for scoring opportunities. 

On Sherrerd Field, the Tigers defeated No. 4 Rutgers (6–1, 0–0 Big Ten), who were previously undefeated, 16–11. The game saw multiple one-goal lead switches in the first half of the game. With four minutes left in the second quarter, first-year attack Coulter Mackesy extended the lead to two. Rutgers responded with a goal of their own, but Princeton followed with a 3–0 run that pulled the Tigers far ahead. Rutgers struggled to catch up within more than three of Princeton. In the final quarter, the Tigers had a 4–0 run sparked by a goal from Mackesy. While Rutgers outshot Princeton 58–46, senior goalie Erik Peters protected the goal well, saving 21 goals of 32 on the net. 

Now No. 7 in the nation, the Tigers host No. 5 Penn on Saturday, March 19 for the first League game of the season. 

Check out this article for a full recap of the Tigers’ game against Georgetown. 

Women’s lacrosse vs. USC, SDSU  

The women’s lacrosse team (5–0 overall, 2–0 Ivy League) is on fire. 

Now four weeks into the season, the Tigers have managed to move from No. 16 to No. 10 in the national rankings. On Tuesday, March 8, No. 10 Princeton took on No. 17 USC on the road and took home an 18–13 win. Senior attack Kyla Sears sparked a 4–0 Princeton run in the first quarter to pull the Tigers ahead early on. By the half, the Tigers were up by five. First-year midfielder McKenzie Blake led the team with five goals, followed by Sears with four. Princeton’s dominant offense with a stable defense gave the Tigers a well-earned win over the USC Trojans. 

In their second game in the Golden State, Princeton won 27–18 against San Diego State University (2–4, 0–0 MPSU). While the SDSU Aztecs scored the first two goals of the game, the Tigers didn’t let this deter them. First-year midfielder Nina Montes scored five goals to lead the Tigers to victory. Blake, Sears, and sophomore attack Grace Tauckus contributed four goals each. Overall the Tigers outshot the Aztecs 58–34, a reflection of Princeton’s dominant offense. 

Next, the Tigers will be on the road against Penn State on Saturday, March 19. 

Julia Nguyen is a co-head editor for the Sports section at the Prince who usually covers the weekend recaps. She can be reached at trucn@princeton.edu or on Instagram at @jt.nguyen.

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