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Women’s basketball earns dominant road wins at Yale and Brown, secures spot in Ivy Madness Tournament

Junior guard Kaitlyn Chen posted 45 points throughout the weekend, the most she’s had in two consecutive games since the 2022 Ivy tournament.

Women's BBALL vs Yale
The Tigers outscored their opponents in every quarter of play over the weekend, and shot a season-high 55.9 percent from the field against Brown. 
Courtesy of @PrincetonWBB/Twitter.

The Tigers have hit their stride with reigning Ivy League Tournament MVP, junior guard Kaitlyn Chen, leading the way.

Over the weekend, Princeton women’s basketball (19–5 overall, 10–2 Ivy League) picked up their 10th and 11th-straight wins, with dominant performances against the Yale Bulldogs (11–14, 5–7) and the Brown Bears (11–13, 4–8). Against the Bears, the Tigers shot a season-high 55.9 percent from the field and laid down a season-high 11 blocks.


The Tigers have been chasing a full 40 minutes of perfect Princeton basketball since first tip-off in November — now, as the Ivy Tournament looms ever larger, head coach Carla Berube says the pieces are all coming together.

“I think it’s the chemistry; it was a work in progress, and we incrementally got better over the last few weeks,” Berube told The Daily Princetonian.

“I like the way we’re working really, really hard,” she added. “That’s half of it, how hard you play and how well you play together.”

Across the weekend’s matches, Chen put up a jaw-dropping 45 points on 70 percent shooting. It made for two of the junior guard’s most efficient scoring performances of her Princeton career. But it’s more than just Chen — across the board, the Tigers are boosting their shooting efficiency, particularly in the mid-range, per CBB Analytics.

Prosperity in Providence 

Princeton crushed Brown, 80–37, behind a scoring barrage from Chen and first-year guard Madison St. Rose.


Princeton’s rout of Brown was slow-going at first — the Tigers traded baskets with the Bears early on, until sophomore center Parker Hill and Chen started to force their way into the paint. The pair catapulted Princeton into a 9–2 run to close the quarter, but as the second quarter rolled around, St. Rose took over.

St. Rose splashed a three-pointer to open the second, and took the ball all the way to the paint on the next Princeton possession to give the Tigers a 21–14 lead early. But Brown was responding — the Tigers hadn’t gone full-out on either end of the court just yet.

“I think it was more due to our offense and not allowing them to get easy scoring opportunities in the [fast] break,” Berube said. “One feeds the other — you get your offense going and that feeds your defense.”

Coming out of halftime, the story had completely shifted: for the second time in Berube’s tenure with the Tigers, Princeton held their opponent (this time, the ill-fated Bears) to zero made field goals in a quarter. They also cashed in on the offensive end too, the 33 points were enough for a new season-high in points scored in a single quarter.

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St. Rose kicked off the second half with a quick five points, pushing the lead to 16. Then, Chen went on an 11–0 run (yes, you read that right) vaulting the Tigers ahead by 27. By that point, things looked dismal for an already scrambling Brown squad. It certainly didn’t help that junior forward Ellie Mitchell was grabbing all of the Bears’ missed shots and slinging them up the court to a sprinting Chen.

And the Princeton bench was no less ruthless — senior center Kira Emsbo became the first Princeton player, and the 15th player in NCAA history since 2009, to record three blocks and two points in less than five minutes.

Domination in New Haven

Chen’s 25 points and Mitchell’s 15 rebounds power Princeton past Yale, 68–42.

In many ways, Princeton’s second meeting of the season with Yale was a replay of the previous day’s match against Brown. Chen put up another efficient 20-piece, this time scoring 25 points on 67 percent shooting. While no other Tiger was in the double figures by the end of the game, four others had scored at least five points. Mitchell grabbed 15 rebounds and added nine points, slowly growing her offensive presence and getting ever closer to the elusive double-double.

While the Tigers shot just 40.7 percent from the field, they out-rebounded Yale 41–31 and dominated in the paint, out-scoring the Bulldogs down low, 38–24, and grabbing eight more offensive rebounds.

In New Haven, the offense seemed to stem from Chen — the Tigers are the 304th slowest team in the NCAA (by possessions per game), yet Chen brings a much-needed fluidity and speed to the team’s half-court offense. Even when she plays off-ball next to senior point guard Maggie Connolly, you’d be hard-pressed to find her not on the run.

“She’s playing with a lot of confidence, which she should be — she’s a really, really great player,” Berube said. “We need her to be a playmaker, and that doesn’t always mean [getting] shots for herself, but [also] getting into the paint and finding scoring opportunities in the break.”

Berube also pointed to Connolly’s leadership coming off the bench: “It’s been awesome to have another really, really great point guard and really great ball handler come in and alleviate that pressure [for Chen],” Berube said. “Maggie runs our offense really well and just understands the game … having them play together is definitely a benefit and a great spark off the bench.”

With Friday’s 80–37 shut-out of Brown, the Tigers, the League’s best defensive team, secured their spot in the 2023 Ivy League Tournament come March. The Tigers remain tied with Columbia at the top of the standings, a tie that will likely take the rest of the regular season to break. If both teams close their regular seasons without another loss, it’ll come down to who has the best record against Penn or Harvard, the other two teams that qualified for the tournament.

Columbia defeated Harvard twice, but lost to Penn in early January; meanwhile, the Tigers defeated Penn once but lost to Harvard on New Year’s Eve. Depending on who emerges as the No. 3 seed, the Tigers may or may not claim their fourth consecutive Ivy League regular-season title.

Up next, Princeton will host Harvard at Jadwin Gym on Friday, Feb. 24 for the final regular-season game of the season. The team will honor its senior class, which makes up just over 30 percent of the roster, prior to tip-off at 6 p.m. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.

Isabel Rodrigues is a senior staff writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince’ who typically covers women’s basketball. 

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