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Women’s basketball downs Dartmouth, 64–47

Behind another dominant performance from junior guard Kaitlyn Chen, the Tigers improved to 8–2 in Ivy League play, and sit tied for first with Columbia

Kaitlyn Chen February 2023
Junior guard Kaitlyn Chen (20) had her third consecutive game with at least 15 points, with 16 points and four assists in the win.
Photo Courtesy of @PrincetonWBB/Twitter.  

On Saturday, Feb. 11, the women’s basketball team (17–5 overall, 8–2 Ivy League) extended their winning streak to nine games by defeating a struggling Dartmouth (2–22, 0–10), 64–47. 

The Tigers got off to a hot start, beginning the game on a 12–2 run fueled by five early points from senior guard Julia Cunningham. The game remained fairly even for the rest of the first, though, as Princeton ended the quarter with the same 10-point advantage, at 20–10. The Tigers were strong on both ends of the court, shooting 60 percent from the field while simultaneously holding the Big Green to 28.6 percent. The Tigers also forced Dartmouth into three turnovers and three fouls while outscoring them in the paint by a margin of 14 to four.

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The second quarter was much more balanced as the Big Green outscored the Tigers, 13–11. Two key factors were Dartmouth’s nine-to-six rebound advantage in the quarter, and Princeton being held to 38.5 percent from the field while the Big Green shot at 46.2 percent. 

A layup by Dartmouth guard Victoria Page cut the Tigers’ advantage to as low as six, but a three-point dagger by first-year guard Madison St. Rose and layups by Cunningham and sophomore center Paige Morton extended the Tiger lead to 29–16. A 5–0 Big Green run to end the quarter resulted in an eight-point advantage for the Tigers as the first half came to a close.

“There were parts of the first half that went well, and then I thought we got a little tired,” head coach Carla Berube said. “I mean, there was a stretch where there wasn’t a dead ball for, I don’t even know, several minutes, I think.”

“It just hit us a little bit, and then we threw the ball away a couple of times and forced a couple of shots when we shouldn’t,“ Berube continued. “So [we] got back to us defending better and getting out in transition and getting some easing scoring opportunities.”

Both teams began the second half trading baskets. With just over six minutes remaining in the third, the Tigers were in front, 36–27. Junior guard Kaitlyn Chen began to take over in the third quarter, first earning and converting two free throws, and then tossing in a layup off of junior forward Ellie Mitchell’s sixth rebound. Later, Chen found Morton for a layup, raising her assist total to four and the Tiger lead to 19. Two free throws from St. Rose would extend the advantage to 21, going into the fourth quarter at 54–33.

Chen spoke directly about this aggressiveness after the game and compared her approach offensively to that of last season. 

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“[I have] a more aggressive mentality,” Chen told The Daily Princetonian. “I feel like last year was more facilitating, but [I’m] just being more aggressive this year.”

“[Chen] plays hard all the time, and she plays with a lot of joy,” Berube said. “I think that rubs off on other people too, and gets them playing at a really high level.”

Both teams had slow starts to the final quarter — after almost four minutes, only four combined points had been scored, with the score sitting at 58–37. It was sophomore center Parker Hill who began to heat up at the midway point of the quarter. Hill was efficient in the paint, showing off a variety of hook shots as well as a midrange jumpshot. 

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Hill finished with eight points on 80 percent shooting in only seven minutes of play, an excellent outing for the 6’4” center. After Hill put the Tigers up 64–42, Berube brought in the bench unit to play out the just under three minutes remaining, and the game finished with the Tigers comfortably winning 64–47.

Improving to 8–2 in Ivy League play, the Tigers now sit tied for first place with Columbia, who defeated Yale on Saturday to maintain their 8–2 record. Penn defeated Harvard, effectively removing the Crimson from the fight for first place in the league standings.

“We’re just trying to get better day by day, and then see where that takes us,” Chen said.

Next weekend will be yet another test for the Tigers, as they play back-to-back road games at Brown (10–12, 3–7) on Friday, Feb. 17, and Yale (11–12, 5–5) on Saturday, Feb. 18. The Tigers will look to take their excellent form on the road where they have suffered three of their five losses of the year. Princeton will tip off at 7 p.m. on Friday and 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Tony Owens is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince’ who typically covers women’s basketball. 

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

Please direct any corrections requests to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.

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