Women’s basketball (20–5 overall, 11–2 Ivy League) will travel to Penn (17–9, 9–4) and take on the Quakers in the Palestra for their final regular season game this Friday, March 3.
Coming off a big win against Harvard, Princeton remains tied with Columbia for first place in the Ivy League (22–4, 11–2), a tie that will be decided by this week's games. A Tigers defeat of the Quakers will ensure they win at least a share of the Ivy League regular season title, while Columbia will take on Cornell in their final game this Saturday, March 4.
In Princeton’s last meeting with Penn, the Tigers emerged victorious, ending the Quakers’ league-leading 11-game win streak, which included a decisive victory over Columbia.
Senior sports writer Isabel Rodrigues ’23, staff writer Allison Ha ’25, and contributor Tony Owens ’26 offered their picks ahead of Friday’s Penn matchup.
Women’s Basketball vs. Penn
Princeton 68, Penn 44 - Isabel Rodrigues, Senior Staff Writer
Once again, it's Princeton's game to lose. Last Friday's dramatic last-second win over Harvard proved a double-digit deficit, while not ideal, was not going to be the end of the road for the Tigers.
Part of it has been the grit of the junior class — point guard Kaitlyn Chen's persistent scoring, especially late-game, took the Tigers to the finish line against Yale and Harvard. Forward Ellie Mitchell's league-leading rebounding has given Princeton extra opportunities and security on both ends of the court.
The team's on-court chemistry has also improved, best exemplified by their stifling defense which has so far handed every Ivy opponent, except for Dartmouth and Cornell, their lowest final score of the season. Penn is on the wrong side of an upset loss to Brown, and struggled offensively against 0–13 Dartmouth.
The Quakers rely heavily on high-scoring performances from guard Kayla Padilla, forward Jordan Obi, and forward Floor Toonders; in fact, so much so to the point that it's rare to see any other Quaker in double figures. If the Tigers keep Padilla at bay and are assertive offensively, they've all but guaranteed themselves a win and at least a share of the Ivy regular season title.
Princeton 61, Penn 47 - Allison Ha, Staff Writer
With the Tigers standing tied for first and the Quakers being third in the Ivy League, both teams are in position to be in the Ivy Madness Tournament next weekend.
When these two teams faced earlier in the season, Princeton easily beat Penn by a 15-point margin. This does not mean that this game will be uncontested for the Tigers. Penn is still a highly ranked team in the Ivy League and has the second-highest leading scorer in the Ivy League, Padilla, on their roster, behind only Columbia’s Abbey Hsu. To win, Princeton needs to keep Padilla’s scoring in check.
Though this game should be fairly competitive, I still have Princeton winning by some margin because of how dominant the Tigers have been in the past couple of weeks. After coming off a huge win against Harvard, their 12-game win streak should give Princeton the momentum needed to edge out a win against Penn.
Princeton 64, Penn 54 - Tony Owens, Contributor
Playing Penn on the road is a difficult matchup, but the Tigers are experiencing an incredible run — I do not see it coming to an end on Friday.
In each of Penn’s last three losses to Brown, Harvard and Columbia, the Quakers were held to under 40 percent shooting from the field. This bodes well for the Tigers, who have helped opponents to just under 39 percent shooting. I expect their elite defense to show up once again in a crucial game.
For me, the key will be how Princeton handles the game going into halftime. Penn has won the second quarter in each of their last four games, including an 18–2 second quarter split against Dartmouth. The Tigers, on the other hand, have gone 2–2 in second quarters in their last four games. Penn is a dangerous opponent and cannot be taken lightly, but if Princeton is able to finish strong going into the half, they will leverage their strong defense to maintain a lead and ultimately secure their thirteenth consecutive victory.
Isabel Rodrigues is a senior staff writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince’ who typically covers women’s basketball.
Allison Ha is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’
Tony Owens is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’
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