Despite a slow start to their first game of the 2023–2024 season, the women’s basketball team (1–0 overall, 0–0 Ivy League) walked away with a 65–57 win against the Duquesne Dukes (0–1, 0–0 Atlantic 10). The squad was led by sophomore guard, and reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year Madison St. Rose, who finished with a career-high 26 points.
Prior to the game, returning players from the 2022–2023 squad that won the Ivy League title were honored with championship rings. The Tigers are looking to win their sixth straight Ivy League title this coming season.
Shots were simply not falling for the Tigers in the first quarter, shooting 16 percent from the field in the period. After a 10–2 run by the Dukes, the Tigers were down 16–6 after 10 minutes of play. Head coach Carla Berube’s squad knew they had to look to their defense if they wanted to keep the game within reach.
“We were on-and-off on offense … we were getting great looks, but our shots weren’t going in so the only way we could really stay in this game was by getting stops,” St. Rose said in an interview with The Daily Princetonian.
After the first quarter, the Tigers' first-game nerves seemed to quickly go away after the first quarter. The Tigers came out firing to start the second quarter and went on a five-point scoring run.
A strong outing in the second quarter — both offensively and defensively — allowed the Tigers to cut the 10-point Duquesne lead to one with less than a minute remaining in the half. With the momentum shifting to the Tigers, a strong “and one” by senior guard and captain Kaitlyn Chen gave the Tigers their first lead of the game. At the break, the Tigers were up 26–24.
In the first half, the Tigers shot 25.6 percent from the field. Offensive rebounds helped the Tigers give themselves second chances on offense to aid poor shooting, tallying 13 in the first 20 minutes of play.
Coming into the third quarter, the Tigers promptly took a five-point lead following a three from St. Rose. Unfortunately for Princeton, this lead did not last, with the Dukes responding almost instantly. The early minutes of the third quarter were characterized by back-and-forth possessions and lead changes before the Dukes got hot again. They took a 52–49 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
The Dukes were able to hold onto that lead until six minutes left in the fourth quarter, when St. Rose gave the Tigers the advantage with a short jumper in the paint. The Tigers held the Dukes scoreless for over seven minutes in the final quarter, limiting Duquesne to only 18 percent from the field in the last period.
St. Rose poured in another 10 points in the fourth quarter, including back-to-back three-pointers to seal the 65–57 win.
When asked about her mentality throughout the game, St. Rose said that it was “to keep shooting.” She notched a career-high five three-pointers in the game.
She also further acknowledged the support of the community around her. “My coaches and teammates had faith in me, they knew I was a great shooter, so whenever I was open, I just shot it, and it went in,” she said.
Chen and senior forward Ellie Mitchell were two other notable players in Monday’s matchup. Chen ended the game with 15 points and seven assists, and Mitchell contributed 15 rebounds.
The Princeton squad will travel to Murfreesboro, Tennessee for their next matchup against Middle Tennessee (1–0, 0–0 Conference USA) on Sunday, Nov. 12.
Allison Ha is a contributing writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’
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