In the final home game of the season March 5, the Princeton women’s basketball team had the opportunity to clinch its second straight Ivy League title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament – and to avenge its only Ivy loss of the season, against Harvard.
“We knew what was on the line,” said center Devona Allgood ’12. “I think we came out really strong and ready to go and made sure to keep that going over the entire 40 minutes.”
The Crimson put up a fight, but Princeton prevailed, 68-59, on a solid team performance to complete a perfect 13-0 record at home.
Allgood scored the first points of the game and posted another dominant performance with 12 points and 10 rebounds (her second double-double of the weekend). She also had six blocks, shutting down Harvard’s Emma Markley, the league’s sixth-ranked scorer. Markley finished with just two points, on free throws.
Princeton jumped out to an early 12-5 lead as Harvard struggled to penetrate the Princeton defense. The Crimson came roaring back and took its first lead of the game after a blocked shot and a quick layup made it 13-12 with 8:56 to play in the first half.
Sophomore forward Kate Miller answered with a 3-pointer to give the Tigers the lead. Late in the half, senior guard Krystal Hill drained another 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to give the Tigers a 32-26 halftime lead.
The play in the second half seemed to mirror that of the first. The Tigers led by as many as nine points early, but Harvard kept coming back, nearly erasing the deficit to bring the score to 40-39.
The Tigers finally put Harvard away with five minutes remaining. Miller nailed a deep jumper to end a long scoring drought. A quick steal gave senior Addie Micir a layup and a Harvard foul. She hit the free throw to put the Tigers up 58-49 with 5:14 to play. Moments later, Hill stole the ball and took it all the way for a layup to give Princeton an 11-point lead. The crowd of 2,105 roared, and the Tigers charged the rest of the way to their second consecutive Ivy League championship and an automatic NCAA bid.
Winning two Ivy League titles is a major improvement from Hill and Micir’s freshman year, when the team won only seven games. “I don’t think we would give up freshman year for the world,” Micir said after the Senior Night victory. “Losing all those games makes moments like this all the more special.”
Read more about the champion Tigers in the March 23 issue of Princeton Alumni Weekly.