Tag Archives: NCAA Tournament

Preview: Women’s basketball takes on Florida State in NCAA opener

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Co-captains Niveen Rasheed ’13, right, and Lauren Polansky ’13 at the NCAA Tournament press conference in Waco, Texas, March 23. (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)

When asked to describe Princeton’s style of play in a March 23 NCAA Tournament press conference, co-captain Lauren Polansky ’13 talked about the team’s depth, defense, and offense before adding a simple summation.

“I think the best way to describe us is very determined, and we’re a bunch of fighters,” she said.

The Tigers, making their fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, hope that determination and fight will carry them to the first postseason win in program history.

Led by a talented and dynamic senior class, Princeton earned the Ivy League title with a 13-1 record. The league championship, combined with a 9-5 mark against a very strong slate of nonconference opponents, landed the Tigers in the NCAA field with a No. 9 seed and a first-round matchup against Florida State.


Princeton (9) vs. Florida State (8)
March 24, 5:10 p.m. ET, Waco, Texas
TV: ESPN2/ESPN3/WatchESPN

Co-captain Niveen Rasheed ’13 said the team sees the opener as “the biggest game of our lives,” and head coach Courtney Banghart said Princeton is well past the point of being just happy to reach the tournament. But Banghart also stressed the need to keep emotions in check when the game begins:

“We talk about playing with execution first and emotion second, and I hope that after preaching the two that in some way it sticks in their heads. … Part of my job tomorrow is to manage the game and part of that is to manage the emotions that the athletic mortality of my seniors brings.”

Read more about the Tigers and Seminoles below.

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Women’s basketball: In a game of ‘alternating currents,’ Kansas State made the last charge

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While Princeton worked to contain star forward Jalana Childs, pictured, Kansas State’s other forward, Branshea Brown, responded with a career-high 22 points in the Wildcats’ 67-64 win. (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)
Bridgeport, Conn. – Moments before the women’s basketball team’s NCAA Tournament game against Kansas State on Saturday, head coach Courtney Banghart looked much more nervous than usual. Playing not as a long-shot underdog but in the proverbial first-round toss-up game, 9-seed vs. 8-seed, Princeton came in with the highest expectations of Banghart’s seven trips to the Big Dance as a player and coach.
 
And in the opening minutes, the Princeton players seemed tense as well. Showing a lack of poise and patience early on, the Tigers committed sloppy turnovers and gave up open shots, allowing the Wildcats to take a 5-0 lead that could have been twice that. Sitting in nearly the same spot from which I watched Princeton’s previous two tournament games, all I could think was, “Oh no, it’s happening again.”
 
Last March, Princeton brought a team of tournament-tested players to Maryland, where they faced fifth-seeded Georgetown in the first round. After scoring first, the Tigers were blitzed by a 22-3 Hoyas run that virtually ended the game before the second media timeout. Two years ago, in Tallahassee, Fla., Princeton lasted a little bit longer, but a 13-2 run by sixth-seeded St. John’s turned a one-possession game into a comfortable lead midway through the first half.
 
But this year, things were supposed to be different. With the highest seed and first national ranking in Ivy League history, these Tigers were supposed to be tougher to keep down. And, as it turned out, they were: Princeton responded with a 12-2 run on Saturday, taking a five-point lead at the 12-minute mark.
 
“Before the game, Coach Banghart kept reminding us that it doesn’t matter what happens in the first three minutes, we’re going to be out there for the full 40 minutes,” guard Lauren Edwards ’12 said. “It took us a few minutes to get into our rhythm, but when we finally did, we played well and executed our game plan.”
 
After the Tigers loosened up, the contest became, as Banghart said, “a game of alternating currents.” Kansas State scored seven straight points to re-take the lead, Princeton grabbed the advantage back with four points of its own, and so the rest of the game went. The Wildcats held a four-point lead at halftime, but the Tigers flipped it with a 10-2 run, taking the lead when center Devona Allgood ’12 ripped a missed free throw from a defender’s hands and laid it in while being fouled.

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Rasheed ’13 shines but Princeton falls, 67-64 to K-State

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Niveen Rasheed ’13 (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)
Despite 20 points, nine rebounds, and six assists by star forward Niveen Rasheed ’13, Princeton women’s basketball fell just short of its first NCAA Tournament victory, losing 67-64 to Kansas State in Bridgeport, Conn., Saturday afternoon.
 
Senior Devona Allgood scored 15 points on 7-for-10 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds, while classmate Lauren Edwards also contributed 15 points in her final collegiate game.
 
“This was definitely the best we’ve played out here in the tournament, and we put everything out on the floor today,” Allgood said. “We don’t have anything to hang our heads about. We did what we wanted, except for win.”
 
Kansas State led by four at halftime and started to pull away in the latter part of the second half. But Princeton answered the Wildcats and trailed by four points with the ball at one point in the final minute. When that possession ended with a turnover, the Tigers were forced to foul, and Princeton’s comeback bid ran out of time.
 
Head coach Courtney Banghart praised her team’s resilience. “As I told them, you know you’re going to get a hard fighting Princeton Tigers team,” she said. “They play hard, and they play together. That’s who we are.”
 
Read more about the Tigers in Kevin Whitaker ’13’s Monday column on The Weekly Blog and in the April 4 print edition of PAW.
The Tigers (24-5) have dominated the Ivy League in the last three seasons, winning 41 of 42 league games, including a perfect 14-0 mark in 2012. Allgood, Edwards, and reserve guard Laura Johnson ’12 closed their careers with a third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament – and as Allgood noted, the program’s best postseason showing. Princeton had lost by double-digits in its two previous appearances.
 
Kevin Whitaker ’13 contributed to this report.

NCAA preview: Princeton women hope to cap week with another first

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Coach Courtney Banghart with her team’s three 1,000-point scorers: Lauren Edwards ’12, left; Niveen Rasheed ’13, second from right; and Devona Allgood ’12, right. (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)
This week was filled with milestones for the women’s basketball program. On Monday, Princeton was rated No. 24 in the Associated Press poll, becoming the first Ivy League team ever listed in the national rankings. And that evening, the Tigers earned a No. 9-seed in the NCAA Tournament, the best seeding ever for a team from the Ancient Eight.
 
But those feats will not be well remembered unless the team achieves another milestone on Saturday: the first NCAA Tournament victory in program history. After losing by double digits to St. John’s and Georgetown in 2010 and 2011, respectively, this season marks the best chance yet for Princeton to win in the postseason.
 
Head coach Courtney Banghart summed up her view in the Ivy League postseason media teleconference earlier this week: “If we do what we do well, we’ll be a really good team.”
 
Fans tuning in to the Tigers’ first-round game against No. 8-seed Kansas State (11:20 a.m. Saturday, ESPN2 or ESPN3) who are expecting a flowing, pretty game of basketball likely will be disappointed. Both teams are defense-oriented and will try to make Saturday’s game as ugly as possible. Kansas State enters the game allowing 56.7 points per game; Princeton holds teams to 35 percent shooting and has not given up more than 60 points in a game since the calendar read 2011.
 
The typical profile of an Ivy League team is “soft,” but that does not describe this year’s Tigers, who rebound better than they do anything else. Over the course of the season, Princeton grabbed 59.6 percent of total missed shots, the third-best mark in the nation; Kansas State was near the average at 49.6 percent, though against tougher competition. Princeton already broke the Ivy League mold by putting up even rebounding numbers against Georgetown and St. John’s, but they’ll need a sizable advantage this year.
 
That is largely because Kansas State should be able to overcome the next-biggest strength of Princeton’s defense, a swarming press designed to force turnovers. The Tigers induced 19.4 miscues per game, but the Wildcats gave it away only 14.5 times and have experience facing high-pressure defenses.

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History repeats as Princeton women’s basketball drops NCAA opener

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Addie Micir ’11 scored 13 points in Princeton’s loss to Georgetown. (© Beverly Schaefer)

On March 20, 2010, the women’s basketball team – coming off a stellar regular season in which it outscored its Ivy League competition by 21.6 points per game – allowed 65 points to a Big East foe in a disappointing NCAA Tournament loss.

 
On March 20, 2011, the Tigers – coming off another great regular season in which they outscored conference foes by 21.6 points per game – allowed, yes, 65 points to another Big East team in another first-round exit.
 
This time, it was the fifth-seeded Georgetown Hoyas who knocked the Tigers out of the postseason, cruising to a 65-49 victory in College Park, Md., and handing Princeton its only double-digit loss of the season.
 
“To say I’m disappointed would be a gross understatement,” head coach Courtney Banghart said after the game. “That was not the version of Princeton basketball I’ve seen all year.”
 

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NCAA Preview: Princeton women’s basketball vs. Georgetown

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On Tuesday, Princeton women’s basketball head coach Courtney Banghart gave a candid assessment of her team’s approach to its NCAA Tournament opener against Georgetown in College Park, Md. “Last year was our dance,” she said, “and this year is a work trip.”
 
Ivy League opponents may have already sensed that the Tigers mean business: After dropping a Feb. 4 game at Harvard, defending-champion Princeton dominated the league, winning each of its 10 remaining games, including eight victories by 20 points or more. Even more impressive may be the team’s record – 16-1 – since losing top scorer Niveen Rasheed ’13 to a season-ending knee injury in late December.
 
In Rasheed’s absence, senior Addie Micir added to her already impressive contributions, leading the Tigers with 92 assists while only turning the ball over 39 times. She also topped the team in scoring (12.1 points per game) and hit a nearly unthinkable 46.8 percent of her 3-point attempts (fourth-best in Division I). Micir was named the Ivy Player of the Year, becoming the first Princeton woman to earn that honor.
 
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Micir ’11
Allgood ’12
Edwards ’12
Polansky ’13
Miller ’13
(Photos: Office of Athletic Communications)
 
Two other Tigers – center Devona Allgood ’12 and guard Lauren Edwards ’12 – joined Micir on the All-Ivy first team. Allgood averaged 12 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while Edwards added 11.7 points per game and made 44.6 percent of her 3-pointers. Princeton’s other starters are Lauren Polansky ’13, a pass-first point guard who averages 2.9 assists per game and was named Ivy Defensive Player of the Year; and Kate Miller ’13, whose minutes increased after Rasheed’s injury. Miller averaged 5.1 points per game in Ivy play.
 

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Princeton men’s basketball falls to Kentucky, 59-57

In close games this season, the Princeton men’s basketball team usually came out on top. The Tigers won five Ivy League games by five points or less, had a perfect 4-0 record in overtime, and earned their NCAA Tournament berth with a buzzer-beating win over Harvard March 12.
 
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Brandon Knight releases the game-winning shot.
(© Lexington Herald-Leader/ ZUMAPRESS.com)

After clawing its way back against Kentucky March 17, Princeton entered the last minute in an enviable position: down by two points, with the ball. Dan Mavraides ’11 made a hard dribble into the defense, stopped, jumped, and hit a jump shot to tie the game, 57-57.

 
This time, though, the last-second magic would go against Princeton. Kentucky ran the clock down to 0:05. Freshman star Brandon Knight, who had been held scoreless in the game, made his move, driving down the right side of the lane to slip a running bank-shot just beyond the reach of defender Kareem Maddox ’11. The shot fell with 0:02 left, giving the Wildcats a 59-57 lead. Princeton’s final chance, a running heave by Maddox, never reached the basket.
 
Princeton finished the season with a 25-7 record, an Ivy League championship, and the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004. Read more about the Tigers in the April 6 issue of Princeton Alumni Weekly.
 
Princeton basketball in the news:
 
Pushed by Princeton, Kentucky wins in final seconds [New York Times]
 
Princeton made believers of us all in the NCAA Tournament [Star-Ledger]
 
Princeton coach overcome with emotion after loss to Kentucky [USA Today]
 
College hoops fans bring color to the Forum [TampaBayOnline]
 
Knight’s drive propels Kentucky past Princeton [Associated Press]
 
Nearly a Cinderella story [Wall Street Journal]
 
Princeton can’t match 13th-seed magic in NCAA basketball loss to Kentucky [Bloomberg]
 

How to follow the Princeton-Kentucky game

i-afb992907ef41cf27734ed5266dccd95-wb_sports.jpg Princeton fans will have a chance to see the men’s basketball team in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004 when the Ivy League-champion Tigers take on Kentucky this afternoon in Tampa, Fla. Once you get past the obstacle of watching a basketball game in the middle of a workday, there are a handful of options for following the action on TV, online, or by radio.
 
Video: CBS will broadcast the game live, at approximately 2:45 p.m. Eastern (the game time may vary, depending on when the 12:15 p.m. game between West Virginia and Clemson concludes). All NCAA Tournament games also are available online through March Madness on Demand.
 
Audio: WPRB 103.3 FM and GoPrincetonTigers.com will provide radio and internet radio coverage.
 
Live blog: The Daily Princetonian offers score updates and in-game commentary through the CoverItLive platform.

NCAA Preview: Princeton men’s basketball vs. Kentucky

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From December through March, the take on this year’s Princeton team has been fairly consistent: These are not your father’s Tigers. They’re not a walk-it-up, slow-it-down team. They will run, when given the opportunity, and they can hold their own as rebounders, even against major-conference teams.

 
Princeton (25-6, 12-2 Ivy) has averaged 69.4 points per game – nine more than last year and 19 more than the Tigers of 2006-07, the season before head coach Sydney Johnson ’97 arrived. (Longtime Princeton fans will note that the Tigers hadn’t always averaged 50 points per game. Relatively high-scoring teams roamed the courts of Dillon and Jadwin gyms from the Bill Bradley ’65 years through the mid-1970s, and even the 1995-96 team that famously topped UCLA 43-41 averaged 60.9 points per game before the NCAA Tournament.)
 
Paradoxically, Johnson credits defense with driving his team’s faster pace. “We’ve made major, major strides defensively,” he said. “We can pressure people, we can turn people over, or we can just grind it out in the half-court defensively, and so that allows us to get out and go a little bit more.”
 
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Maddox ’11
Hummer ’13
Mavraides ’11
Davis ’12
Saunders ’12
(Photos: Office of Athletic Communications)
 
On offense, Princeton’s big four – Kareem Maddox ’11, Ian Hummer ’13, Dan Mavraides ’11, and Douglas Davis ’12 – account for 75 percent of the scoring. Maddox and Hummer, the team’s top interior players, each average 13.9 points per game and were among the Ivy League leaders in field-goal percentage (56.5 and 55.7 percent, respectively). Mavraides is a dual threat to shoot 3-pointers or drive to the basket. Davis, the team’s best 3-point shooter, also has a deadly mid-range game, as Harvard learned in the final second of the Ivy playoff game.

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Princeton men draw Kentucky, women to play Georgetown

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Addie Micir ’11, the Ivy League Player of the Year. (© Beverly Schaefer)
The Princeton men’s and women’s basketball teams have had a lot in common over the last four years:
  • And this week, both teams will represent the Ivy League in the NCAA Tournament. The Princeton men drew Kentucky in an opening-round game that will be played in Tampa, Fla., March 17 (approx. 2:45 p.m. on CBS). The Princeton women face Georgetown in College Park, Md., March 20 (2:30 p.m. on ESPN2).
Check The Weekly Blog Wednesday and Friday for previews of the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament games, and click here for more news from the blog archives.

Princeton 43, UCLA 41: The game that never goes away

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(The Daily Princetonian Larry Dupraz Digital Archives)

When Gabe Lewullis ’99 has a rare block of free time during his sports medicine fellowship at New England Baptist Hospital, he often heads to the Harvard Business School gymnasium. Over the years, a group of former Ivy League basketball players who now work in Boston have established an invitation-only pick-up game at the breeding ground of Wall Street’s next top draft picks. Lewullis received his introduction to the game from Matt Henshon ’91, a practicing lawyer and captain of Princeton’s 1991 men’s basketball team.

 
When Lewullis gets in a game, he inevitably drifts out to the right wing of the 3-point line while on offense. Once there, he pauses for a moment in hopes of catching his defender off guard. Then, he plants his left-leg and cuts sharply to the basket. If another Princeton graduate has the ball at the top of the key, he whisks a bounce pass to the cutting Lewullis, who will likely catch the ball in stride and lay it in the hoop for two easy points. Then Lewullis prepares for what always comes next. “When they see Princeton guys playing together,” he says, “if we beat them backdoor, you know you’re going to hear about it.”
 
For this, Lewullis has only himself to blame.
 
Fifteen years ago on a mid-March night in the basketball Mecca of Indianapolis, the freshman who had started just two games since December made the backdoor cut seen around the country. His subsequent layup clinched Princeton’s 43-41 win over the defending national champion UCLA Bruins in the first round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament. It was victory No. 525 in the storied career of retiring Tiger head coach Pete Carril. For the gray-haired man sometimes called the Yoda of college hoops, it was also his first NCAA Tournament win in 13 years. In the decade leading up to the UCLA game, Carril had developed an unwanted reputation for wearing Cinderella’s slipper for 39 minutes, only to have it fall off on the doorstep of upset immortality.
 
The game also sparked a vast web of interconnected stories, memories and myths that continues to grow 15 years later. But none of it would have been possible, if not for a little-remembered game played the previous Saturday on the campus of Lehigh University.

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Davis ’12 hits winning shot, sends Princeton to NCAA Tournament

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Douglas Davis ’12 talks with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap after Princeton’s win over Harvard.

With less than 10 seconds remaining and Princeton trailing, 62-61, in its Ivy League playoff game against Harvard, Douglas Davis ’12 had a chance to be the hero. He drove toward the middle of the lane, detoured right, and pushed forward for a layup attempt, drawing contact and falling to the ground. Harvard’s Kyle Casey blocked the ball out of bounds, and no foul was called.

 
“I was upset [about the no-call], but that’s part of the game,” Davis said. “You’ve got to keep moving.”
 
After a timeout, Davis had another chance, receiving an inbounds pass with 2.8 seconds left. He took two dribbles, faked, leaned away from the defender, and this time got the shot off, launching a 16-foot jumper that Tiger fans won’t soon forget.
 
“It felt good, it went in, and I fell on the ground,” Davis said. “That was the worst decision I made, because everybody jumped on me.”
 
The shot – and the crowd of Princeton students who descended on Davis to celebrate – capped an exciting, back-and-forth neutral site game at Yale’s Payne Whitney Gymnasium, played to decide which of the Ivy co-champs would represent the league in the NCAA Tournament. The gym was split in half between crimson and orange-and-black, the sides split neatly by the half-court line.
 
Harvard was attempting to earn its first NCAA bid in 65 years, and much of the pregame coverage focused on that fact. But for Princeton, a longtime Ivy power, the playoff paved the way for another kind of “first.”
 
“We’ve won 26 as a program, but this is the first time that these guys get to go to the NCAA Tournament,” head coach Sydney Johnson ’97 said. “It’s a very special moment for us.”
 
The game in detail
 
After a hectic opening stretch for both teams, Harvard began to settle into its offense and took a 13-8 lead when Brandyn Curry scored on a give-and-go pass from Keith Wright.
 
Princeton climbed back with an 8-0 run that started when Kareem Maddox ’11 made a bank-shot from the right side, drew a foul, and hit the free throw. Dan Mavraides ’11 followed with a steal and a fast break layup to tie the game. Mavraides then put Princeton ahead, 16-13, with a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

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Men’s basketball: On to New Haven

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Payne Whitney Gymnasium will host the Ivy League playoff game between Princeton and Harvard March 12. (Wikipedia)

Princeton coaches don’t often draw the attention of ESPN’s talking heads, but after the men’s basketball team’s March 5 loss at Harvard, head coach Sydney Johnson ’97 provided a little commentary fodder by keeping his team on the bench to watch as Crimson fans stormed the court, celebrating the home team’s share of the Ivy League title. Johnson explained that “it’s important to see other people celebrate. You want to be that team.”

 
On Twitter, ESPN columnist Bill Simmons, who was at the game and whose fan loyalties lean unabashedly toward Boston, called it a “new reason to hate Princeton” and compared Johnson to John Kreese, the cold-hearted, antagonistic coach from the Karate Kid movies.
 
On Pardon the Interruption, co-hosts Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser praised Johnson’s move as “brilliant” (Wilbon) and “a master-stroke” of motivation (Kornheiser).
 
How has Princeton responded? So far, pretty well. The Tigers bounced back from the Harvard game, rallying from an eight-point deficit in the second half at Penn March 8 to beat the Quakers 70-58. That earned Princeton a share of the Ivy championship for the first time since 2004 and set up a March 12 playoff against Harvard at Yale’s Payne Whitney Gymnasium. The winner earns the Ivy’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
 
Click here for playoff ticket information.
 
UPDATE (March 9, 1:55 p.m.) According to GoPrincetonTigers.com, "Princeton’s allotment of tickets for the general public has been sold out, though there are still Princeton student tickets available for $5 with student ID through the Princeton ticket office. No tickets will be sold on-site at Yale, as all tickets were divided between Princeton’s and Harvard’s ticket offices."
 
UPDATE (March 9, 4:12 p.m.) Student tickets are now sold out as well.

Sports shorts: Women’s basketball falls to St. John’s, men face IUPUI

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Put the ball in the basket. That’s what the game is all about.

There are lots of other skills involved in basketball – rebounding, passing, ball-handling – and the Princeton WOMEN’S BASKETBALL team matched sixth-seeded St. John’s in all of those aspects March 20 in the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance. The only thing the Tigers couldn’t do was put the ball through the net, as they fell to the Red Storm, 65-47, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Princeton battled St. John’s to a draw on the boards and turned the ball over only four more times than its opponent. But the Tigers made just 28.3 percent of their field-goal attempts and hit one of 10 3-pointers, both season lows. The Red Storm shot 45.8 percent from the floor, pulling away late in the first half and never letting up.
Perhaps most frustrating was the fact that Princeton took the attempts it wanted. But all too often the ball would go halfway down and pop right back out.

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Princeton women’s basketball, by the numbers

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21 – Consecutive wins. Nationwide, only two teams enter the postseason with longer streaks: No. 1 Connecticut (72 games) and No. 2 Stanford (22).

80 – Assists by versatile forward Niveen Rasheed ’13, a team high. Rasheed also leads Princeton in scoring, rebounds, and steals.

22.4 – Princeton’s average margin of victory in 14 Ivy League games. Its closest contest was a 69-57 win over Columbia at Jadwin Gym.

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Princeton-St. John’s women’s basketball preview

Princeton (26-2, 14-0 Ivy) vs. St. John’s (24-6, 12-4 Big East)

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(Photo by Beverly Schaefer)

March 20, 12:21 p.m.

Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Fla.

TV: ESPN2, ESPN 360 (online)

Radio: WPRB, 103.3 FM

For Princeton, 2009-10 has been a record-setting season. The Tigers have won more games (26) and scored more points (71.6 per game) than any women’s basketball team in school history. Their current 21-game winning streak is a program best. They are the first Tiger team to post a perfect 14-0 record in Ivy games, and their NCAA Tournament seed — No. 11 in the Dayton Region — is the highest in league history. Not bad for a team that was picked to finish third in the Ivy’s preseason poll of media and sports information directors.

In the NCAA first round, Princeton will face another high-scoring team that outperformed expectations this season. St. John’s flipped its 4-12 Big East record in 2008-09 to a 12-4 finish this year, tying for fourth place in the conference and posting the program’s best record in 26 years. Five of its six losses this year were against NCAA Tournament teams. (The two teams that beat Princeton, Rutgers and UCLA, also reached the tournament.)

History

Twenty-eight years have passed since the Tigers and Red Storm met on the hardwood. (In fact, the last meeting, in 1981-82, predates the Red Storm nickname by more than a decade.) St. John’s holds a 3-0 advantage in the all-time series. St. John’s has played in the NCAA Tournament five times, advancing to the second round twice (1988 and 2006). Princeton is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance. Ivy League teams have played 18 NCAA Tournament games, winning just once — in 1998, when Harvard, a No. 16 seed, shocked top-seeded Stanford in Palo Alto.

Strengths and weaknesses

Both Princeton and St. John’s appear in the national rankings in several team categories. The Tigers had the No. 5 defense in Division I and ranked No. 41 in scoring offense. Starters Devona Allgood ’12, Niveen Rasheed ’13, and Lauren Edwards ’12 were each among the country’s 50 best shooters, based on field-goal percentage. Even in its weakest categories, Princeton ranks among the top third of Division I teams. The Red Storm is in the top 50 for scoring offense, scoring defense, fewest turnovers, assist-to-turnover ratio, and 3-point defense. Their most prominent flaw is free-throw shooting (61.5 percent, which ranks 316th among 332 Division I schools).

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Women’s basketball to face St. John’s in NCAA Tournament

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(Photo by Beverly Schaefer)

The 26-2 Princeton women’s basketball team earned a No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will face No. 6 seed St. John’s in the opening round Saturday, March 20, in Tallahassee, Fla. ESPN2 will broadcast the game, which begins at 12:21 p.m. EDT. Players, coaches, and friends of the program — including President Tilghman — gathered to watch the selection show March 15 at Triumph Brewing Co. in Princeton.

Co-captain Tani Brown ’10 said the NCAA bid is “the cherry on top of a sundae that’s taken four years to make.” For some on the team, the wait has not been quite as long, but the experience is still sweet. Freshman Niveen Rasheed, the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, called Princeton’s record-breaking run “something that’s so much bigger than all of us.”

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Sports shorts: Basketball teams sweep Penn

i-afb992907ef41cf27734ed5266dccd95-wb_sports.jpgWOMEN’S BASKETBALL completed an unbeaten season in Ivy League play with a 68-51 win over Penn at Jadwin Gym March 9. The Tigers stormed to an early lead and held off a second-half charge by the Quakers, finishing the regular season with a program-best 26-2 record.

At the season’s start, Princeton aimed to win the Ivy League title and earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament — an undefeated league record was never a stated goal. But, coach Courtney Banghart said after the Penn game, “to be able to go 14-0 to get there is pretty cool.”

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