Category Archives: Sports

Princeton Men’s Basketball Beats Harvard, Dartmouth by Drilling the Details

Princeton men’s basketball improved to 4-1 in Ivy League play with wins against Harvard and Dartmouth Feb. 5 and 6. On Friday night, the Tigers beat Harvard, the reigning conference champion, for the first time since March 2013. Harvard has won the league’s “14 game tournament” for the past four years, but this year, a trio of contenders — Yale, Columbia, and Princeton — appears to be on its way to breaking that streak.

Steven Cook ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Steven Cook ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Steven Cook ’17 led the Tigers to a win over Harvard with 21 points — a season-high that he beat the next night, scoring 27 points against Dartmouth.

“I thought Steve Cook had a terrific weekend. He’d been hard on himself going into this season. He’s one of the leaders on this team, and he showed that this weekend,” head coach Mitch Henderson ’98 said.

But Cook takes none of the credit. He said the win over Harvard came from the defensive side. “Defensively we really stepped it up compared to Yale. We really wanted to focus on that. We were more prepared for Harvard this year,” Cook said. “We managed to stop their three-point shooters for the most part and rebound as well, because that’s a big strength of the Harvard team.”

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Men’s Basketball Improves to 7-3, Looks Ahead to Game at No. 13 Miami

Spencer Weisz ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Spencer Weisz ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Ten games into its season, Princeton men’s basketball has a 7-3 record, the best nonconference start of any Ivy League team. But that good news comes with a caveat: The teams that the Tigers have beaten have a combined record of 22-56. (The teams that have beaten Princeton, on the other hand, are 26-7.)

Tuesday night’s win over Bucknell fit the pattern. The visiting Bison, who won the Patriot League’s regular-season title last year, have struggled this season (3-7 overall). When Bucknell’s shooting cooled midway through the first half, Princeton pounced. The Tigers made a 29-5 run that included scoring from all spots on the floor: four three-pointers, a pair of mid-range jumpers by Amir Bell ’18, and inside baskets by Pete Miller ’17 and Myles Stephens ’19.

Bucknell trailed by 20 or more for much of the second half before narrowing the gap late in the game. Princeton won, 89-77.

“This is a little bit more of what we thought the team would be like,” head coach Mitch Henderson ’98 said afterward. “I think the scoring needs to be balanced for us. Henry [Caruso ’18] has been putting us on his back here lately. But I think even he would acknowledge that we’re going to be balanced, going forward.” Continue reading

Berntsen ’16, Miller ’16 Set Sights on Challenging Ohio Road Trip

Michelle Miller ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Michelle Miller ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Princeton women’s basketball goes on the road next week, playing Ohio State on Dec. 18 and Dayton on Dec. 20 in what head coach Courtney Banghart views as one of the hardest road trips of her career. Ohio State is expected to place in the top 10 teams nationally this year and Dayton, currently ranked first in mid-major rankings, fought its way to the Elite Eight in last year’s NCAA Tournament.

For Michelle Miller ’16 and Amanda Berntsen ’16, who with two other seniors and a junior form the team’s seasoned starting squad, the road trip offers a welcome challenge.

“I’m looking forward to it a lot. Any time we go play at a big BCS school it’s a lot of fun because we don’t get a ton of those games,” Miller said, noting her excitement to play against Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell, a sophomore currently ranked as the fourth scorer in all of women’s college basketball.

“This is probably the toughest part of a very hard schedule we have this year,” Berntsen said, “but there’s nothing better than good competition and playing teams that will make us better.” Playing such tough opponents will reflect favorably on the team’s Rating Percentage Index, Berntsen said, something that in combination with the team’s record (8-1 heading into tonight’s home game against Fordham) will be important for the Tigers’ seeding if they return to the NCAA Tournament in March. Continue reading

Princeton Wrestling Hangs Tough in Challenging Matches

Princeton split its matches against Northwestern and Lehigh Dec. 5. (Beverly Schaefer)

Princeton split its matches against Northwestern and Lehigh Dec. 5. (Beverly Schaefer)

After sending half of its starting lineup to the NCAA Championships last March, the Princeton wrestling team had high hopes for the 2015-16 season. So far the Tigers have not disappointed, racking up major victories on both individual and team levels that have elevated them to national recognition.

Princeton, which was tied with Northern Iowa for the No. 25 spot in the Dec. 1 USA Today/NWCA Coaches rankings, opened its home season Dec. 5 with a pair of challenging opponents. The Tigers defeated Northwestern 24-18 on Saturday morning in its first home match of the season, but fell to No. 12 Lehigh 33-3. Princeton returns to competition on Friday evening against Navy at home in Dillon Gymnasium.

Returning eight of their 10 main starters from last season, the Tigers began competition last month with open tournaments at Binghamton and Navy. The Tigers had nine place winners at the Binghamton Open Nov. 8, which included a first-place finish for junior captain and 197-pounder Brett Harner. The Tigers had an even more impressive performance Nov. 21, when they had four individual champions and 10 overall place winners en route to a team title at the Navy Classic. Continue reading

Princeton Men’s Basketball Holds Off Saint Peter’s in Return to Dillon Gym

Princeton beat Saint Peter’s in the first game at Dillon Gym since 1969. (Beverly Schaefer)

Princeton beat Saint Peter’s in the first game at Dillon Gym since 1969. (Beverly Schaefer)

Princeton men’s basketball took a lead in the opening seconds against Saint Peter’s Saturday night and kept the edge for the rest of the game’s 40 minutes. But while the Tigers never trailed, they also never pulled away, holding off a series of late charges by the Peacocks to win 75-72 in the first game at Dillon Gym since 1969.

Forward Henry Caruso ’17 scored 20 points in the second half, tying a career-high of 23 points in the game, on 7-for-9 shooting. He added eight rebounds as well. Starting in place of Hans Brase ’16, who suffered a season-ending knee injury just before the Nov. 13 opener at Rider, Caruso showed a knack for working his way inside against the Saint Peter’s defense.

“Henry saved us in a lot of different ways, getting to the rim,” head coach Mitch Henderson ’98 said. “Our defense has been very good so far but tonight let us down a little bit, just lapses — but overall, happy to get a win.”

Princeton (2-0) scored more than half of its points in the paint, a significant development for a team that launched 46 percent of its shots from behind the three-point arc last year.

“We’ve got to go inside, because eventually you’re going to play some ugly games,” Henderson said. “Last year we got a little perimeter happy, so we’ve put a lot of emphasis on that.” Continue reading

Princeton Women’s Soccer Advances in NCAA Tournament

Mimi Asom ’19 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Mimi Asom ’19 (Office of Athletic Communications)

The scene had all the makings of a nail-biter for the Princeton women’s soccer team. The Tigers entered the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday with an undefeated record in Ivy League play and a high-powered offense that held four top-10 Division I statistical rankings: third in assists per game, sixth in points per game, eighth in goals per game, and 10th in shots per game. Princeton’s opponent, Boston College, has been a perennial competitor in the NCAA Tournament. This year marked the Eagles’ 14th appearance in the last 17 seasons. Prior to missing the tournament last year for the first time in 11 years, Boston College had not lost in the first round since falling on penalty kicks to Connecticut in 2007.

But the game was not so close, as Princeton advanced to the Round of 32 over the Eagles in a 4-2 victory on Saturday evening at Roberts Stadium. Freshman forward Mimi Asom, who was unanimously voted Ivy League Rookie of the Year last week, continued her dominant season by scoring goals in the 23rd and 35th minutes of the first half. The goals also tied Asom with Linda DeBoer ’86 for the Princeton freshman record of 12 goals in a season.

Asom would get assistance from veteran teammates, as junior forward Tyler Lussi added a strike at the 41st minute to put the Tigers ahead 3-1 at the half. Lussi would add another goal at the beginning of the second half, bringing her career total to 43, just four shy of Esmeralda Negron ’05’s program record. Senior defender Emily Sura had a career night as well, as her three assists gave the co-captain the first multi-assist game of her career.

The score remained 4-1 for almost the entire second half until Boston College scored again in the 89th minute. Too little too late for the Eagles, though, as Princeton advanced to the next round of NCAA Tournament play on a cold November night in front of a crowd of nearly a thousand.

The Tigers will now face the University of Southern California in the Round of 32, with the match set for Friday on Virginia’s home field. The winner of that match will face the winner of Virginia and UNC-Wilmington. Princeton and USC have never met in women’s soccer.

Quick Takes

Football fell in a tight contest against Ivy nemesis Yale on Saturday afternoon. Despite senior wideout Isaiah Barnes’ career day, which included six receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns, the Tigers were not able to maintain their 28-24 lead going into the fourth quarter. Princeton fell 35-28 in front of a crowd of 11,623.

Women’s volleyball completed a third consecutive weekend sweep — this time defeating Cornell and Columbia on Friday and Saturday nights — to earn a share of the Ivy championship. The Tigers will play Harvard in Cambridge next weekend in a match for the league’s NCAA Tournament bid.

Field hockey knocked off No. 5 Maryland with a 3-1 victory in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. Sophia Tornetta ’19 scored twice in the win. The Tigers fell in the second round to No. 2 Syracuse, 5-0.

Women’s cross country placed third at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional held in Princeton on Friday. Senior Emily de La Bruyere and junior Lizzie Bird placed second and third in the race respectively, as the Tigers placed six runners in the top 50. The Tigers were awarded one of the 13 at-large team bids to the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 21.