Princeton Headed to the Big Dance for Third Consecutive Season
Photo and story courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- After clinching a share of the Ivy League title in Friday's win over Harvard, the Princeton women's basketball team set out win its third consecutive outright Ivy League Championship versus Dartmouth Saturday. Mission accomplished. The Tigers defeated the Big Green 94-57 and are the first team to earn a bid into this year's NCAA Tournament. The victory also marked Princeton's (21-4 overall, 11-0 Ivy League) 14th consecutive win.
On Senior Night, it was the seniors who made their mark on the game. Laura Johnson opened up action with a three-pointer to set up a 10-0 Princeton run over the first three minutes of play. From there the Tigers took off. In her first start of the year, Johnson finished with 11 points and a team-leading six assists, marking a career-high.
Classmate Lauren Edwards owned the three-point line, going 7-for-10 from beyond the arc to establish a new career-high in points with 29. Edwards went 11-for-16 from the field to set new career-bests in both field goals and three-pointers, as well.
Rounding out the Tiger top scorers were Niveen Rasheed, who tied a season-high with 24 points, and Megan Bowen, who had 10 points off the bench. Rasheed earned her ninth double-double of the season, grabbing a game-high 16 rebounds in 32 minutes of work.
In a lopsided battle, Princeton controlled all facets of the game and prevented Dartmouth from ever finding its rhythm on the floor. The Tigers shot 52.9 percent (36-for-68) from the field, while holding the Big Green to 36.5 percent (19-for-52). Princeton, who tied a season-high with 94 points in the game, shot 50 percent (10-for-20) from downtown and held the rebounding margin 43-28.
"We don't want to think that's what we do here, we win - we earn wins," said head coach Courtney Banghart. "These guys love to compete and they wanted the best schedule. What you see, regardless of the win-loss record of our opponent, we just love to compete. To be 21-4 with the schedule that we've had, I'm just really proud of (this team)."
Under Banghart, the Tigers won the conference title three consecutive times for the first time in program history.
Princeton will hit the road for a final Ivy road trip next weekend, facing Yale on Mar. 2 and Brown on Mar. 3. The Tigers final Ivy League contest is on Tuesday, Mar. 6 at 5 p.m. versus Penn at Jadwin Gym in their final tune up before the NCAA Tournament.