In a choppy first half, Yale (15-5, 5-2) jumped out to a 12-0 lead before a Berube timeout settled down the Tigers. Princeton closed its deficit to 14-10 at the end of the stanza. The Tigers only shot 21% from the field in that stanza but kept the game close with their trademark defense, which is No. 1 in the country.
There are 13 people on a basketball court at any one time. One never should focus on three of them.
Unfortunately, the focus was on them in the first half of the Princeton-Yale battle at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
And they were equal-opportunity malfeasants. You won’t hear that from Princeton coach Carla Berube or Yale coach Allison Guth. They are too classy.
But the officials made some mind-jarring calls which led to both Yale standout Roxy Barahman and Princeton star Bella Alarie ending up on the bench early.
Princeton, ranked No. 25 in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll, beat Yale, 55-39, before a sparse crowd of 551 at JLA. Princeton (18-1, 6-0 Ivy) had a large and vocal following behind its bench. Former UConn great and National Player of the Year Kara Wolters was present to support her former college teammate Berube.
The visitors clawed back and took a 29-21 lead at the half behind the play of Carlie Littlefield. Yale effectively defended Bella Alarie but had no answers for the Tiger guards.
Yale cut the deficit to four in the third quarter, but a 7-0 run by the Tigers sealed the deal.
Princeton outrebounded Yale, 50-26.
“I was disappointed with our rebounding efforts,” Guth said.
The Tigers were led in scoring by Littlefield with a game-high 20 points on 8-for-18 shooting. Yale focused defensively on Alarie early and she ended up with nine points. Abby Meyers came off the bench for seven points on three clutch buckets.
Barahman contributed a team-high 13 points for Yale but was 0-for-3 from three-point range. Camilla Emsbo added 10 for the Bulldogs, who shot 32.1% from the field.
The Tigers travel to Brown tonight and Yale hosts Penn.