12/2 vs Davidson 65-57
12/8 vs Quinnipiac 54-42
12/11 vs Monmouth 79-47
Before the return of Bella Alarie on Friday night, Princeton went 2-7 with home victories bookending a seven game losing streak. While the youthful Tigers have gained valuable game experience during this time, culminating in a come from behind win over Davidson, the return of the reigning Ivy Player of the Year immediately showed why they were picked to repeat as league champs. In Alarie’s first game back, she had 16 points, a career high 19 rebounds and 5 blocks. Not only did the Tigers win by 12 over a Quinnipiac squad that made it to the second round of last year’s NCAA Tournament, but Alarie was named Ivy League co-Player of the Week. In her follow-up performance at Monmouth, she put up 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks.
During Alarie’s absence, Carlie Littlefield and Gabrielle Rush stepped up for the Orange & Black. Littlefield averaged 15.3 points (4th Ivy), 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists (11th), 1.8 made threes (9th) and 1.7 steals (4th) in 33.9 minutes per game. Rush, meanwhile, added 13.6 points (8th), 6.7 boards (9th), 2.8 made threes (2nd) and 1.7 steals (6th) per contest.
Over the first part of the season, the team has been uncharacteristically weak in two point shooting (40.9 percent), three point defense (35.9 percent) and offensive rebounding rate (27.5 percent). With their premier post player back and other important rotation players expected back from the DL soon, the Tigers should expect those numbers to improve significantly.