The long awaited and eagerly anticipated showdown between the Penn and Princeton women to open the Ivy season was played at the Palestra Saturday. The two teams came into the contest with a combined record of 22-2, each with but one blemish. First-year Tiger coach Carla Berube stated that she was thrilled to make her Ivy debut in one of the most iconic venues in all of college basketball.
Once again, Mike Tony has posted an excellent recap of Penn’s frustrating outing at Princeton Friday night. It might be worthwhile for Tiger fans to consider the significant elements of the sweep and what the implications may be going forward.
Penn may have been the host of its matchup with Princeton Saturday, but it was the Tigers who made themselves at home at the Palestra.
The Tigers, fueled by Ryan Schweiger’s career-high 27 points, defeated the Quakers 78-64 in their first meeting of the year. The two teams will meet again on Friday at Jadwin Gym. The Quakers will need to make several adjustments to walk away victorious. Here are the keys to victory for both teams.
Mike Tony’s excellent breakdown of Saturday night’s Penn-Princeton collision leaves little left unsaid, but let me add some comments from the Tiger perspective for the sake of context.
No one expected either team to dominate the other, although the early line favored the Quakers by 10. As game time approached a lot of people grabbed the points moving the line to seven or less by tip-off.
Shockingly, the score was tied on only two occasions in the first three minutes. From that point on Penn managed to get within four just once, with 3:48 remaining in the first period. Schwieger then found another gear, canning eight of his career-high 27 in the closing moments of the first half. A Jaelin Llewellyn three-pointer helped as well, as the Tigers ran the lead from four to 12, 39-27, at the end of the half.
Princeton shot just 2-for-11 from deep, got outscored by double-digits in second-chance and fastbreak points and didn’t score a field goal in the game’s final 6:37.
And yet the Tigers never trailed en route to a surprisingly easy 78-64 win over Penn at the Palestra Saturday night, their sixth win there against Penn in six seasons (including their 2017 Ivy League Tournament quarterfinal victory).
So what did Penn (7-5, 0-1 Ivy) do wrong against Princeton (5-8, 1-0) this time?
Tiger basketball fans got a rare opportunity to watch both their men’s and women’s teams in a doubleheader Sunday. The women continued their amazing start with a 40-point thrashing of New Hampshire, 77-37. The Tigers’ Player of the Year candidate Bella Alarie enjoyed her 37th career double double with 18 points and 11 rebounds in just 21 minutes. Earlier this week the Tigers reached the USA Today Top 25 and received seven votes in the AP rankings. The Ivy slate opens on January 11 at The Palestra.
The less said about this one, the better.
For the second year in succession Princeton faced off against the Iona Gaels on a neutral court. Last season in Atlantic City, the Tigers overcame a double-digit Iona lead in the second half when then-freshman Drew Friberg came off the bench to make three long-range bombs. Last night, at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, with Net-In-Waiting Devin Cannady at courtside, the Tigers followed a similar script in even more dramatic fashion.
Two struggling New Jersey clubs squared off Saturday afternoon in Stratis Arena on the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University. The Knights, defending champions of the Northeast (NEC) Conference, had stumbled to a 2-7 early record. The visiting Princeton Tigers sported a similarly dismal 1-7 mark, including two buzzer-beating losses at home to ASU and Monmouth.
Analytics guru Ken Pomeroy projected a one-point Princeton win. The Tigers may have blown a Pomeroy circuit board as they pulled away in the second half, cruising to an 80-65 win, the 150th in Mitch Henderson’s head coaching career.
Two of the Ivy League’s brightest stars shone bright as Carlie Littlefield and Bella Alarie combined for 48 points as the Tigers tamed the Penn State Nittany Lions, 72-55, at Jadwin Gym Saturday afternoon.
Penn State (5-5) used a strong performance on the offensive boards to jump out to a quick 8-2 lead, but three baskets by Alarie helped Princeton (9-1) tie the game at 11. An Abby Meyers layup gave the Tigers the 15-13 advantage at the end of the opening quarter.