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.
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.
It’s Thanksgiving weekend, which means it’s time to take stock of what followers of each Ivy women’s team should be thankful for at this point of the season:
No Abby Meyers against Rider (#3 preseason MAAC) – no problem
No Meyers and Bella Alarie for the 4th quarter at GW – no problem
No Meyers and Alarie for the entire game at Seton Hall (#3 preseason Big East) – no problem
No Meyers and Alarie for three quarters and Carlie Littlefield for the second half against FGCU (#1 preseason ASUN) – no problem
Two days after surviving a furious Seton Hall comeback, the Princeton women welcomed Florida Gulf Coast to Jadwin Gym for a Sunday afternoon matchup between two top-10 mid-majors. The Tigers, ranked No. 9 by CollegeInsider.com (No. 6 by ESPNW), easily dispatched the No. 5 Eagles, 67-53 (No. 7 by ESPNW), despite losing both Bella Alarie and Carlie Littlefield to injuries.
With 2019 All-Ivy first-teamer Bryce Aiken and 2018 Ivy Player of the Year Seth Towns yet to see action for Harvard this season, will the Ivy League add another star to the conference’s injured list?
Completely in command against George Washington with just over seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s contest in D.C., Princeton’s Carlie Littlefield drove the lane, dishing the ball at the last moment to Taylor Baur standing to the right of the basket. As Baur went up for the layup to extend the team’s lead to 20 points, she was met by GW’s Faith Blethen and Alexandra Maund, a Yale graduate transfer.
Blethen, who came from behind, fouled Baur and fell out of bounds. Maund, meanwhile, went straight up against the Tiger forward and was knocked backwards. As the former Yale forward came crashing down, she hit into Alarie’s lower right leg with both players hitting the ground and writhing in pain.
While November 5 was Election Day for statewide offices in Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia, it was Opening Day for college basketball across the entire nation.
For the Ivies, Harvard tipped things off at noon, picking up the Ancient Eight’s first “W” of the 2019-20 campaign with a road win at Northern Illinois. Princeton’s “pretty great machine” dominated Rider to give Carla Berube her first victory as the Tigers’ head coach. Dartmouth used a balanced attack to take down neighboring Vermont.
Columbia gave Albany all it could handle, but came up just short in an overtime defeat at the SEFCU Arena. Brown, playing without its biggest offensive weapon, had several chances in the last minute but fell by one to crosstown rival Bryant.
Shortly after Princeton’s season ended with an 82-77 defeat in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Kentucky, Tigers head coach Courtney Banghart recounted how her newly elected captains, Bella Alarie and Taylor Baur, informed her that they desperately wanted to get their team to the Sweet 16. With the new season less than a week away, the Orange & Black still look to aim high.
“After that game, we talked a lot about what the future holds for our team. We want to make history,” Alarie said at the Tigers’ Media Day on Monday afternoon. “We have high expectations for ourselves, but we know we can reach them.”
Ivy Hoops Online’s writing staff voted on where all eight Ivy women’s and men’s basketball teams would end up for the 2019-20 season. Our projected order of finish for the women:
The two-time defending regular and postseason Ivy champion Princeton women’s team has announced its 2019-20 schedule, which features a non-conference schedule with two trips to the midwest and six games against teams that made the postseason in 2019.
In November, the Tigers will travel to the state of Iowa, the home of junior Carlie Littlefield, to take on Iowa State and Iowa. A month later, they will visit the Show-Me State to face Missouri and St. Louis for Gateway City native and senior co-captain Taylor Baur.
Over the course of the pre-Ivy schedule, the Orange & Black will face Rider, Seton Hall, and Hartford from last year’s WNIT, as well as NCAA qualifiers Iowa, Iowa State and Missouri. The Tigers will also welcome Penn State to Jadwin Gymnasium, looking to avenge last year’s 79-71 overtime defeat.