Mollie Marcoux Samaan makes a bold pick in Carla Berube for Princeton

Following the sudden departure of Liz Feeley to Smith College in the summer of 2000, then-athletic director Gary Walters hired Kevin Morris as the interim coach of the Princeton women’s basketball team.  A 2-25 record ensured that Morris would not stick around Jadwin Gymnasium permanently. The job would eventually go to Richard Barron, who had just built a strong Division III program at Sewanee (The University of the South).

Barron would last six seasons at Princeton, before resigning on May 6, 2007 to become the associate head coach for Kim Mulkey at Baylor.  While he only managed a 74-91 record (37-47 Ivy) in his tenure, the 2005-2006 team went 21-7 and tied for first in the Ivy League with a 12-2 record.  After the 2006-07 team fell to 13-15 and 7-7 in conference play, Walters was tasked with finding a replacement that would get the program to consistently compete for a league title.

Read moreMollie Marcoux Samaan makes a bold pick in Carla Berube for Princeton

Ivy hoops roundup – Apr. 20, 2019

Harvard men’s basketball post-season banquet:
MVP – Bryce Aiken; Defensive Player of the Year – Justin Bassey
2019-2020 Captains – Seth Towns and Henry Welsh

Harvard women’s basketball post-season banquet:
Co-MVP – Katie Benzan and Madeline Raster; Defensive Player of the Year – Nani Redford; Most Improved Player – Rachel Levy

Brown women’s basketball post-season banquet:
MVP – Shayna Mehta; Most Improved Player – Haley Green

Princeton women’s basketball names Bella Alarie and Taylor Baur co-captains for the 2019-2020 season.  Coach Courtney Banghart discussed the two athletes, as well as their goals of another Ivy title and a Sweet 16 run, in the season-ending episode of The Court Report.

Yale coach James Jones just missed out on the St. John’s coaching job, but he did win the 2019 Ben Jobe Award, given by CollegeInsider.com to the top minority coach in Division I basketball.

Penn senior Princess Aghayere was named one of six recipients of the President’s Engagement Prize by university President Amy Gutmann.  Awarded annually, the Prizes empower Penn students to design and undertake post-graduation projects that make a positive, lasting difference in the world. Each Prize-winning project will receive $100,000, as well as a $50,000 living stipend per team member. Student recipients will spend the next year implementing their projects.

Aghayere was chosen for her work with Rebound Liberia, which uses basketball as a tool to bridge the literacy gap between men and women and as a mechanism for youth to cope with the trauma and stress of daily life in post-conflict Liberia.

Read moreIvy hoops roundup – Apr. 20, 2019

No. 11 Princeton comes up just short against No. 6 Kentucky in NCAA Tournament, 82-77

The No. 11 seed Princeton women’s basketball team gave No. 6 seed (and national No. 17) Kentucky all it could handle but came up just short in its first-round game at the Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C.

The Tigers were up by as many as nine points in the second quarter and up four at the half, but a 28-15 third quarter propelled the Wildcats into the lead and gave them enough of a cushion to withstand a late Tigers rally to claim the first-round victory.

Read moreNo. 11 Princeton comes up just short against No. 6 Kentucky in NCAA Tournament, 82-77

NCAA Tournament preview: No. 11 Princeton vs No. 6 Kentucky

Greensboro Regional – First Round (Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh, N.C.)
No. 11 Princeton (22-9 overall, 12-2 Ivy – Co-Champions, Automatic Bid) vs No. 6 Kentucky (24-7 overall, 11-5 SEC – 4th, At-Large Bid) 11:00 a.m. ESPN2

Read moreNCAA Tournament preview: No. 11 Princeton vs No. 6 Kentucky

Ivy League Women’s Tournament semifinal preview – No. 4 Cornell vs. No. 1 Princeton

No. 4 Cornell (12-13, 6-8 Ivy) vs. No. 1 Princeton (20-9, 12-2) Sat., 6:00 p.m. ESPN3

Season Series – Princeton 2-0
2/2/19 at Cornell; Princeton wins 75-46
2/22/19 at Princeton; Princeton wins 68-64

Streaks
Princeton: won last 10
Cornell: won three of last four

Read moreIvy League Women’s Tournament semifinal preview – No. 4 Cornell vs. No. 1 Princeton

Ivy Friday women’s hoops recap: Harvard’s in; first, second and fourth seeds still undecided

Harvard (8-5 Ivy, 15-11) 80 vs Cornell (5-8 Ivy, 11-13) 38

Harvard clinched a spot in Ivy Madness and locked down the third seed for next Saturday’s semifinal with a dominant 80-34 win over Cornell. The win, in addition to securing the Crimson’s third straight appearance in the Ivy Tournament, was the 600th career victory for Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. Delaney-Smith is now one of 19 active coaches to reach that impressive milestone.

Read moreIvy Friday women’s hoops recap: Harvard’s in; first, second and fourth seeds still undecided

Ivy women’s hoops in review: Jan. 5-6

Penn takes round one at Princeton

On Saturday afternoon, the Penn women, behind a career game from junior Phoebe Sterba, bounced back from a dominant Princeton third quarter to take the Ivy opener 66-60. The Quakers’ (9-2, 1-0 Ivy, 2-0 Big 5) victory, the first over the Tigers (8-8, 0-1) since the 2017 Ivy League Tournament championship, extends their present steak to five games and gives them an important road victory over the Ivy preseason favorites.

Read moreIvy women’s hoops in review: Jan. 5-6

Ivy women’s hoops in review: Dec 23 – Jan 4 (Pre-Ivy edition)

Princeton (8-7)
Div I Opponents Win Rate: 53.3 percent (#108, nationally)
12/29 at New Hampshire, 90-42

The Tigers have won seven straight, outscoring those opponents by an average of 72.3 to 49.6.  For the season, they are leading  the league in free throw (79.6 percent; #6 nationally) and second in three point (33.3 percent; #86) shooting.  The two point shooting is last in the league (43.9 percent; #175), but is quickly improving with the return of Bella Alarie (19.3 ppg; 55.3 percent from two) and Taylor Baur (11.0 ppg; 60.0 percent from two) to the starting lineup.  The defense is controlling the paint with a 13.7 block rate (#2  Ivy; #14), as well as holding rivals to 66.7 percent from the free throw line (#3 Ivy; 113) and 41.8 percent from two (#4 Ivy; 95).  While they are last in defensive three point shooting (34.4 percent; #289) for the season, in their last seven games the Orange & Black have held teams to 28.6 percent (38-133) from beyond the arc.

Read moreIvy women’s hoops in review: Dec 23 – Jan 4 (Pre-Ivy edition)

Women’s hoops week in review: Nov. 12-18

Princeton (0-2 This week; 1-3 overall)
vs Seton Hall 66-70
at Penn State 71-79 (OT)
Even with their starting lineup absences, the Tigers just missed sweeping two major conference foes this week.  Against Seton Hall, Princeton came back from an 18 point third quarter deficit to hold a 66-59 point advantage with 2:15 left in the game.  Unfortunately, the Orange & Black went scoreless the rest of the way, as the Pirates finished on an 11-0 run.  The Tigers were also up 7 against Penn State with 2:42 left in regulation, but the Nittany Lions went on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 63.  In the extra session, Princeton could only manage 1 field goal in 10 attempts as they went down to their third straight defeat.

Despite the losses, Princeton received improved play from first-year starters Grace Stone (13 points and 7 rebounds in 36 minutes vs PSU), and Kira Emsbo (6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks in 12 minutes vs PSU), a 6′ 5″ forward who missed her senior season due to a ACL tear.  A Thanksgiving tournament in Cancun against DePaul (#15), Syracuse (#18) and Kansas State should continue to give the younger Tigers more experience and make the whole team stronger by the time Bella Alarie, Taylor Baur and Qalea Ismail return from the DL.

Read moreWomen’s hoops week in review: Nov. 12-18

Women’s Hoops Week in Review: Nov. 6-13, 2018

Princeton (1-1 This week; 1-1 Overall)
The Tigers did not miss Leslie Robinson (graduation), Bella Alarie (injury), Abby Meyers (academic suspension), and Qalea Ismail (injury) on Tuesday, beating the Broncs 89-65 at Jadwin.  The Orange & Black, led by 25 points from Gabrielle Rush, 16 from Carlie Littlefield and 10 from Taylor Baur, shot 47 percent from three and 59 percent from two.

Things were completely different at George Washington, when Princeton arrived with Baur added to the injured list.  The Tigers, who beat the Colonials by 20 one year ago, could not get anything going offensively, eventually falling by a score of 64-49.  For the afternoon, the Tigers only shot 18 percent from beyond the arc and 42 percent from two.  Sophomore McKenna Haire came off the bench to lead the Tigers with 13 points, followed by 12 from first-year starter Julia Cunningham.

Read moreWomen’s Hoops Week in Review: Nov. 6-13, 2018