The Princeton Tigers opened the defense of their 2020 Ivy League title Sunday afternoon at Jadwin Gym against the Harvard Crimson. This was the final appearance at Princeton of legendary Harvard coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, who is closing her 40-year coaching career at Harvard at the end of the season. The Ivy League is a much better place because of her presence in it.
Carla Berube considers Delaney-Smith a mentor as well as a good friend. While coaching at nearby Tufts for 17 years, Berube frequently attended Harvard’s October practice sessions since her Division lll squad did not begin until November. Berube coached at Delaney-Smith’s summer camps and credits her with freely imparting her vast coaching knowledge in countless conversations over the years.
The Crimson entered the league opener among the leaders in several offensive categories, including three-point field goals, averaging over nine per game.
Neither team shot the ball very well in the early going. The Tigers broke the close contest open with an 11-0 run to end the first half with a 31-22 lead. The Princeton offense continued its hot streak in the third quarter with 23 points for the period. Meanwhile, on the defensive end, the Tigers played a very Berube-like quarter, holding Harvard to just nine points. For the game, the Crimson managed just three three-pointers in 18 attempts.
Things quieted down in the last period as the home team finished the game with a comfortable 68-50 win. Abby Meyers continued making a case for Ivy Player of the Year honors with her second career double-double, 19 points and 11 rebounds. Julia Cunningham and rookie Kaitlyn Chen each added 15 points for the victors. As usual, Ellie Mitchell made her presence known on the glass at both ends. The sophomore forward collected 11 caroms.
Harvard’s first-year standout Harmoni Turner had a double-double of her own with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Princeton will make a weekend road trip, traveling to Columbia Friday night before the awful five-hour bus ride to Ithaca for a Saturday afternoon contest against Cornell’s Big Red. The Friday game will be televised nationally on ESPNU while the Cornell game will stream on ESPN+.
Happy New Year to all from Ivy Hoops Online.