Princeton women shake off sluggish start to stymie Cornell, 65-40

The Princeton Tigers traveled to Ithaca to make their second league start against the Cornell Big Red this afternoon. The Tigers were grateful not to have to make the five-hour bus ride between games of the back-to-back New York State swing since last night’s Columbia contest was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. 

Following a comfortable trip yesterday, the Tigers were nevertheless sluggish out of the gate en route to an eventual 65-40 win. The Big Red, after an impressive road win a week ago at Dartmouth, were even worse.

Neither team shot well in the first quarter. Cornell held the high-flying Tiger offense to just 11 points, seven of those produced by team leader and senior guard Abby Meyers. Carla Berube’s lockdown defense was very much in evidence, holding the Big Red to just five points.

The Tigers rebounded in the second period, outscoring the Big Red, 23-11. Meyers had an outstanding quarter. Her 11 tallies matched the output managed by Cornell. Junior guard Maggie Connolly came off the bench to make two big threes.

The third quarter will be remembered for two occurrences. First, Abby Meyers reached a new career high at 23 points, besting her previous high of 22 reached twice this season. Second, freshman forward Parker Hill came off the bench to notch eight points in the period in her first meaningful minutes of the year. At 6’ 5”, Hill can be a huge factor for the Tigers going forward. Cornell played hard and well in the period, preventing the Tigers from increasing their margin by very much. After three quarters the Princeton lead was 16, 50-34.

The Tigers went deep on the bench in the final stanza but continued to play with a lot of intensity. The Big Red were once again limited to single-digit scoring, with nine points in the quarter.

The Tigers reached their season average in scoring. Meyers was phenomenal again, finishing with 28 points, although held out for much of the second half. Sophomore forward Ellie Mitchell once again had double-digits in rebounding, grabbing 10, her average. 

Cornell’s best scorer, Theresa Grace Mbanefo, was held to nine points by Mitchell in an excellent defensive effort.

Berube got the road start she hoped for, although two big matchups against Columbia remain on the schedule.

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