Princeton women overpower Penn to claim outright Ivy crown

Senior guard Abby Meyers recorded 20 points and eight rebounds on Senior Night in a win over Penn Saturday. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

Senior Night at Jadwin Gym attracted a nice crowd to bid farewell to Abby Meyers prior to the Tigers taking on their nearby rivals, the Penn Quakers. The Tigers and their superstar senior did not disappoint.

Princeton responded with a resounding 69-43 win to claim the outright Ivy League regular season title.

Once the fiercest rivalry in the league, lately, Penn-Princeton matchups have been one-sided affairs. The teams met for the first time this season in January at The Palestra. Led by Julia Cunningham’s 22 points, the Tigers exploded for an 18-point run in the first period en route to a 70-50 win.

The Tigers lost focus early Saturday night, perhaps the product of the emotion of the pregame festivities. Penn came to play hard and did so, holding the Tigers to an 18-16 lead after 10 minutes, not at all like the start in Philadelphia.

Penn took an early 22-20 second-quarter lead. The Tigers thereupon shook off the early doldrums, ramping up their play at both ends of the court. The ensuing 13-0 run gave the Tigers a 33-22 halftime lead and, as it turned out, control of the game. In an impressive display of Berube defense, the Tigers held the Quakers to one field goal in 11 attempts in the second period and just six points.

The second half played out in similar fashion to the first game a month and a half ago. For the final 20 minutes, the home club outscored its guests, 36-21. The final was 69-43, putting a nice exclamation point on the title clincher. Berube remains unbeaten in her Ivy career now with a 27-0 record.
Abby Meyers turned in another outstanding performance in her Jadwin finale, leading all scorers with 20 points, adding eight rebounds. She was joined in double figures by Grace Stone (16), Julia Cunningham (13) and Kaitlyn Chen, the Tigers’ Rookie of the Year candidate, with 11. Stone, in particular, has added some late-season scoring punch to the high-flying Tiger juggernaut. Chen had six assists while rebounding machine Ellie Mitchell grabbed 10 caroms.
Jordan Obi had a nice double-double for the Quakers with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Kayla Padilla, a candidate for All-Ivy honors, was held to 12 points, mostly guarded by Cunningham.
The Tigers close out the regular season with the first of two trips to Lavietes Pavilion this week. Harvard will host the Ivy League Tournament next weekend and clinched a tournament berth with a win over Dartmouth Saturday. A Princeton win over Harvard will ensure a second meeting between the teams in a five-day span in a No. 1-No. 4-seed matchup.