Thoughts on Princeton men’s basketball’s comeback victory over Furman

The Princeton men’s basketball team continued its magical opening to the 2023-24 season as the Tigers rallied for the second game in a row to overcome a talented Furman team, 70-69, in a Saturday matinee matchup at Jadwin Gymnasium.  It was the first matchup ever between the two programs, both of which enjoyed Cinderella runs in last season’s NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers trailed for most of the game and appeared headed for defeat when junior guard Blake Peters missed an open three with 2:43 to go in the game and Furman leading by nine, 67-58.  The miss from distance punctuated Princeton’s and Peters’ futility to that point, as the Tigers had shot a woeful 2-for-27 from beyond the arc.  Yet somehow, the Tigers managed to claw their way back in the final minutes to win the game, and extend their unbeaten streak to eight.

Three reactions to Princeton’s astonishing comeback victory:

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Princeton women’s basketball survives Seton Hall, 75-71, in double-overtime thriller

Playing their first game since garnering a top-25 ranking in the Associated Press poll, Princeton women’s basketball gutted its way to a win over Seton Hall, 75-71, in double overtime at Jadwin Gymnasium on Wednesday night.

The Tigers were led by senior co-captain Kaitlyn Chen, who tallied 21 hard-earned points on 4-for-11 shooting.  However, the real hero for the Tigers was freshman sensation Skye Belker who scored 18 points and sank the game-winning jumper with 37 seconds to go in the second overtime.  The native of Los Angeles was named the Player of the Game by the ESPN+ broadcast crew, which included former Tigers star player Julia Cunningham. Making her broadcasting debut, Cunningham did a remarkably good job of not betraying her pro-Princeton sympathies while providing interesting insights into what it’s like to play for Princeton coach Carla Berube.

In a battle for New Jersey supremacy, it was unclear whether this contest was a basketball game or a turnover festival. Perhaps it was the approach of the holiday season that inspired both teams to combine for 52 giveaways.  Seton Hall was the more generous squad, turning the ball over 28 times compared with Princeton’s 24.

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Dartmouth women’s basketball notches first Division I win in nearly a year versus New Hampshire

Dartmouth women’s basketball coach Linda Cimino reflects on the program’s first win over a Division I opponent in nearly a calendar year after the Big Green’s victory over New Hampshire Sunday. (ESPN+)

Dartmouth women’s basketball bested New Hampshire, 43-40, in a nail-biter at Leede Arena Sunday afternoon for the Big Green’s first win against a Division I opponent in nearly 12 months.

It was also the first Division I win for Linda Cimino as Dartmouth’s coach.  Cimino took over the reins of the Dartmouth women’s hoops program in May after a successful five-year tenure at St. Francis Brooklyn.

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Princeton women’s basketball decimates No. 22 Oklahoma, falls short to No. 19 Indiana at Fort Myers Tip-Off

Princeton sophomore guard Madison St. Rose is averaging 17.7 points through six games this season. (ESPN)

The Princeton women’s basketball team split a pair of Thanksgiving weekend contests against two nationally ranked opponents from power conferences at the Fort Myers Tip-Off in Florida. 

Playing on Thanksgiving Day for the first time in coach Carla Berube’s career, the Tigers dominated No. 22 Oklahoma, 77-63, at Suncoast Credit Union Arena.  Then, on Saturday morning, the Tigers fell prey to a hot-shooting No. 19 Indiana Hoosiers squad, 72-63.  

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Be thankful for Ivy League basketball

It’s Thanksgiving, and our cups runneth over with sumptuous Ivy hoops results.  

Last Monday, the Penn men’s team gobbled up a nationally ranked Villanova team at the Palestra.  A day earlier, the Princeton women’s team visited Middle Tennessee State, the defending Conference USA champions, and pulled the rug on the Blue Raiders’ 49-game home court winning streak.  Five days later, the Tigers came within a whisker of upsetting No. 3 UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.  

Last Saturday, the Columbia men, picked to finish last in the Ivy League, toppled Temple, 78-73, in an upset that virtually no one even seemed to notice.

But wait, there’s more.  The Brown women’s team, picked to finish sixth in the Ivy League this season, lowered the boom on Providence and Georgetown in back-to-back games.  The Bears may not win the Ivy crown, but apparently they are contenders in the Big East.  

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Princeton women’s basketball shuts down San Diego in 62-51 road win

Princeton women’s basketball returned to its winning ways by knocking off the University of San Diego Toreros, 62-51, on Sunday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego.  

The matchup was the second of two weekend games the Tigers played on their Southern California road trip, which served as a homecoming for three Princeton standouts – Kaitlyn Chen and freshman Ashley Chea, both of whom played high school ball at Flintridge Prep, and Skye Belker, a Los Angeles native who played at the Windward School before coming to Princeton.  

Coming off a nail-biting, near-miss against No. 2 UCLA on Friday, the Tigers made quick work of the Toreros.  Madison St. Rose led the way early for the Tigers, notching eight points in each of the first two quarters.  The story of the half, however, was Princeton’s stifling defense, which forced the Toreros into a horrid 5-31 shooting performance.  The Tigers led 31-18 at the break.

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Princeton women’s basketball falls just short at No. 3 UCLA

The Princeton women’s basketball team nearly pulled off an upset for the ages as the Tigers fell on Friday afternoon, 77-74, to the No. 3 UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion.  It was Princeton’s first loss of the season.

Five days earlier, the Tigers had visited Middle Tennessee State and ended the Blue Raiders’ 49-game homecourt winning streak.  On Friday afternoon, in the first game of a two-game West Coast swing, the Tigers entered the Bruins’ den at Pauley Pavilion in hunt of another statement win.

They almost got it.

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Four reflections on Princeton men’s basketball’s 3-0 start

After defeating the Duquesne Dukes of the Atlantic 10 Conference, 70-67, Wednesday night at UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse in Pittsburgh, Princeton men’s basketball is off to a 3-0 start, its best beginning since the 2015-16 campaign, when the Tigers won their first four games.  

Here are four reflections on the season so far for the two-time defending Ivy League champions:

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WATCH: Q&A with Dartmouth women’s basketball coach Linda Cimino

Ivy Hoops Online contributor Steve Silverman caught up with first-year Dartmouth women’s basketball coach Linda Cimino Monday to discuss her key influences on the path to taking over in Hanover, plans to strengthen the program,  takeaways from her team’s home loss to Siena Sunday, first-year guard Nina Minicozzi’s strong work ethic, how she’d define a successful first season as coach and much more:

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Rookies Belker and Chea pull Princeton women’s basketball past Middle Tennessee State

In winning its season opener at home against Duquesne, Princeton women’s basketball witnessed the blossoming of Madison St. Rose as a new superstar for the Orange and Black. 

It was time for another coming-out party Sunday, this time by rookies Skye Belker and Ashley Chea, in a 65-60 comeback win to remember at Middle Tennessee State.

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