On March 20, 2010, the women’s basketball team – coming off a stellar regular season in which it outscored its Ivy League competition by 21.6 points per game – allowed 65 points to a Big East foe in a disappointing NCAA Tournament loss.
On March 20, 2011, the Tigers – coming off another great regular season in which they outscored conference foes by 21.6 points per game – allowed, yes, 65 points to another Big East team in another first-round exit.
This time, it was the fifth-seeded Georgetown Hoyas who knocked the Tigers out of the postseason, cruising to a 65-49 victory in College Park, Md., and handing Princeton its only double-digit loss of the season.
“To say I’m disappointed would be a gross understatement,” head coach Courtney Banghart said after the game. “That was not the version of Princeton basketball I’ve seen all year.”
The Tigers’ second NCAA Tournament appearance got off to a promising start. Princeton forced Georgetown’s offense into three straight scoreless possessions to open the game and took a brief lead on a floater in the lane by Lauren Edwards ’12.
But the Hoyas would score 22 of the next 25 points – a 3-pointer by Addie Micir ’11 providing Princeton’s only basket – in a nine-minute run that proved to be the difference. The final two Georgetown scores, both 3-pointers from star guard Ta’Shauna “Sugar” Rodgers, were set up by Tiger miscues against a tough full-court press.
Princeton committed 14 turnovers in 31 first-half possessions, managing only 14 points in the half. The turnovers led to 22 of Georgetown’s 34 first-half points, and Rodgers outscored the Tigers in the period, notching 16 points.
The Tigers actually won the second-half turnover battle, six to four, and began to play with more confidence on offense – cuts were sharper, passes were quicker, drives were more aggressive. But it was too little, too late for Princeton, which never closed within single digits.
Princeton finished its season at 24-5 overall and 13-1 in Ivy play. Read more about the Tigers in the April 6 issue of Princeton Alumni Weekly.