In the first two home games after the Princeton women’s basketball team raised its 2010 NCAA Tournament banner, the Tigers were virtually untested, winning by more than 40 points each time. But against Navy Dec. 10, they trailed by a point late in the opening half and led by just three at intermission.

Princeton (7–2) dialed up its defensive intensity after the break, forcing 11 second-half turnovers, and surged ahead for a 74–61 win. Sophomore forward Niveen Rasheed compiled the sort of stat line that has built her reputation as the Ivy League’s best all-around player: 21 points, six rebounds, four steals, and four assists. “It’s great to be tested early,” Rasheed said afterward. “These are the games that make and break teams.”

The Tigers responded well to challenges in November and early December, scoring an impressive win against Southern California and staying close in losses at Vanderbilt and Rutgers. Addie Micir ’11 was the hero of the Southern Cal game, sinking two free throws with five seconds remaining to give the Tigers a one-point victory. Princeton also won at Lehigh, ending the Mountain Hawks’ 33-game home winning streak.