In four seasons at Princeton, women’s basketball captains Addie Micir ’11 and Krystal Hill ’11 have been part of a remarkable turnaround, helping
to transform a seven-win team from 2007–08 into a force that has won back-to-back Ivy League championships.
According to Micir, the leaner times were an important part of the journey. “I don’t think we would give up freshman year for the world,” she said after Princeton’s Senior Night victory over Harvard March 5. “Losing all those games makes moments like this all the more special.”
Princeton entered the Harvard game with a chance to clinch sole possession of the Ivy title, earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and avenge its only Ivy loss of the season, a 73–67 defeat in Cambridge Feb. 4.
“We knew what was on the line,” said center Devona Allgood ’12. “I think we came out really strong and ready to go, and made sure to keep that going over the entire 40 minutes.”
The Crimson put up a fight, but Princeton prevailed, 68–59, to complete a perfect 13–0 record at home.
Allgood scored the first points of the game and posted another dominant performance with 12 points and 10 rebounds, her second double-double of the weekend. She also had six blocks, shutting down Harvard’s Emma Markley, the league’s sixth-ranked scorer. Markley finished with just two points.
Princeton jumped out to an early 12–5 lead as Harvard struggled to penetrate the Tiger defense. The Crimson came roaring back and took its first lead of the game after a blocked shot and a quick layup made it 13–12 with 8:56 to play in the first half.
Forward Kate Miller ’13 answered with a 3-pointer to give the Tigers the lead. Late in the half, Hill drained another 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to give the Tigers a 32–26 halftime lead.
The play in the second half mirrored that of the first. The Tigers led by as many as nine points early, but Harvard kept coming back, nearly erasing the deficit to bring the score to 40–39.
The Tigers finally put Harvard away with five minutes remaining. Miller made a deep jumper to end a long scoring drought. A quick steal by Micir led to a layup and a Harvard foul. She hit the ensuing free throw to put the Tigers up 58–49 with 5:14 to play. Moments later, Hill stole the ball and took it all the way for a layup to give Princeton an 11-point lead. The crowd of more than 2,000 roared, and the Tigers charged the rest of the way.
Princeton (23–4, 12–1 Ivy) entered the year as the Ivy favorite, but its outlook shifted in late December, when star forward Niveen Rasheed ’13 suffered a season-ending knee injury. With its top scorer out, the team found new contributors on offense, getting significant help from reserves like center Megan Bowen ’13.
When Bowen was sidelined by an injury before the second Harvard game, the Tigers adjusted again, leaning heavily on their seniors. Hill scored a season-high 13 points against the Crimson, and Micir added eight points and six assists.