Against Wisconsin-Green Bay March 21, the undefeated Princeton women’s basketball team found itself in an unusual position, trailing at halftime for the first time since early November.
But after intermission, the Tigers reasserted themselves inside, led by 14 second-half points by Annie Tarakchian ’16 and 13 from Alex Wheatley ’16, and earned an 80-70 win, the first NCAA Tournament victory in program history.
Princeton’s defense improved in the second half, pushing Green Bay out to the perimeter, where the Phoenix settled for 3-point attempts. Midway through the second half, Princeton opened up a 10-point lead and held the Green Bay at arm’s length for the next eight minutes. The Phoenix cut the lead to four with 2:14 remaining. Wheatley then upped the lead to six with a layup, and the Tigers forced two Green Bay turnovers in the final two minutes.
The game, featured on ESPN2, had star power in the crowd: President Barack Obama, the uncle of Princeton forward Leslie Robinson ’18, watched the game from the Xfinity Center stands, seated alongside brother-in-law Craig Robinson ’83.
Tarakchian finished with 19 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. Michelle Miller ’16 led the Tigers with 20 points, including 15 in the opening half.
Princeton will play the winner of today’s Maryland-New Mexico State game in the NCAA Tournament second round March 23 at 6:30 p.m.