Blake Dietrick â15 scored 26 points, but the Tigers couldnât keep pace with the host Terrapins. (Beverly Schaefer)
Princeton womenâs basketball faced an unenviable challenge in its second-round NCAA Tournament game: a matchup against No. 4 Maryland on its home floor, where the Terrapins have not lost in nearly 14 months.
For the first 20 minutes, the Tigers were up to the task, keeping pace with a stellar offensive performance, particularly in the paint. Maryland led by just four at halftime, 42-38.
But after the break, Princetonâs fortunes turned. In one stretch, the Tigers missed six shots in a row while the Terrapins made all five of their attempts â plus two free-throws â and jumped ahead by 17.
Point guard Blake Dietrick â15 did her best to will the Tigers back into contention, scoring 17 of her team-high 26 points after her team fell behind by double digits. But Marylandâs hot shooting never cooled. Princeton lost for the first time this season, 85-70.
Vanessa Smith â17 scored 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and Alex Wheatley â16 added 10 points for Princeton. Annie Tarakchian â16 finished with seven points, six rebounds, and six assists.
The Tigers, the nationâs only undefeated Division I team in the regular season, finish the year with a 31-1 record and nearly every school record imaginable, including the most wins, longest winning streak, and highest scoring average. Their win over Wisconsin-Green Bay in the NCAA first-round March 21 was the first NCAA Tournament win in school history.