Wheatley’s Career High, Late Surge Lifts Tigers to 70-41 Win at Columbia
It was another roller coaster game for the Princeton women’s basketball team, but one that the Tigers successfully employed a second half run to come out of New York City with a 70-41 win over Columbia Friday night.
The Tigers improve to 12-6, 3-1 Ivy on the season, while dropping the Lions to 4-15, 1-4 Ivy. Princeton will look to extend its two-game winning streak Saturday at Cornell in a 6 p.m. game.
Alex Wheatley led all sides with a career-high 18 points, going 8-of-10 from the field and a perfect 2-for-2 from the stripe. She added five rebounds, two steals and a block in 22 minutes of work.
The first half experienced ebbs and flows for the Tigers, seeing both momentum surges and fluidity followed by turnover-plagued play. Despite shooting 50 percent (12-for-24) from the field, Princeton committed a season-high in a half 17 turnovers over the opening period.
Riding an 8-2 run heading inside the 10-minute mark, Princeton established its first double figure lead, 20-10 at 7:31. The Tigers were unable to swing the game’s momentum to their side for good, as Columbia capitalized on their eight turnovers down the stretch and managed to come within a possession.
After going into halftime with a slight 29-25 lead, the Tigers opened the second half reenergized and on a 10-2 run to go up by double figures, 39-27 at 15:40.
Unlike the first half, Princeton contained its surge and tightened its play to never let Columbia close in on its double digit lead and saw it swell to as high as 30.
Joining Wheatley in double figures were Blake Dietrick and Michelle Miller with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Dietrick had five rebounds, a game-high four assists and a steal, while Miller tallied four boards, an assist and a steal.
Princeton finished shooting 56.3 percent (27-for-48) from the field and held Columbia to 26.4 percent (14-for-53). The Tigers owned advantages in rebounding (38-31), assists (18-7) and steals (9-5). After committing 17 first half turnovers, Princeton tightened its play and only conceded seven over the final 20 minutes.
While the Tigers had to work through the early goings of the game, they did get to see a lot of growth from its entire roster as every player saw minutes.