Women's Basketball Stymied at Villanova, Falls 61-54
Unable to overcome its first half deficit, the Princeton women's basketball team suffered a 61-54 loss at Villanova Wednesday evening. For the first time this season, the Tigers (6-4) conceded consecutive defeats.
A sluggish start, combined with missing their first nine shot attempts put the Tigers down 7-2 over the first six minutes of action. From that point Princeton was forced to play catch up for the remained of the contest.
Niveen Rasheed responded by converting on her next three attempts to make it a 10-8 game at 9:52, but again the Tigers were unable to carry over that momentum to take the lead for the first time in the contest.
She would finish with a team-best 15 points, while grabbing seven boards, dishing five assists and making a block in 39 minutes of work.
Princeton would put together another momentum swing down the stretch, with a Blake Dietrick triple setting up a 5-0 run to make it a one-possession game, 15-14, at 4:33. It would be as close they would get for the remainder of the game.
Trailing 26-18 entering the second half, a reenergized Princeton side came out of the locker room aggressively working to erode its first half deficit.
The Tigers managed to come within 10 at two points before the midpoint of the half, before Michelle Miller and Dietrick landed consecutive treys to make it a six-point game, 45-39, at 6:44.
Princeton would come as close as four at 6:14 and 5:43, but Villanova managed to hold off a surging Tiger side each time.
Kristen Helmstetter had 11 points and six rebounds and Dietrick made 10 points and five defensive boards to round out Princeton's top performers.
The Tigers held a 43-42 rebounding differential, outrebounding the Wildcats 16-8 on the offensive glass, but Villanova shot 38.9 percent (21-for-54) from the field to Princeton's 31.3 percent (21-for-67).
Princeton concludes it pre-2013 road slate with Illinois State on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 8:05 p.m. ET and DePaul on Friday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. ET.