Second Half Rally, Six in Double Figures Lifts Women’s Hoops to 94-76 Win
Led by six players in double figures and a well-executed second half, the Princeton women’s basketball team earned a 94-76 victory over Portland State Saturday in Portland, Ore. The win improves the Tigers to 3-3 on the year, snapping their two-game skid, while dropping the Vikings to 1-3.
Junior Blake Dietrick scored a game-high 19 points, going 7-for-10 from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 in treys, and freshman Vanessa Smith established a new career high with 17 points, including 11 over Princeton’s second half run, to lead the Tigers.
Both Michelle Miller and Taylor Williams added 12 points, while Kristen Helmstetter and Alex Wheatley finished with 10 points apiece. Wheatley led the Tigers with eight boards, as Helmstetter went 6-for-8 from the stripe and has now scored in double digits in the last five games.
Princeton finished with a season-best all around shooting performance, going 62.5 percent (35-for-56) from the field and 76 percent (19-for-25) from the stripe.
In nearly an identical start to Tuesday’s game versus St. Joseph’s, the Tigers opened with a swift pace and jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but were unable to corral control and force Portland State on its heels.
The first half proved to be a one-possession battle, going in the Vikings’ favor for much of it and finishing with them holding a 44-42 advantage at halftime. The lead transferred five times and was tied on four occasions.
In a tale of two halves, the final 20 minutes saw a reenergized and fluid Tiger side. Princeton took advantage of second chance opportunities, scoring 11 of 13 points during the final period, while executing plays and forcing the Vikings to take off angle shots.
At 13:51 Princeton took a 55-50 advantage off a 9-0 rally and would never relinquish the lead again.
PSU would keep the game in range until an Annie Tarakchian jumper provided the Tigers with their first double figure lead of the day, 81-71 at 4:05, to put Princeton in control for good.
Tarakchian injected momentum and pace particularly over the final 10 minutes, as she had six points, five rebounds, a block and a steal in her 15 minutes of work.
In an all-around team effort, Princeton scored 42 bench points and held a 41-29 rebounding margin. The Tigers had 11 offensive boards and made 13 second chance points, while adding 20 assists.
Princeton now heads to Eugene, Ore. to face the Oregon Ducks on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.