PRINCETON, N.J. (3/4/11) - The Princeton women's basketball team is one step closer to winning the Ivy League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers defeated Dartmouth 81-42, the highest margin of victory in the Ivy League this season, to clinch at least a share of the Ivy League title.
The race comes down to Princeton and Harvard, after Yale lost to Columbia this evening and Harvard defeated Penn. Princeton can win the title outright by defeating Harvard tomorrow night, when the teams face off at 6 p.m., at Jadwin Gym.
"Winning an Ivy title is a huge accomplishment but it's not a championship we want to share," head coach Courtney Banghart said. "We're looking forward to taking care of that tomorrow night."
Every healthy player saw quality minutes for the Tigers with nearly half of their points coming from the bench, 40 total. Princeton shot 54.5 percent overall, missed just one of its 13 rebounds and was 45 percent from long range.
"We knew it was going to be a big weekend. I love how we came out, and we sustained that great effort throughout the game with every single one of our players," Banghart said. "We've been saying all year we've had great consistency from our bench and tonight was another great example of that. We're a true team, I'm so proud of them."
Princeton jumped out to a 7-0 lead less than two minutes in with Devona Allgood scoring the game's first four points and classmate Lauren Edwards hitting a three.
Dartmouth followed up with an 8-3 run to make it a two-point game, 10-8 at 13:16.
The Big Green would go cold, not getting a basket for the next 4:52 as the Tigers took a 16-point lead on a 14-0 run. Freshman Kristen Helmstetter had three baskets, junior Laura Johnson drained two long balls and senior Krystal Hill finished the run with a layup for the 24-8 lead.
Faziah Steen ended the drought with a bucket at 8:24 and her team would maintain its 14-point deficit for the next two minutes before the Tigers closed out the half on a 14-2 run to take a 42-16 lead into the locker room. During the run, senior Addie Micir had five points and Hill collected four. Edwards had a three-ball and Allgood added a layup.
A pair of free throws by Louise VandenBosch to start the half would make it a 24-point game, the closest Dartmouth would get in the half. The Tigers reached a 30-point edge, 49-19, less than five minutes into the second half.
The Big Green would get 11 of their final 21 points on free throws, getting just six baskets from the field in the last 13 minutes.
Princeton would take its largest lead, 40 points, on a three-pointer by freshman Alex Rodgers at 1:02.
Allgood finished with a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds as she shot 6 for 9 from the floor. She added two blocks and two assists. Edwards added 14 points on 5 for 7 shooting as she hit 4 for her 6 three-point attempts. Off the bench Helmstetter recorded a career-high 12 points and had two rebounds, blocks and steals each. Hill recorded 10 points, four assists and two steals.
Janelle Ross had a game-high 17 points for the Big Green. Sasha Dosenko added 10 points and Faziah Steen had eight and a team-high seven rebounds. Cassie Cooper added six rebounds. The Big Green shot 24.1 percent (13-54) overall, missed two of 18 free throws and missed all 13 of their three-point attempts.
Princeton moves to 22-4 overall and 11-1 in the Ivy League, while Dartmouth falls to 7-19 and 3-9 in league play.