The Princeton women’s basketball team’s fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament resulted in another first round loss. Offensive struggles plagued the Tigers and were too much to overcome, as ninth-seeded Princeton fell to eighth-seeded Florida State 60-44 in Waco, Texas Sunday.
The defense limited Florida State’s offense to only one jumper and three points over the first four minutes, but the offense opened 1-for-8 to prevent the Tigers from capitalizing on their stops. First half offensive struggles set a poor pace for Princeton, something the squad was unable to completely overcome regardless of momentum surges.
Despite holding a 24-20 rebounding margin, including 12-3 differential on the offensive glass, the first half offense shot a season-low 20.6 percent (7-for-34).
Florida State shot 50 percent (24-for-49) over the first period and established its first double figure lead, 21-10, off a Lenore Rodriquez jumper at 9:08.
The Tigers cut FSU’s differential to as low as six, but were unable to connect on attempts further before the break and they went into halftime trailing 31-19.
Freshman Michelle Miller had two triples in her 11 minutes of work in the first half and added a key jumper as part of the Tigers’ second half rally to finish with eight points.
Alex Wheatley and Miller kicked off Princeton’s greatest offensive run, opening a 10-0 uncontested run. Blake Dietrick closed off the Tigers’ rally dropping consecutive three-pointers to erode FSU’s once 14-point lead to 38-37 with 12:17 to play.
Dietrick served as one of the team’s leading scorers with nine points, all threes.
After working to cut its deficit down, Princeton was unable to further its scoring push and FSU responded with a 16-1 run to ultimately put the Tigers in too deep of a hole.
Niveen Rasheed finished with nine points and nine rebounds, and Kristen Helmstetter had nine rebounds, with seven coming in a 10-minutes first half span.
The Tigers shot a season-low 25.4 percent (17-for-67) from the field, but did hold a 48-34 rebounding differential. Princeton gave itself 25-second chance opportunities with offensive boards, scoring 16 points.
Princeton concludes the year 22-7, 13-1 Ivy.