Led by four players in double figures and a dominating rebounding margin, the Princeton women’s basketball team earned a 92-48 victory over Columbia Saturday night at Jadwin Gym.
With the weekend sweep Princeton has clinched a postseason berth for the fifth consecutive season, but its sights are still firmly set on capturing a fifth straight Ivy League title. The Tigers remain atop the league standings behind their 20-7, 11-2 Ivy record with Penn, who currently is underway versus Cornell.
Princeton has now posted 20-win seasons each of the last five years.
The regular season finale and title bout between Princeton and Penn is set for Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Jadwin Gym with an NCAA berth accompanying the conference championship.
It was no coincidence that on Senior Night the Tigers were paced by their co-captain seniors. Like a dynamic one-two punch, Kristen Helmstetter and Nicole Hung injected energy and showcased their experience.
Helmsetter recorded her fourth double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds, matching the game high, while Hung hit numerous clutch points en route to her 11-point, five-rebound outing. She was 4-for-6 from the field and 2-for-2 from the stripe.
Aside from a game-opening three-pointer by Columbia’s Taylor Ward, Princeton controlled the scoreboard for the remainder of the contest.
Columbia did keep pace and trailed, 9-8, at 15:14, before a Tiger 8-0 run was all they needed to shake off the Lions for good.
Behind 13 first half Michelle Miller points, Princeton commanded a 46-22 lead at halftime and never looked back.
Miller finished with a team-high 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, 3-for-4 from downtown and 2-for-2 from the line. She also had eight rebounds in only 17 minutes of work.
Working on all cylinders, Princeton’s tempo and pace proved unwavering, as it closed out the contest with a 44-point margin.
The Tigers grabbed a season-high 58 rebounds, to hold a staggering 58-25 advantage over the Lions. Princeton made 21 offensive boards, which resulted in 20 second chance points.
Joining Helmstetter with 10 rebounds was sophomore Taylor Williams who nearly had a double-double of her own with 10 boards and eight rebounds. Classmate Annie Tarakchian added eight boards and 14 points in 20 minutes off the bench.
The Tigers finished shooting 48.6 percent (34-for-70) from the field, while limiting Columbia to 29.8 percent (17-for-57). Princeton was sent to the line 28 times, banking 20 points for a 71.4 percentage.
Postgame Notes: The Tigers are guaranteed a postseason berth either in the NCAA tournament by winning the Ivy League title Tuesday or in the WNIT as the league runner-up.