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Women's Basketball Suffers First Ivy Loss Since 2011, Falls at Harvard

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 03/01/2013
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Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer
Kristen Helmstetter had a team-high 18 points Friday.
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For the first time since 2011 the Princeton women's basketball team suffered an Ivy League loss, snapping its 33-game conference winning streak. A sluggish first half put the Tigers down early and Harvard capitalized to upend Princeton 58-55 Friday night in Cambridge, Mass.

Despite a 7-0 run early in the game, it was Harvard that managed to respond to each Tiger scoring rally and prevent Princeton from swinging the momentum.

A flat offense, shooting only 33.3 percent (9-for-27), allowed the Crimson to hold the lead for nearly the entire first half and for the first time all Ivy season Princeton went into halftime trailing, 29-25.

After the break, Kristen Helmstetter scored three consecutive off the stripe to make it a one-point game, 29-28 at 17:01, but the Crimson countered with a 5-0 run to hold off the Tigers again.

Helmstetter finished with a team-high 18 points, going 6-for-8 from the stripe.

Four Mariah Smith points and a put back from Niveen Rasheed carried Princeton on a 6-0 run to tie the game for the first time since the first half, 44-44 with 7:13 to play.

Both sides traded baskets down the stretch, but costly misses prevented the Tigers from building a lead.

Rasheed recorded her 10th double-double of the year with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Princeton shot a season-low 25.8 percent from the field (16-for-62) and relied heavily on its 20 free throws to keep the game within range.

While the Tigers snapped their 11-game winning streak, the lessons learned from Friday's game inevitably will pay dividends as the final month of the season progresses and Princeton fights to remain on top of the Ivy standings.

The Tigers (18-6, 9-1 Ivy) head next to Dartmouth for a Saturday 7 p.m. game in Hanover, N.H.


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