- Box Score
It wasn’t quite the start Princeton anticipated after its heart pounding overtime win over Delaware Sunday, but after overcoming a sluggish start the Tigers’ employed a double figure run midway through the first half to propel past Illinois State, 65-39, Wednesday evening at Jadwin Gym to close out the women’s basketball team’s home half of the 2013 schedule.
The win extends the Tigers’ winning ways to four straight, tabbing them winners of five of the last six, and improves the squad to 7-4. The loss drops Illinois State to 1-7 on the year.
Senior Kristen Helmstetter led with a game-high 16 points, going again nearly perfect from the stripe (6-of-7), while adding a game-high five assists, five boards and a steal over 29 minutes.
Fellow starters and point guard tandem Amanda Berntsen and Blake Dietrick notched 10 points apiece, with Berntsen tallying eight boards and Dietrick making three blocks for game-highs.
As the two veteran lead guards ahead of her added key runs, freshman Taylor Brown displayed a new level of comfort on the floor. Over her 19 minutes, the newest Tiger point guard had nine points, all triples, and eight defensive boards – all career marks.
Down 9-3 at 11:49, Taylor Williams and Brown guided a 15-0 run to put Princeton up for good and give the Orange and Black a 21-9 advantage at 5:32. Williams had six points during that span, while Brown sent in a momentum building trey early in the rally and had four defensive boards.
Williams finished with eight points, going 4-for-4 from the field, with three defensive boards, an assists and a block over 12 minutes of action.
Princeton bolstered its lead to 19 by the break, 32-13, limiting ISU to 13.5 percent (5-for-37) from the field to the Tigers’ 56 percent (14-for-25).
The Red Birds struggled to slow down Princeton in the second half, chipping its lead to 16, 47-31, after consecutive three-pointers from Alison Seberger at 7:26. It was the closest Illinois State had gotten since 1:20 in the first half and would get, as Princeton went on to expand its lead to as high as 28 to finish things off.
The Tigers shot 55.3 percent (26-for-47) from the field and held ISU to 20 percent (13-for-65) for a season-best defensive effort and opponent low in points against. Princeton held a 51-30 rebounding margin, but did commit 28 turnovers.
After a grueling opening stretch, the Tigers will have a break in play before resuming action at the Cavalier Classic hosted by Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. from Dec. 28-29. Princeton opens with Alabama on Saturday at 12 noon. Pending the results of day one, the Tigers will face either Coppin State or host-UVa the next day.
Postgame Notes: Freshman Jackie Reyneke saw minutes after missing the last five games due to a broken finger … all active players saw minutes in the game … Princeton has shot over 50 percent in five games this year … Princeton has made 50 or more rebounds three times this season … the Tigers are now 3-0 all-time versus Illinois State.