PRINCETON — So concerned that her team might have a post-Rutgers
hangover, Princeton coach Courtney Banghart canceled shootaround Sunday
morning, thinking some extra rest might help.
Turns out, there was no reason to worry.
The Tigers scored the first 22 points and led by as many as 53,
cruising past Maryland-Baltimore County, 93-46, at Jadwin Gym.
“I put it on our experienced players,” Banghart said. “Let’s have Rutgers be a next step and not a destination. They came out
on fire today.”
The victory was the 100th for Banghart at Princeton. She is 100-52
since taking over in 2007, but more impressively, 79-15 since the start
of the 2009-10 season.
“It’s got a nice ring to it,” said Banghart, who did her postgame
holding a ball autographed by her players. “I haven’t screened for
anybody or got on the offensive glass at all, but I’ve been part of a
special group, and that, I’m really proud of.”
“There is no one like coach Banghart,” said senior center Meg Bowen,
who was one of five Tigers in double figures with 11 points. “She truly,
truly, truly cares, so to have something like this where she can
celebrate 100 wins, it’s pretty special to all of us to see that for
Kate Miller led Princeton (5-2) with 13 points, Niveen Rasheed added
12 and Kristen Helmstetter and Michelle Miller both finished with 10.
Brittany Crowell scored a game-high 15 points for UMBC (3-5), but 13
of those came in the second half after the Tigers had backed off their
Princeton sprinted out to a 22-0 lead as the Retrievers didn’t get on
the board until Lauren Chase made a free throw with 10:17 left in the
UMBC missed its first 12 shots en route to a 2 for 20 half that also included 12 turnovers.
The Tigers, meanwhile, shot the lights out, knocking down 10 of their 20 attempts from beyond the arc in the first half.
At halftime, Princeton led, 51-8. The last time the Tigers scored 50 points in a half was on Jan. 15 in a win over Columbia.
“Maybe in the REC days,” laughed Kate Miller when asked if she had
ever been part of such a dominating defensive performance. “We knew what
the scout was and knew what we had to do defensively. It just is
amazing when all five (on the floor) and all 13 are ready to be
committed to that scout.”
All 13 players that appeared for the Tigers scored.
See, no hangover whatsoever.
“It was great to celebrate Rutgers
and have that win,” Bowen said, “but we don’t want to be that team
anymore that thinks that’s who we are. We want to beat Hofstra, beat
DePaul, beat these really good teams and hopefully get to the place in
March where we are beating some big teams.”