PRINCETON — The Princeton women had just won their 30th straight Ivy
League game, but Niveen Rasheed sensed coach Courtney Banghart wasn’t
Even with Friday night’s 77-65 victory over Dartmouth at Jadwin Gym,
the Tigers didn’t feel like they met their own expectations.
“We were all mad at ourselves,” said Rasheed, who finished with 25
points and 12 rebounds after a slow start. “We did not play the way we
wanted to play. We hold ourselves to a higher standard. We just didn’t
come out to play the way we should have come out to play. (In the Ivy
League) each game is the biggest game of the year.”
Banghart summed it up like this: The Big Green scored their
second-highest total of the season and her team played without purpose
But the seventh-year coach, who beat her alma mater for the seventh
consecutive time, also knows while the 30-point blowouts are nice —
Princeton came in with an average margin of victory of 36.8 points in
its five Ivy wins — you need a game like this to keep yourself in check.
“I think everything gains experience,” Banghart said. “If we have
to go through this to be better the next time we play, we’ll take it.
I’ve always said since I’ve been here, you don’t have to learn by
losing, you can learn by winning. You don’t have to learn by playing
bad, you can learn by playing well. I just think we didn’t have the same
purpose that we’ve come to expect.
“I think they’re seeing that you just can’t come to play because it’s
7 o’clock or you’re playing at home. You have to come with that same
energy you had playing on the road.”
Dartmouth (6-14, 4-2), which had its four-game winning streak
snapped, led 26-23 late in the first half before Princeton (15-5, 6-0)
ripped off a 12-3 run to close the period.
The Tigers never trailed again and led by as many 19 with 7:48 to
play, although the Big Green did get as close as 12 with 3:40 remaining.
Princeton hit the offensive glass hard, outrebounding Dartmouth, 21-12. The Tigers finished with 20 second-chance points.
Rasheed scored 17 of her game-high 25 in the second half, following a
3-for-11 first half. Kristen Helmstetter added 14 and Michelle Miller
finished with 11.
“The first half, I just kind of got frustrated with myself,” said
Rasheed, who scored Princeton’s first nine points in the second half. “I
wasn’t reading the game that well. I kept trying to take it to the hole
when, obviously, I should have pulled up. Second half I made that
adjustment and the court opened up a little more.”
Nicola Zimmer led three Big Green players in double figures with 19
points, while Faziah Steen finished with 14 and Abbey Schmitt 10.
The Tigers get back to work Saturday night against Harvard, which dropped its second Ivy contest of the year to Penn Friday.
For Rasheed, that’s the best thing about the Ivy.
You get to play the next night.
“This is our tournament right here,” she said. “Each game is the
biggest game of the year. We can’t go out and expect to crush teams. The
Ivy League is all fighting for the same thing. They were in second
place and gave us a game. Anything can happen any given night.”
Rider tops Siena
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. — Sironda Chambers scored 23
points, making 14 of 15 free throws and Rider knocked off Siena 73-61
for a key Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory.
The Broncs (12-12, 7-6) used a 14-0 run early in the second half to open up a 15-point lead.
MyNeshia McKenzie also reached double-figures, finishing with 12
points and eight rebounds. Chambers’ 23 points were one off her career
high set earlier this year in a loss to Lafayette.
With the victory, coach Lynn Milligan set a new personal best, surpassing her 11 wins a year ago.
The seven conference wins also match a program high in the MAAC since
joining the league in 1997. The Broncs went 7-11 during the 2008-09
Lily Grenci scored 24 points for Siena (9-15, 5-8).