Princeton wins fourth straight Ivy League Championship

The Princeton University women's basketball team faced the Harvard University Crimson in the final of the Ivy League Tournament that saw the Tigers win, 54-48, at Jadwin Gym. Princeton finished the season with a 23-5 overall record and clinched their ticket to go dancing.

Kaitlyn Chen led the team with 21 points, and Ellie Mitchell recorded her second consecutive double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds.


Princeton faced a tough test against Harvard, but the Tigers were able to use their usual fourth-quarter dominance to secure the win. 

Harmoni Turner scored the first bucket of the game for the Crimson followed by a layup from Lola Mullaney. Mitchell opened the scoring for Princeton with a layup of her own, starting an 8-0 run from the Tigers. Chen scored five of the eight, which included the first three-pointer of the game for either team. Chen played lights out the rest of the quarter as she finished with 13 points. She got fouled twice in a row and made both of her free throws with 2:06 left in the quarter. Chen seemed to get fouled again but it was called a jump ball instead, firing up the crowd and coach Carla Berube who were not happy with the call. The Tigers finished the quarter leading 18-15.

Despite the higher intensity Princeton came out within this quarter, it was not one of their best performances. Despite the Tigers relying on Chen for the first quarter, Harvard's defense picked up not allowing her to make baskets so easily. Princeton only scored five points, showing the difficulty brought to not using Chen as efficiently. The Crimson outscored the Tigers 17-4 in this quarter with Mckenzie Forbes making eight of the 17 points. Harvard led 32-23 going into halftime. 

Princeton had a better showing in the third quarter, but they were still down by quite a few points. Julia Cunningham started the scoring with a three-pointer from the left side of the arc to make it 32-26. After a foul on Grace Stone, Forbes was sent to the line and made both shots. Madison St. Rose bounced back for the Tigers with a pull-up jumper for two. After Mitchell made a shot for two, the crowd and the team were really getting fired up as they cheered on the team. Cunningham cut Harvard's lead to five after she went coast to coast for the easy jumper with 2:36 to go. Princeton's defense forced a backcourt violation on Harvard making the crowd erupt and giving a spark to the Tigers on the court. Harvard led going into the final quarter 44-37.

Mitchell started the scoring with a layup after being fed the ball by Chen. Maggie Connolly makes a three, giving the Crimson only a two-point lead. Stone gets fouled by Mullaney resulting in the Harvard player fouling out, but Stone went on to make both free throws. Chen was fouled with 1:46 left in the game and made both shots to tie the game at 47. Harvard got two back resulting in the Tigers calling a timeout to reset. After the timeout, Mitchell went ahead with making a layup under the basket for the 49-48 lead with 49.7 left. As Mitchell goes to get the rebound on the following shot, she gets fouled and made both of her free throws to give the Tigers a 51-48 lead with 37.2 to go. Forbes' shot was blocked, and St. Rose took the rebound down the court until she was fouled with five seconds remaining. She made both to give Princeton the 54-48 lead. Despite final attempts from Harvard to bounce back, it wasn't enough as the Tigers won 54-48.

What's Next for the Tigers?

The Tigers return to the court in Salt Lake City, Utah to face North Carolina State University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at 10 p.m. on ESPN2.