No. 12 Princeton Falls, 65-49, to No. 5 Georgetown in NCAA First Round
Courtesy Princeton Athletic Communications
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- It was like déjà vu.
Playing a BIG EAST team on an ACC court in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament and the Tigers found themselves down by double digits.
Georgetown used its press to rattle Princeton and the Tigers
couldn't recover, falling 65-49 in a 5 vs. 12 matchup.
Princeton had difficulty handling the smoothering 94 feet of defensive pressure by the Hoyas and wasn't careful enough with the ball being forced into six turnovers in the first eight minutes, as Georgetown worked its way up to a 22-5 lead.
After junior Lauren Edwards got the opening basket, Georgetown would score its first four points from the free-throw line to take the lead. The Hoyas converted to Princeton turnovers into baskets before senior Addie Micir hit the three she is known for to sit Princeton back 9-5 at 15:22. Sugar Rodgers responded on the other end with a three as the Hoyas went on a 13-0 run to take a 17-point lead, 22-5 at 12:10.
It marked Princeton's largest deficit since the NCAA Tournament game last year to St. John's. In the regular season, Princeton went 0-4 in games it trailed by double digits, it's largest being a 15-point margin at Rutgers in which Princeton battled back to take the lead but lost at the buzzer.
Edwards ended the run with a steal and fastbreak basket and sophomore Megan Bowen slipped in a layup to make it 22-9. Georgetown's Adria Crawford and Monica McNutt added five points on the other end. The Tigers cut the lead back to 15 on a free throw and an offensive putback by freshman Kristen Helmstetter to make it 27-12 with 3:22 to play in the half.
The Hoyas closed out the half on a 7-2 run to put the Tigers down by 20 at halftime, 34-14.
At the end of the half Georgetown had 22 points off of turnovers as Princeton committed 14 in the first half. Princeton was held to 6 for 21 shooting while Georgetown shot 10 for 26. The Tigers did win the rebounding battle in the first half, 19-12 and had 10 points in the paint to the Hoyas' six.
A 6-2 Georgetown run started the second half. Sophomore Kate Miller went 2 for 2 from the line and had a jumper in the lane while Tia Magee had two buckets to keep the Hoyas out ahead by 23 with four minutes gone by in the second.
Micir would hit her second three, giving the bench a relief that maybe the tide was turning, but McGee matched the three from the top of the key on Georgetown's next possession, 46-23.
Both teams went cold as neither found the net for the next four minutes.
Rodgers would sink her fourth three pointer of the game at 11:40
to stretch her team's lead to 26, 49-23, with eight to play.
Georgetown had a 26-point lead at 9:24 when McGee would score the Hoyas' last basket from the field 4:32 as the Tigers held them scoreless from the floor and went on a 10-1 run to make it a 15-point game, 54-39 score at 6:13 the closest the team had been since 3:28 of the first half.
In that fight, the Tigers showed who they are and who they have been this season. A team that fought through adversity, injuries and deficits, today's was just a little too much to handle.
The team's would trade baskets, with Princeton getting within 14 and not allowed Georgetown more than a 17-point lead in those finals minutes.
"We have great respect for the tournament," head coach Courtney Banghart said. "We know how hard it is to win a game in this tournament. This one hurts, mostly for our seniors. Every other kid in that locker room has the hunger to earn another opportunity. The more times you get the tournament the better your chances to win one. We'll just have to get back here."
The Tigers committed just four turnovers and shot 45.5 percent
in the second half but the deficit was too big to overcome.
Princeton ends its season 24-5, winning its second straight Ivy League Championship and second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Rodgers finished with a game-high 26 points and eight rebounds. She added four assists and three steals. Magee added 14 points while Rubylee Wright had 11 points. Georgetown shot 40.4 percent (23-57) from the field, 73.3 (11-15) from the line and was 8 for 21 from behind the arc.
Micir had 13 points to pace the Tigers offensively and had four
rebounds. Bowen, Allgood and Edwards finished with five rebounds
each. Freshman Nicole Hung would grab four assists off the bench.
Princeton finished the game shooting 37.2 percent (16 for 43), was
13 of 16 from the free throw line and 4 for 18 from long range.