Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 1
Happy New Year!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
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GRAND MOMENT: Princeton University women’s basketball star Addie Micir dribbles upcourt in a win over Rider last month. Last week, senior guard and co-captain Micir starred as Princeton overcame some major challenges to sweep a two-game swing in North Carolina. The Tigers edged Davidson 67-61 last Wednesday before topping Wake Forest 71-63 two days later as Micir scored a total of 31 points. In the process, she moved to 998 for her Princeton career. Micir should move well beyond the 1,000-point mark this week as the Tigers (10-3) were slated to host LaSalle on January 4 before starting their Ivy League campaign with a home game against Penn on January 8.

Resilient PU Women’s Hoops Posts NC Sweep; Faces More Challenges as Ivy Campaign Looms

Bill Alden

For the Princeton University women’s basketball team, its trip to North Carolina last week turned out to be fraught with challenges.

First, just getting to Tobacco Road for the games at Davidson and Wake Forest became an ordeal. The December 26 blizzard that hit the east coast delayed the return of several players to the Garden State from the holidays.

The storm also cancelled the team’s flight south, necessitating a 10-hour bus ride to Huntersville, N.C.

Once on the court at Davidson last Wednesday, the Tigers quickly made two turnovers and fell behind 4-0. But rising to the occasion, the Tigers built a two-point lead going into halftime.

Early in the second half, the Tigers were hit with what may become a huge obstacle as sophomore star Niveen Rasheed hurt her knee and was sidelined for the rest of the evening.

Undeterred, the Tigers went on a 9-0 run to take a 46-32 lead. Holding off a late Davidson rally, the Tigers pulled out a 67-61 win.

Tiger head coach Courtney Banghart credited her players with showing pluck as they dealt with the disruption.

“It was a gutsy effort, considering the travel saga,” said Banghart. “We executed and concentrated well which we didn’t do against St Joe’s (a 70-61 double overtime loss on December 17).”

With Rasheed sidelined after scoring 13 points, the Tigers relied on their balance to overcome the Wildcats as Addie Micir scored 16 points with Devona Allgood chipping in 15 and Lauren Edwards adding 11.

“We have great balance but we have to use it,” said Banghart. “We have to be on the same page and we were in that game.”

Two days later at Wake Forest, the Tigers had to turn the page as they played without Rasheed from the start.

“It didn’t make so much of a difference in the Davidson game; it was like someone going out with foul trouble and you play with who you have got,” said Banghart of the absence of Rasheed, who is getting her knee evaluated by Princeton doctors this week to determine her future status.

“It made more of a difference in the Wake game when you know she wasn’t going to be playing beforehand. We have a lot of players who let the game come to them and we needed to be opportunistic at every position.”

Senior co-captain Micir and junior star Edwards seized their opportunities as they scored 15 and 21 points, respectively, in leading the Tigers to a 71-63 win over the Demon Deacons. The victory, which improved Princeton to 10-3, was the program’s first triumph over an Atlantic Coast Conference foe since beating North Carolina in 1989.

“I was pleased with how we were able to handle things; Lauren and Addie were both great,” asserted Banghart, noting that Micir is now at 998 points in her Princeton career.

“Addie was the floor leader; she got herself to the free throw line, did our in bounds passes, and kept everyone calm. Edwards was great; she played really well.”

The Tigers got good minutes from two members of its supporting cast as guard Laura Johnson and center Meg Bowen each chipped in nine points.

“It comes with confidence from playing more,” added Banghart. “Also, it is January and we are looking to be sharper.”

The Tigers will have to be sharp this week as they were slated to host LaSalle on January 4 before starting their Ivy League campaign with a home game against Penn on January 8.

“You are going to be without one of your buddies,” said Banghart, referring to Rasheed, who appears to be out for a while.

“It is the last non-conference game. You want to end on a high note going into the Penn game.”

While Penn was an Ivy doormat last year as Princeton cruised to the title with a perfect mark in league play, Banghart knows her squad can’t look past the Quakers (5-5).

“Penn is much improved; they are young and quick,” said Banghart. “When you have people who stick together through hard times, that helps the chemistry. It is going to be a challenge.”

The challenges that the Tigers faced down in North Carolina will be good training for the last six weeks of the regular season.

“We were looking to make a statement in the non-conference games and help us in the league’s standing,” explained Banghart, whose team will go on a 20-day exam break after the Penn game.

“When we get to the league games, I don’t care if we win by one point. If we win by a lot, that won’t make anyone in the league more afraid of you. We all know each other; it is a dogfight.”

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