Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 2
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011
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MILESTONE WEEK: Princeton University women’s basketball star Addie Micir heads to the hoop last Saturday against visiting Penn. Senior guard and co-captain Micir scored a game-high 18 points to help Princeton top the Quakers 56-45 in the league opener for both teams. Earlier in the week, Micir passed the 1,000-point milestone in her Tiger career. She was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week.

Relying on Calming Presence of “Grandma” Micir, Tiger Women’s Hoops Holds Off Penn in Ivy Opener

Bill Alden

Addie Micir is known as “grandma” by her teammates on the Princeton University basketball team due to her reassuring nature and vast experience.

Last Saturday, the senior guard and co-captain had to draw on those qualities as Princeton found itself in a tough battle with visiting Penn in the Ivy League opener for both teams.

The Tigers trailed the upstart Quakers 10-5 midway through the first half and had to rally to pull into a 20-20 tie at halftime.

As they headed into their team room at intermission, Micir and her teammates knew they were in a battle.

“We weren’t making shots and you have to give some credit to Penn, they came out ready to play,” said the 6‘0 Micir, a native of Newtown, Pa.

“The halftime message was just to play how we play. The shots aren’t falling and you can’t do anything about that. But if we are going to shoot a low percentage, we have to get more shots up. We were looking to run and run our stuff. We came back in the second half focused and ready to go.”

Micir helped the Tigers get going in the second half, scoring seven straight points in a 2:43 stretch as the Tigers jumped ahead 30-20.

“Once people started hitting shots, everyone feeds off of that and we get a little more confident,” said Micir, who canned a three-pointer, a jumper, and two free throws during her outburst.

“We knew that was going to happen sooner or later, the stats don’t really lie at this point. We are good shooters; we knock down shots and we just needed to start it off. Once we did that, our outside game opened up our inside game and we were rolling from there.”

Indeed, the Tigers ended up starting the half with an 18-0 run and held off a late Penn rally to pull out a 56-45 win before a Jadwin Gym crowd of 1,202.

The victory improved Princeton to 12-3 overall and 1-0 in Ivy play and sent the Tigers into their 20-day exam break on a high note.

In reflecting on the win, Micir acknowledged that she assumed leadership responsibility by trying to calm her teammates down. “I have done what I have done the whole time,” said Micir, who ended the evening with a game-high 18 points. “It could be anyone on the floor, whoever is willing to do it that game will do it.”

With sophomore star Niveen Rasheed sidelined indefinitely due to a knee injury, Micir knows that the Tigers have to step up collectively.

“Clearly Niveen is a big loss for on the court purposes, but I think we are all good players and I think we know we are a good team with her and without her,” said Micir.

“She is still in it; she stays vocal on the sidelines and then we have everybody on the court ready to pick each other up.”

Getting picked up by her teammates helped Micir pass a career milestone last week in a win over LaSalle as she hit the 1,000-point mark in her Tiger career.

“It was really special; it was a really cool moment and we had a lot of friends and family there,” said Micir, who is averaging a career-high 13.1 points a game this season and now has 1,033 points.

“I didn’t realize that there were only 17 others at that point to do it so it is pretty special. You don’t really get that without having good teammates to get you the ball with the style I play. So it was a pretty good moment not just for me but for the program.”

Princeton head coach Banghart acknowledged that her team had some dicey moments in the first half.

“I thought Penn played hard and I thought we were out of sync entirely,” said Banghart. “We were looking for the easy, quick fix as opposed to really digging in for the entire possessions.”

At halftime, Banghart implored her players to just be themselves. “The message was figure out your reads and stay in the possession longer,” added Banghart.

“To be honest, we said be who you are and that’s individually. If you are a post-up player, post up. If you are a penetrator, don’t get too deep and penetrate to finish or penetrate and kick. If you are a shooter, use your legs. So it was a little bit of everything in terms of getting them back on track individually and collectively.”

The presence of the battle-tested veteran Micir helped to get Princeton back on track.

“I am sure the rest of the league is wondering when she is going to leave; she has led us in minutes every year that she has been here,” said Banghart of Micir who was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week for her efforts against Penn and LaSalle.

“I think she has the resolve of a senior, of knowing this is her last home game against Penn and the next game is going to be her last game at Brown. That’s the way she is going to play. As I said in the locker room, I am glad she was on our team tonight.”

Banghart was glad to see her team open its league campaign with a victory. “The first thing I said is that so far that is one,” said Banghart, who has guided Princeton to 20 straight wins in Ivy play with the Tigers going 14-0 last season on the way to the league crown.

“We are just going to try to get one at a time and if we run into a roadblock, we’ll just try for the next one. Every Ivy game is going to be a battle.

The Tigers will look to steel themselves for the league battles ahead over the exam break.

“I think the kids are mentally ready to be on that break and moving on,” said Banghart, whose team is next in action when it plays at Brown on January 28 and at Yale the next day.

“I think the 20-day break allows you to get healthy. I think it also allows you to reset your focus on the kinks that we need to make in order to get better.”

Micir, for her part, is aiming to make the most of the respite before she begins her final league push.

“We rest ourselves physically but we still work on our games,” said Micir. “We scout ourselves a little bit. We’ll watch film and figure out what we need to work on.”

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