March 18, 2023

PU Women’s Hoops Tops NC State 64-63 in First Round of NCAA Tournament

By Bill Alden

Winning a NCAA tournament game for the second straight year, the 10th-seeded Princeton University women’s basketball team rallied to a 64-63 victory over seventh-seeded N.C. State Friday night in Salt Lake City, Utah in a first-round contest.

Senior star Grace Stone drained a three-pointer from the corner with 4.7 seconds left in regulation to provide the margin of victory as the Tigers came back from a 63-55 deficit with 5:44 remaining in the fourth quarter. Princeton, now 24-5, will host face host and second seeded Utah (26-4) in a second-round contest on Sunday night.

The Tigers, who had upset Kentucky in the first round of the 2022 NCAA tourney, made it a historic weekend for Princeton and Ivy League basketball. With the 15th-seeded Tiger men having rallied to shock second-seeded Arizona 59-55 a day earlier in an NCAA opening round game, it marked the first time ever that two Ivy teams have advanced to the second round of the tournament in the same year.

 “I am just so thrilled with that win; I mean, that is what it is about at this time — getting wins,” said Princeton head coach Carla Berube, who got 22 points from both Stone and junior guard Kaitlyn Chen in the win. “We certainly didn’t play a great 40 minutes of basketball, but we made the plays we needed to down the stretch. The defense came up big. We made really big shots when we needed to. We had to grind it out and get gritty and just make the plays and make the shots.”