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PRINCETON, NJ(SMI-WOMEN-SPORTS-UNIVERSITY-MARCH-10-12, 2023)-The Princeton women's basketball team defeated Harvard 54-48, in the 2023 Ivy League championship final game, winning its fourth Ivy Madness title and punched its ticket to NCAA tournament for the second straight year at Jadwin Gym, Princeton University.
With the win, the Tigers earned its 2nd NCAA tournament participation under head coach Carla Berube and 10th overall in school program history.
Both teams battled and traded baskets back-and -forth during the first 6-minute of the first period, keeping the game score very close and Princeton leading 14-13, with 03:46 left in the first frame.Then Kaitlyn Chen scored 4-consecutive free throws to make it 18-15, for Princeton at the end of the first frame.
In the second quarter with the game tied 21-21, and 05:38 remaining in clock, Katie Krupa scored two consecutive layup to start a 11-2, run for Harvard, while Mackenzie Forbes netted back-to back buckets and Lola Mullaney hit a triple with time running out to send both teams to the locker-rooms with the Crimson leading 32-23, at the half.
After Princeton's guard Julia Cunningham opened the third quarter with a triple,
Harvard went in a 7-2, spurt with Elena Rodriguez leading the attack with jumper and Mckenzie Forbes adding 5-points with couple free throws and 3-pointers from outside of the arc to put the Crimson in front 39-28, with 07:48 left in the frame.
The Tigers answered back with 9-3, run of their own with Chen leading the attack with the triple, Grace Stone had couple FTs, Ellie Mitchell netting a bucket from inside the paint and Julia Cunningham scoring with a jumper to closed out the third period 44-37, in favor of Harvard.
In the final quarter, Princeton went on 10-4, spurt consuming 9-minute of the clock to overcome the lead for the first time since the first period of 49-48, over Harvard with 00:50' left in the game.
Ellie Mitchell led the attack with a layup and Maggie Connolly followed with a triple with the assist of Mitchell to cut the deficit by two 44-42, with 08:15 left in the game. Then Kaitlyn Chen hit 4-consecutive FTs while Ellie Mitchell scored a bucket with layout from inside the paint to put the Tigers in front 49-48, sending the crowd wild with 00:50' remaining in the game.
With 00:37' left in the game clock, Ellie Mitchell and Madison St Rose comb ined for 5-straight free throws to sealed the victory for Princeton of 54-48, over Harvard and the 2023 Ivy League Madness Crown.
Princeton were led by Kaitlyn Chen with 21 points including 2-triple from outside the arc. Ellie Mitchell added 10-points while Julia Cunningham contributed with 9 points in the victory.
The Tigers will face #7 Seed NC State in the first round of the NCAA next Friday March 17, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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