Story and photo courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- In a game that saw six lead changes and the score tied at eight different points, it was the No. 24 Princeton women's basketball team who was edged by eight-seed Kansas State 67-64 in the NCAA Tournament First Round. The loss marked Princeton's first since mid-December, ending its 17-game winning streak. The nine-seed Tigers conclude the 2011-12 season at 24-5 overall, 14-0 Ivy League.
Princeton opened up action unsettled, allowing K-State to go on a 5-0 run, before Kate Miller added consecutive baskets.
Down by one, 5-4, Lauren Edwards connected on a three-pointer from the soft corner to establish Princeton's first lead at 14:03. Niveen Rasheed then added back-to-back three's to begin a Tiger push, 12-7.
Rasheed led the Princeton offense with 20 points, while adding nine rebounds, six assists and a steal in 37 minutes.
Despite Princeton's rally, the Wildcats worked their way back in to retake the lead, 12-14, at 9:41. Senior Devona Allgood was there with an immediate response and evened things up with a hook jumper. Allgood and Nicole Hung combined for a 6-2 Tiger run over the next two minutes, but it was not enough to decisively swing the game momentum in favor of Princeton.
Down the stretch, the lead would teeter between both sides. For every Kansas State rally, Princeton would be there to respond with one of its own. With 40 seconds remaining in the first half, Edwards made it a one-point game, 28-27, before Chantay Caron struck back with a three-pointer to send K-State into the break with a 31-27 advantage.
Allgood opened up the second half with five points to make it a 35-33 game in favor of Princeton at 17:39. She was critical in the post for the Tigers, finishing with her first double-double of the year behind 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Princeton would go on a 10-0 run to open the half, but the Tigers could not capitalize on its rally to create a strong enough push. Kansas State countered with a 4-0 run to even the game 39-39 at 14:26. The Wildcats controlled the game heading inside the final 10 minutes of play, establishing their highest lead, 53-45, at 8:19 off a Jalana Childs basket.
At 7:55, Edwards set up a 7-0 Tiger run to make it a one-possession game, 53-52. Princeton would come within grasping the lead, but K-State rattled back with a 7-4 spurt to hold a 60-56 lead with 4:50 to play. The Wildcats managed to control the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.
In the final game of her career, Edwards scored 15 points,
including a pair of three-pointers.
Kansas State shot 46.3 percent (25-for-54) from the field to Princeton's 42.6 percent (26-for-61).
The Tigers held the rebounding margin, 40-29, but K-State forced 14 Princeton turnovers, which they converted into 21 points.