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Abby Meers made the most of her last trip to the NCAA tournament by giving Princeton the women’s team is the second victory in history.

She set a career high by scoring 29 points to lead 11th seeded Princeton to victory over No. 69-62 Kentucky on saturday. The Wildcats defeated the Tigers in the opening round of the 2019 tournament.

“We’re all growing up dreaming of playing on this stage in Division I basketball in the NCAA tournament, and for us to finally be here … some of us for the first time, it’s a special moment,” said Player of the Year in the Ivy League.

It was Princeton’s first trip to the NCAA since 2019 after the 2020 tournament was canceled due to a coronavirus pandemic, and the Ivy League decided not to play sports last year. Sophomore Caitlin Chen received a pass and held the final seconds of the watch, she bounced in sync with the ball. Her teammates huddled to the guard on the field, and then the other players of the “Tigers” joined the beep.


Princeton guard Abby Myers (1) hugs Kira Emsbo (left) and guard Nina Young (11) after a college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Bloomington, India, on Saturday, March 19, 2022. Princen defeated Kentucky 69- 62.
(AP Photo / Michael Conroy)

Chen, who added 17 points, said that despite missing last season, he never thought of leaving.

“Honestly, it was a lot of fun to play with this team,” said Chen, the top 100 rookie of the high school that missed the first season. “We always play to have fun because we like to play with each other and we are proud of each other’s success. That’s what makes it so special.”

The Tigers (25-4) won 18 games in a row and never fell behind after the first quarter. In the fourth quarter, they led three times with an advantage of nine points. However, it was a grueling battle to knock out the Wildcats (19-12), who were ranked 10th in a row – and the last three against the AP Top 25.

The Tigers won their second NCAA game in 2015 when they failed to head to the tournament. That same year, they lost to Maryland in the second round.

Princeton scored 60% in the first half. This helped compensate for the 12 turns in the first 20 minutes. The Tigers held on despite missing seven of their last eight shots and going without a bucket, following a 4:37 result.

“It was a battle from start to finish,” Princeton coach Carl Berube said. “They certainly annoyed us a bit in the first half and the first quarter, but I think we got on our feet and you know, did a few games on both ends of the floor.”

Meers have scored 11 of the Tigers ’last 12 points. After the 3-point became 62-54 and remained 4:37, the senior player and player of the year in the Ivy League made 6 of 8 free throws in the final 3:13 – including 5 out of 6 in the final final: 28 – to prevent a return to Kentucky.

It was difficult for both teams to put the ball in the basket at the end. The UK has also missed seven of its last eight shots and has been left without one in the last 4:04.

Three-time American Ryan Howard led Kentucky with 17 points. However, she struggled by going 4-on-14 off the floor. She also scored just three goals in the first half, and it was on a three-pointer at the end of the half, and the break became 32-26.

Dreuna Edwards added 16 points and 12 rebounds, but the junior with the red shirt made just 6 shots out of 15. Kentucky scored just 35.7%.

“I think we just got into the SEC tournament,” Edwards said. Some things didn’t go our way today. We just have to finish on our own. “

The loss is the sharp end of what has been a great turnaround for the past five weeks. After losing eight of nine games earlier this year and being out of the running for the tournament, coach Kira Elsie’s team embarked on a historic run that culminated in the first-ever SEC Tournament title in 40 years.

“I told the players in the locker room, ‘I’m in pain at the moment,'” the second-year coach said. “But when we had a chance to look back, I just told them how much I love them, how proud I am of them. When we were dead in the water, this team could come together and leave, and we did something really special.”

Just like the Tigers, who may stay in Bloomington for another couple of days. They will meet Indiana in the second round match on Monday in hopes of getting their first place in Sweet 16.


Berube and Elsie share the history of women’s basketball. The Elsie team from Tennessee finished the perfect season for Beruba and her teammates from UConn at the 1997 Elite Eight. The silver anniversary of that game is next week.

She told her coaches and staff about this connection.

“Just a little piece,” she said. – No, I do not remember that game.

Nearly 25 years later, Berube was able to take revenge, and Elsie, who seemed to have suffered a heavy loss on Saturday, finally allowed herself to smile when she was told that Berube had said so at her press conference.

Elsie said she hadn’t thought about it before.

“So it’s like a double dagger,” she said.

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