No. 24 Princeton wins Ivy tournament, beats Columbia 77-59

Mar 12, 2022, 2:12 AM | Updated: 4:28 pm
Princeton guard Kaitlyn Chen (20) drives past Columbia guard Abbey Hsu (35) during the first half o...

Princeton guard Kaitlyn Chen (20) drives past Columbia guard Abbey Hsu (35) during the first half of an NCAA Ivy League women's college basketball championship game, Saturday, March 12, 2022, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

(AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Kaitlyn Chen scored a career-high 30 points and No. 24 Princeton beat Columbia 77-59 on Saturday to win the Ivy League tournament, earning the league’s automatic bid to the NCAAs.

This will be the first time since the 2019 season that an Ivy League team will play in the NCAAs. The 2020 NCAA Tournament was called because of the coronavirus and the Ivy League decided not to have sports last year because of the ongoing pandemic.

“It’s pretty surreal. This time last year I was sitting at home watching everyone else enjoy these moments,” Princeton coach Carla Berube said. “We came back so grateful to be back together. Be at practice, be on the bus, team meals, It’s so much fun being with this group. So proud of this championship and look forward to us keep playing.”

It’s the ninth time since 2010 that the Tigers have made the NCAA Tournament. Columbia was looking for its first-ever trip to the NCAAs.

The game was tied at 16 after one quarter before Princeton (24-4) got going in the second. The Tigers, who have won 17 consecutives games, held the Lions (22-6) without a field goal for the final 8:10 before the half, outscoring them 21-9 in the quarter to go up 37-25 at the break. Columbia missed its final five shots and had six turnovers after Kitty Henderson’s basket had given the Lions a 23-22 lead.

Chen had 13 points in the first half, making five of her six shots.

The Lions got within 39-32 early in the third quarter before Princeton scored 10 straight points to go up by 17. Columbia made one more push, getting within 59-51 nearly 3 minutes into the fourth quarter before Chen hit a layup and had a nifty pass for another lay-in to restore the double-digit lead and basically seal the win.

Even with the loss, the Lions have had a historic season. Columbia had the most wins in program history with 22, including a school-record 12 in the Ivy League.

Abbey Hsu scored 16 points to lead the Lions.

___

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No. 24 Princeton wins Ivy tournament, beats Columbia 77-59