NEW YORK — Any hope that the latest challenger had in loosening the four-year old vise grip that Princeton has had at the top of the Ivy League was extinguished in the final five minutes of the first quarter on Wednesday evening.
Kaitlyn Chen scored 21 first-half points, and her first-quarter three-pointer at the 3:47 mark of the first quarter ignited a quarter-ending 14-0 during the Tigers’ 73-53 victory over Columbia in a Broadway showdown of the top two teams in the Ivy League. Grace Stone added 19 points — 13 in the first half — as Princeton clinched a share of its fourth consecutive Ivy League regular-season title and won its 38th consecutive game against Ivy League competition.
The Tigers (20-4, 12-0 Ivy) started out hot, making 11 of their 19 shots from the floor and hitting as many three-pointers (four) in the game’s first 10 minutes than the Lions made total field goals. Stone scored 10 of Princeton’s first 12 points on her way to 13 in the quarter.
Chen’s two free throws 20 seconds into the second quarter gave Princeton a 20-point lead, and the lead grew to as much as 30 points after a Chen jumper gave the Tigers a 43-13 lead with 4:11 remaining in the second quarter.
Columbia made one final push to keep the competitive nature of the game alive, going on 23-8 run spanning the second and third quarters to cut the Tigers lead to 51-36, the run ending on a Kitty Henderson layup with 2:40 remaining in the quarter.
Columbia (19-5, 10-2 Ivy League), which already clinched a spot in the four-team Ivy League Tournament in Cambridge in two weeks, suffered just its second loss since Dec. 12, with both coming against Princeton. Kaitlyn Davis led the Lions with 17 points while the team’s leading scorer, Abbey Hsu, chipped in with 13 points. Guard Jaida Patrick, who has scored in double figures in six consecutive games before last weekend, was held to six points on 2-of-14 shooting from the field.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Wednesday’s game, with all photos taken by ALOST photographer Jenny Rohl. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 15 pictures in total.