‘Disappointed, but proud’: Princeton celebrates women’s basketball team after loss in tournament

Princeton forward Ellie Mitchell (00) and Indiana forward Aleksa Gulbe (10) reach for the ball as they go for a long rebound in the second half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Bloomington, Ind., Monday, March 21, 2022. Indiana defeated Princeton 56-55. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Princeton forward Ellie Mitchell (00) and Indiana forward Aleksa Gulbe (10) reach for the ball as they go for a long rebound in the second half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Bloomington, Ind., Monday, March 21, 2022. Indiana defeated Princeton 56-55. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The Princeton University women’s basketball team gave Indiana all they could Monday night. The Tigers lost to the Hoosiers 56-55 in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Nonetheless, students on Princeton’s campus were proud of what the team accomplished this year.

“I’m really glad that the women’s basketball team was able to make it that far,” said Eden Teshome. “I’m a little disappointed, but also really proud of how the team did.”

Admittedly, she is not into sports, but heard about the season through friends who are into basketball. For Teshome, it’s about school pride.

“I hope they do as well or even better next season,” she added.

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The Tigers had a four-point lead during the first quarter. But the Hoosiers tied the game going into the second quarter and started to pull away. Princeton tried to make a comeback, scoring more than Indiana in the second half, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer by guard Abby Meyers. But the Tigers fell one point shy in going to the Sweet 16.

“I think they fought really hard, so did the other team,” said Kyla Sears, a history major, who added it came down to the wire.

The season has already been a successful one for the women’s team. They are the first team in Ivy League history to secure consecutive undefeated seasons, securing the regular season and tournament championships in the process. The team entered the AP Top 25 Poll for the first time in two years.

This year also saw the team achieve its second NCAA tournament win ever, defeating the Kentucky Wildcats, winners of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, 69-62, on Saturday. Had the Tigers beat Indiana, they would have been the first Ivy League team to reach the Sweet 16.

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Michael Dickman, who teaches creative writing at Princeton, described the loss to the Hoosiers as “heartbreaking.” At the same time, he was “proud” at what the team accomplished.

“I think if you play the way that team plays, you can’t really be disappointed in them,” he said.

Sears praised what she called a historic season, especially after the 2020-21 season was canceled due rising COVID-19 cases at the time.

“They came back, not having any games for a whole year, and having such success over this period and then still play [the] tournament, having not been in it for so long, I think it’s pretty amazing,” she said.

While the Tigers are now back in New Jersey, Indiana continues on to the Sweet 16. The Hoosiers are scheduled to face the Connecticut Huskies on Saturday. The Huskies are considered a Final Four mainstay, reaching that stage every year since 2008.

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