Kansas State swats Princeton 67-64
Tigers sent home in first round for third year in a row
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Kansas State’s Branshea Brown picked a good day to have a career game.
The senior forward scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Wildcats past Princeton 67-64 Saturday in the first round of the women’s NCAA tournament.
Janala Childs added 15 points for Kansas State (20-13). The eighth seed will play the Prairie View A&M-Connecticut winner in the second round.
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Niveen Rasheed had 20 points, and Lauren Edwards and Devona Allgood each had 15 for Princeton (24-5). The Tigers lost for the first time in 18 games and for the third consecutive year in the first round of the tournament.
The win is the first in the tournament for Kansas State since 2009. The Wildcats have not advanced past the second round since 2004.
K-State led by four points at halftime, but Princeton started the second half on a 10-2 run. A 3-point play by Allgood and a layup by Rasheed gave the Tigers a 37-33 lead and forced a K-State timeout.
The Wildcats quickly regrouped. A layup by Brown capped a 14-4 run over the next 5 minutes and gave Kansas State a 49-43 lead and they pushed that lead to eight.
Lauren Edwards brought the Tigers back to 53-52 on a 3-pointer, but the Wildcats held them off, going to Brown in the paint for key buckets down the stretch.
Princeton, which became the first Ivy League team to be ranked in the AP poll when it was released Monday, was making its third tournament appearance, having won the Ivy League each of the past three seasons.
They lost to St. John’s in 2010 and Georgetown last season.
Rasheed, who missed last year’s NCAA tournament with an ACL injury, looked nervous at the start and turned the ball over on Princeton’s first two possessions. The Tigers didn’t score for almost 4 minutes as Kansas State jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead.
But Princeton responded with a 12-2 run in the next 4 minutes, taking the lead on a 3-point shot from Lauren Edwards and forcing a timeout from K-State. The Wildcats then reeled off the next seven points.
Brown, whose previous career-high was 14 points, had 12 points and six rebounds at halftime, and the Wildcats led 31-27. Childs and Chambers, who each came in averaging around 14 points a game, combined for just 10 points before intermission.
Princeton fell to 0-5 this season when trailing at halftime
Harvard is still the only Ivy League team to win an NCAA tournament game, shocking No. 1 Stanford in the opening round of the 1998 tournament. Princeton assistant Milena Flores was on that Cardinal team.
This is Kansas State’s 13th NCAA tournament appearance and the ninth under Deb Patterson. It’s the third time since 2008 and the second straight season that Kansas State (19-13) has been shipped to Connecticut. The Wildcats were in Storrs last year as an eight-seed and lost to Purdue in the opening round. Kansas State also played in Bridgeport in 2008.
Kansas State finished the season tied for fourth place in the Big 12 after being picked to finish ninth. The Wildcats played one of the nation’s tougher schedules, facing 11 teams that are in this year’s tournament. But they had lost four of their last five games heading into the tournament.