Friday, March 1, 2019

The Weekend Rush

Here are three things about women's basketball senior Gabrielle Rush that TigerBlog didn't realize until he looked at her career stats yesterday:

* she had never started a game in her career until this season
* she has nearly matched her three-year career total of minutes this season
* she has a real chance at Princeton's single-season record for three-pointers

TigerBlog was surprised by all three of those. He also wishes he had a way to look up interesting facts, like what's the most points a player who never started a game her first three years has scored for her career.

Rush, despite averaging 15 minutes a game for her first three seasons, is closing in 800 career points. For her first three years, she was a strong force off the bench as a three-point shooter; as a senior, she has averaged 34 minutes per game and raised her all-around game. She shoots every shot with obvious confidence, and she has made some big ones this year.

Rush is now eighth all-time in three-point shots made in a career in Princeton women's basketball history and has an outside shot at getting to 200 three-pointers for her career, depending on how many more games Princeton has to play.

She also has 75 on the season, which leaves her in pretty elite company in program history. Those 75 have her in fifth place, trailing Blake Dietrick by one for fourth, current assistant coach Addie Micir by two for third and then only Sandi Bittler Leland for second (84) and first (89).

There are four games left in the regular season, beginning with a home weekend tonight (6) and tomorrow (5) against Dartmouth and Harvard. Should Rush reach her average of three made three's per game, she'd have 12 more before the Ivy League tournament, which would leave her just two away from Bittler Leland's best season, her senior year of 1989-90.

That's pretty impressive stuff.

Rush did what she does in the 68-53 win over Penn Tuesday night at the Palestra. She put up 13 points, giving Princeton another scoring complement to Bella Alarie (who had 33 in the game), and made three three's. She also went 39 minutes.

That win moved Princeton and Penn into a tie for first at 8-2, one game ahead of Harvard at 7-3. Dartmouth and Yale are both 5-5 and tied for the fourth spot at the Ivy League tournament, which is two weeks away.

Princeton would clinch a spot in the tournament with a win over Dartmouth, as well as a bunch of other scenarios. The Tigers, though, are focusing on the championship and No. 1 seed heading into the tournament at New Haven.

The race for first, by the way, is an exciting one, as Princeton, Penn and Harvard all are assured of at least a share of the championship should they win out.

The Princeton men also are in the same situation. Princeton is 7-3 in the league, one game back of Yale and tied with Harvard, two of the four remaining teams on the schedule, beginning this weekend at Dartmouth and Harvard. Should Princeton win out, it would mean no worse than a share of the championship as well.

Yale knows that if it wins out, it wins the outright championship. Harvard cannot win even a share of the title without another Yale loss.

TigerBlog is pretty sure the men can clinch their playoff spot tonight with a win over Dartmouth and a Yale win over Cornell, which would give Princeton eight wins, which would then be the most Cornell (now 5-5) would be able to get and the most games Penn would be able to get (the Quakers are 4-6 and need to win out to get to 8-6). Princeton has swept its two games from Cornell and Penn, and TB is almost positive that Princeton would win any multi-team tiebreaker with either of those two plus the other three (Yale, Harvard, Brown).

It's a huge weekend in basketball, but that's hardly the only thing on the schedule this weekend.

The women's hockey team hosts St. Lawrence in the best-of-three ECAC quarterfinals, with games tonight at 6 and then tomorrow and Sunday (if necessary) at 3.

There's a lacrosse doubleheader tomorrow on Sherrerd Field, with the men against Johns Hopkins (noon) and the women against Columbia (3).

There's also the Ivy League men's swimming and diving championships and even opening weekend for baseball. You can see the whole schedule HERE.

This time of year there are no quiet weekends around here.

1 comment:

Mike Knorr said...

Gabriel Rush also needs to make 6 more free throws to have the highest free percentage in a career for Princeton women's basketball.