Friday, December 17, 2010

13 in ’10?

TigerBlog saw the original version of "Friday the 13th" in the old Pond Road movie theater back in 1980. In fictional terms, the scene at the end where Jason comes out of the lake is as scary as anything TB has ever seen, up there with anything from "Silence of the Lambs" or "The Hitcher."

Perhaps it was that scene that started TB down the path of a mistrust for the number 13. Maybe not complete Triskaidekaphobia. Still, something close to that.

For instance, TB's shoe size is 13.5, and yet he prefers to wear size 14s, even if they're a bit loose, unless they're too loose, in which case he wears the 13.5s.

If he's reading a book, TB will never stop in the middle of chapter 13. In fact, he's happier when he's finished not only chapter 13 but also 14, since until that point, he's read 13.something chapters of the book.

Still, he was okay when TigerBlog Jr. wanted to wear No. 13 in lacrosse one year, something he wanted to do because Trevor Tierney had worn the number at Princeton.

See, it's more of a mild case of triskaidekaphobia.

There's definitely something haunting about the number 13. Just not debilitating.

And really, TB doesn't consider himself to be superstitious by nature, though he is somewhat cautious about tempting fate. Still, that could be attributed to his profession, in which it's usually better to write cautiously, not because the "Gods" may be offended but because the opponent might be.

All of which brings us to tonight's women's basketball game against Drexel tonight at 7 at Jadwin Gym.

The Princeton women have a chance to do something tonight that they've never done in program history - complete a perfect calendar year at home.

Princeton's women are 12-0 at home in 2010, and so now TB is battling 1) what Bill Carmody used to call "The Whammy" and 2) the power of the number 13.

Princeton's 2010 home numbers are awesome.

The Tigers have won those 12 games by an average of 24.2 points per game. Every single one of those games has been a double figures win.

There have been five wins by at least 30 points, including two by at least 40.

Still, tonight's game will not be an easy one.

Drexel brings a 6-1 record to Jadwin, and in its most recent game, pasted Seton Hall 66-43 to go 2-0 against the Big East, including an earlier win over Villanova. The Dragons have also beaten Philadelphia rivals La Salle, St. Joe's and Penn (by 31), and they also own a win over Tulsa.

The only loss for Drexel to this point was in its only previous trip out of the city, and that was a nine-point loss at ACC-power Virginia.

Want to know where the game might be decided? Three-point shooting.

Princeton ranks sixth in Division I in three-point shooting percentage at just below 40%, which leaves the Tigers four spots behind the Dragons and their 45.2% team shooting from beyond the arc.

Drexel's two leading scorers - Kamile Nacickaite and Jasmina Rosseel - are a combined 41 for 92 from three-point range. They're the only two Dragon players who average in double figures.

Princeton, on the other hand, has been holding its opponents to 31.6% three-point shooting.

Of course, when a game figures to come down to something obvious, it never does.

Either way, it figures to be a pretty good test for both teams.

Drexel won 18 games a year ago and reached the WNIT; Princeton won 26 and played in the NCAA tournament, the preferred destination for both this season.

But all that is for 2011. This, for Princeton, is the final home game of 2010, and a chance to do something no other Princeton team has done before.

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