Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Highly Accomplished

Courtney Banghart went 4-10 in the Ivy League in her first year as Princeton's head women's basketball coach.

She went 9-5 the next year, leaving her 13-15 for her first two years.

When Princeton defeated Brown Saturday night in Providence, Banghart reached her 100th Ivy League win at Princeton. How many losses does she have?

Well, her record is now 100-21. That makes her 87-6 in her last 93. Actually, going back to the end of her second year, she's really 92-6 in her last 98 Ivy games.

Ninety-two and six.

That, TigerBlog suggests, is nuts.

Yes, TigerBlog mentioned that yesterday. It's such an impressive stat that he wanted to mention it again.

Compare Banghart's record with another Princeton coach. This coach was 2-10 in his first 12 Ivy games. He then went 68-5 in his next 73.

Any guesses on who that coach was? TigerBlog will give you a few paragraphs to think about.

By the way, no Ivy League basketball coach - men's or women's - has come close to winning 87 of 93 league games.

Bill Carmody had a great four-year run at Princeton, going 50-6. To equal what Banghart has going now, he would have had to win his next 42 straight had he stayed at Princeton. Butch van Breda Kolff's best run with six losses was 46-6.

Again, what Courtney has done is ridiculous.

Oh, the other Princeton coach TigerBlog referenced above? Bill Tierney.

Anyway, that's a little more on Courtney's accomplishment.

For another accomplishment, there's Cecilia Barowski of the women's track and field team. This past weekend at the Princeton Invitational, Barowski ran a 2:04.66 for the 800.

That just happens to be the third-fastest time in the nation this indoor season.

Barowski has been an indoor and outdoor Heps champ, most recently the indoor 800 last winter. She went on to be an outdoor All-America in the 800 as well and holds two individual school records while being part of five school-record-setting relays.

This is indoor Heps week, as the Ivy League championships will be held at Cornell Saturday and Sunday.

Also later this week will be the ECAC women's hockey quarterfinals at Baker Rink.

Princeton, the Ivy League champ, is the third seed in the ECAC tournament and will host St. Lawrence in a best-of-three beginning Friday.

Game times are 3 Friday, 3 Saturday and 2 Sunday if necessary. Admission is free.


If you haven't been to women's hockey this year, make sure you get out there. The team has been fun to watch and is having a great year.

The first goal, TB surmises, is to win the Ivy title in women's hockey. Done.

The second goal? A home playoff series. Done.

This has put Princeton in position to achieve some of its bigger goals, and the biggest goal of all, a spot in the NCAA tournament. Princeton has been there once, in 2006.

The current Tigers have tied the school record for wins in a season with 21, and they bring a record of 21-6-2 into the postseason. Princeton went 14-6-2 in the ECAC, finishing behind Quinnipiac and Clarkson.

Should Princeton beat St. Lawrence, it would probably get Clarkson (who plays RPI) in the semifinals (single elimination).

TB doesn't know a lot about it, but he's guessing that a win over St. Lawrence and then a loss to Clarkson puts Princeton right on the bubble. Beating both and reaching the final probably makes Princeton an NCAA lock.

Before Princeton can think about any of that, it has to get past St. Lawrence. The teams split their regular season games, each with a win at home, by one goal. So yeah, it won't be easy.

A good crowd at Baker would help. Did TB mention that it's free?

So those are the accomplishments of Courtney, Cecilia Barowski and the women's hockey team.

One more from this weekend - the women's lacrosse team opened its season against Virginia, who came to Sherrerd Field ranked fourth after a big win over Northwestern. Princeton was playing its first game, though you couldn't tell by the weather, which was much more April or May than February.

So was Princeton.

The Tigers defeated UVa 14-7, as nine different players scored at last once. Actually, if you couple that with the men, then 21 different Princeton lacrosse players scored at least once on opening weekend.

The key moment in the game was just before the end of the first half. The game was tied at 5-5 when Stephanie Polascio scored with nine seconds left in the half. Princeton then won the draw, and Elizabeth George just beat the buzzer, making it 7-5 at the break.

It was 7-2 Princeton in the second half.

The Tigers are at Drexel tomorrow night and then home with Georgetown Saturday. The Ivy season starts the following weekend, when Dartmouth is here.

Ah, crossover season is here. Hopefully this one stretches out for awhile, with some postseason rewards for regular season accomplishments.

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