Thursday, January 13, 2022

Tigers vs. Tigers

So how many teams has the Princeton women's basketball team played who were also nicknamed "Tigers?"

Obviously one of them was last night, when Princeton hosted Towson. How many other Tigers have there been?

The answer is two. Can you name them? TigerBlog will give you a chance to figure it out.

Had TB spent all of this time at one of the other "Tiger" schools, he could still have been referring to himself as "TigerBlog." In fact, he did a quick search yesterday and found there were a few others who wrote their own TigerBlogs, though none of them have done so in recent years and none of them stuck with it for more than a few entries.

One of them was from East Texas Baptist University, which had a few entries before TB started doing this here every day. Here's what was one entry from 2007:

One of the toughest parts of being an SID is the need to try and make everything seem positive with every bit of news released out of the department. No matter how bad the news may be, the good SID will always, always be able to put a good spin on it.

He was spot on there.  

It appears there are 72 four-year colleges who have the nickname "Tigers." The first of those 72, by the way, was Princeton, back in the 1880s. 

The only more common nicknames among four-year colleges are Eagles (118) and Hawks (106). As for the other Tigers that Princeton has played in addition to Towson, it has been Missouri and Pacific.

Princeton is 1-1 against Missouri (loss in 1998, win in 2019) and 0-1 against Pacific (loss in 1996).

As for Towson, Princeton is now 3-1 against those Tigers after the 68-54 win last night. Abby Meyers led Princeton with 18 points - her average - and Kaitlyn Chen had a huge game with 14 points (12 in the fourth quarter), five rebounds and seven assists.

It was the kind of game Tiger, er, Princeton head coach Carla Berube loves, one where her team held the opponent way, way, way below its season average. In the case of Towson, the season average prior to last night was 80 (or, to be exact, 79.6). All of those points, coupled with the fact that Towson allowed only 58 per game, led to an 11-1 record for Towson heading into Jadwin - which made the win 1) even more impressive and 2) an important one for a potential NCAA at-large bid, as Towson's NET was 71.

There was an extraordinary graphic during the ESPN+ broadcast (another great performance from Jon Mozes and Dei Lynam) that pointed out that in each of the last eight seasons, Berube's teams have allowed few than 50 points per game. That's ridiculous. 

The two words that Mozes said most were "tough shot," and that's how it was - every shot was defended. Nothing came easily. The No. 1 thing you need to play great defense is effort, and Princeton certainly gives it every time the ball is on its side of the court.

When you defend like that, you can weather rough shooting nights and scoreless stretches in ways you can't if your game is trading baskets. When you grab offensive rebounds the way Princeton can (18 last night), it makes you even better. 

The game was tight through three quarters, which ended with the Tigers (the visiting ones) up 41-40. Princeton used a 13-0 run to built the lead to 12, but it was a bit shaky after both Grace Stone and Ellie Mitchell fouled out. 

Considering that in the last game played on that court, Princeton's men rallied from 18 down in the second half to win, and considering that Towson cut a 12-point deficit to five after Mitchell fouled out, this one was never really comfortable until Towson missed some big free throws and the Tigers built it back to double figures.

Princeton has little time to reflect on what happened against the Tigers last night, since there are Bears and Quakers on the immediate horizon. The game last night is followed by two road trips this weekend, to Brown Saturday (4) and then to Penn Monday (2) in a Martin Luther King Day matinee.

There are currently three Ivy unbeaten teams: Princeton (2-0) and Columbia and Penn (both 1-0). 

1 comment:

George Clark said...

Actually, the Tigers (the home ones) held the third quarter lead. Minor point. Another great edition of Tigerblog. I pay special attention to the basketball write-ups.
I think this defensive effort ranks among Berube's best, the 54 point yield notwithstanding. Stay safe.