NEW YORK -- Seniors Lauren Dwyer and Kathleen Barry each scored in double figures in their final game at Levien Gymnasium, but it was not enough as Ivy League-leading Princeton downed the Columbia women's basketball team, 65-52, on Saturday evening.
Dwyer led the Lions with 12 points, while Barry added 11 and five rebounds. Junior Melissa Shafer was the third Columbia player to reach double figures with 10 points on the night. Addie Micir led the Tigers with 17 points, while Kate Miller chipped in with 13 for the victors.
Princeton asserted itself on the glass early on in the contest, grabbing 15 of the game's first 17 boards which included nine on the offensive end. Two free throws by Princeton's Krystal Hill gave the Tigers a 17-10 lead midway through the opening period.
The Lions would stay aggressive at the offensive end and hit four straight free throws to cut the deficit to four at the 7:58 mark. But the Tigers came back with back-to-back three-pointers by Micir and Laura Johnson to spark an 8-0 spurt that extended the advantage to 25-14 with 5:26 left to play in the opening half.
Columbia would claw its way back into the game thanks to its two seniors. Dwyer converted on a three-point play to put the margin back into single digits, and a bucket by Barry and another from Dwyer cut it to 27-23 with 2:49 left. Princeton closed out the first period by scoring five of the final six points to put the score at 32-24 at intermission.
The second half would start inauspiciously for the home team, as Princeton would extend its lead to 17 midway through the first half. A three by Johnson bumped the cushion up to 20 before the Lions mounted one final charge.
Shafer knocked down a three, then stole the ball from Johnson and converted a short bank shot for a personal 5-0 run. Two free throws by Barry put the score at 56-43 with six minutes left and the Lions were within striking distance. But Princeton proved to be too tough down the stretch and held off every Columbia attack.
Columbia will hit the road for its final two contests of the season, beginning with a contest at Yale on Friday, Mar. 4.
NOTES: Dwyer and Barry were honored prior to the game, and Barry was also recognized for being named a first team Academic All-American by CoSIDA this week...Princeton closed the game with a 36-29 edge on the boards, but the Lions outboarded the Tigers 16-13 over the final 20 minutes...Tyler Simpson started her second straight game and finished with eight poitns and a team-high seven rebounds...Shafer, first-year Brianna Orlich and first-year Courtney Bradford each closed with two steals.