College Park, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Michelle Miller had 20 points and Annie Tarakchian notched a double-double with 19 points and 17 rebounds, as the eighth-seeded Princeton Tigers outlasted the No. 9 seed Green Bay Phoenix, 80-70, in the first round of the NCAA Women's Tournament at the XFINITY Center.
Alex Wheatley also notched a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards for the unbeaten Tigers (31-0). They will await the winner of Saturday afternoon's matchup between top-seeded Maryland and No. 16 seed New Mexico State in the second round of the Spokane Region. Blake Dietrick and Vanessa Smith each scored 11 in the victory.
The Phoenix (28-5) held a 22-6 edge in points off turnovers for the game, but they were also out-rebounded by a huge 49-22 margin. Mehryn Kraker led all scorers with 21 points in a losing effort. Kaili Lukan and Tesha Buck rounded out the players in double figures with 17 and 14 points, respectively.
Princeton hit six of its first eight 3-point attempts to grab the early lead. But the Phoenix put together a 13-2 spurt to take a 35-34 lead into the break.
The Tigers had the hot hand in the second half, however, as they went on a 15-3 run to break a 45-45 tie and seize control with nine minutes remaining. Green Bay cut a 12-point deficit down to four in the final two minutes, but Princeton closed the door by hitting 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch.
The Tigers, who lead the nation in 3-point shooting, were 9-of-16 from the perimeter (.563). President Barack Obama was in attendance courtside.