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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — It was close to midnight when the Princeton women’s basketball team completed one of the first major upsets of the NCAA Tournament by defeating North Carolina State on Friday night.
Twitter was wide awake and so was former Princeton star Abby Meyers. She could not take her eyes off the game.
Meyers, now a graduate student guard at the University of Maryland had won an NCAA Tournament game of her own earlier that afternoon, was glued to the screen from the beginning when her former teammate Grace Stone nailed a 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left.
Junior guard Kaitlyn Chen rolled off a ball-screen set by Julia Cunningham and found Stone open for the shot that sent Princeton’s bench – and Meyers from afar – into a frenzy.
“I was going crazy,” Meyers said. “I was in a group chat with all the Princeton alums from Niveen Rasheed to the early 2000s days and just FaceTiming and going crazy.”
She was overwhelmed with excitement watching her former squad advance in such dramatic fashion to the second round of the tournament where it’ll face No. 2 Utah on Sunday in Salt Lake City. Meyers called Stone “one of the best defenders I’ve ever played with.”
“She makes big shots in big moments,” Meyers said of the Princeton senior. “I remember last year in the tournament she made big shots against Indiana as well. She will always give you her best game and it showed last night. I was so pumped when she made that 3.”
Coach Carla Berube’s first season – one that was set up for a potential second-weekend run – was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ivy League canceled the next season. The Tigers didn’t miss a beat and won the Ivy Tournament in back-to-back seasons and earned an upset victory as a No. 11 seed over Kentucky last year before losing to Indiana by one in the Round of 32.
“She knows what it takes to win a national championship having been on a team with Geno (Auriemma),” Meyers said. “She’s such a composed coach but she’ll let you know what she’s feeling and she’s transparent with you. I think the best thing about her is that she’s honest.”
Meyers misses the atmosphere and culture of playing inside Jadwin Gymnasium. She’s proud of what her team accomplished during her four years there.
She was named to the All-Ivy team multiple times throughout her career and was the Ivy League Player of the Year in 2022. Her Maryland Terrapins are the No. 2 seed in the tournament and face No. 7 Arizona on Sunday.
As of Saturday morning, Princeton and Maryland are the only two teams in the country whose men’s and women’s basketball teams had advanced to the Round of 32.
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