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Reloaded & Reenergized, Women’s Basketball Opens 2013-14 at Rutgers

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 11/07/2013
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Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer
Junior Blake Dietrick and the Tigers will open the year at Rutgers this weekend.
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 Game No. 1: Princeton (0-0) at RV Rutgers (0-0)
Game Info: Sunday, Nov. 10 • 2 p.m.
Location: Piscataway, N.J. • The RACDirectionsParkingTickets
All-Time Series: Rutgers leads 15-4
Princeton record under Banghart: 1-4
Last Meeting: Princeton won 71-55 on Nov. 29, 2012 at Jadwin Gym
Live Media:
Live Stats l AudioVideo ($) @PUTIGERS @PrincetonWBB
About Princeton: Roster Schedule Stats
About Rutgers: Roster Schedule Stats
Game Notes:  Princeton Game NotesRutgers Game Notes

This Week for the Tigers:
• The four-peat Ivy League champion Princeton women’s basketball team will officially kick off the 2013-14 season this Sunday, Nov. 10 at Rutgers.
• Tip off is set for 2 p.m. in Piscataway, N.J. 

A Quick Look at 2012-13:
• The Tigers are coming off a 22-7, 13-1 2012-13 season where they won the Ivy League title for the fourth consecutive year and 11th time in program history.
• Princeton advanced to the NCAA tournament for an unprecedented fourth straight year, falling short to Florida State in the first round.
• During the regular season, Princeton put together an 11-game winning streak spanning Dec. 31, 2012- Feb. 23, 2013.
• The Tigers outscored opponents 2,065-1,537 (+18.2) on the year.

On Deck:
• Princeton will have a week break in play before hosting its home opener versus Marist on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m.
• Two days later the Tigers hit the hardwood at local rival Rider for a 7 p.m. contest.

Get Connected:
• Are you following Princeton on social media? Follow the athletics department at Facebook.com/PrincetonAthletics, Twitter.com/PUTIGERS, Vine.co/PUTIGERS and Instagram.com/PrincetonAthletics.
• To connect with the women’s basketball program, follow @CoachBanghart and @PrincetonWBB. 

Scouting Rutgers:
• Rutgers opens the year following after going 16-14, 7-9 BIG East last season and is receiving votes towards a national ranking in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
• The Scarlet Knights are now a member of the American Athletic Conference and are the first team from the newly formed AAC that the Tigers will face in program history
• RU returns an experienced group of nine, including a pair of starters.
• The squad welcomes three newcomers, including a junior transfer from Illinois in Alexis Burke.
• Betnijah Laney is the top returning player, averaging 9.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last year.
• She was the team’s third-leading scorer, as RU lost its top two offensive performers from a year ago.

All-Time vs. Rutgers:
• The all-time series was established in 1972-73 with Rutgers owning a 15-4 advantage.
• After losing the first four times the two team’s met over head coach Courtney Banghart’s tenure, the Tigers dominated the Scarlet Knights, 71-55, in their last meeting on Nov. 29. 2012 at Jadwin Gym.

Reloaded and Ready:
• Princeton welcomes back 11 letterwinners, including All-Ivy selection Kristen Helmstetter.
• Despite losing four starters, Princeton has three players returning to action in Blake Dietrick, Helmstetter and Hung who all have starting experience.
• The junior class welcomes a pair of players back in Alex Rodgers and Jess Shivers, both missed last year due to injury.
• The five-player sophomore class has blossomed into key cogs in the lineup and will be called upon further to contribute, especially Michelle Miller and Alex Wheatley who saw action in every game last year.
• Adding depth, size and versatility are a trio of freshmen, including 6-4 forward Jackie Reyneke who now claims the Tigers’ tallest player spot on the roster. 

Tabbed to Win Fifth Straight Ivy Title:
• For the fifth consecutive season the Princeton women’s basketball team has been picked to win the Ivy League.
• Coming off their fourth straight conference title, the Tigers earned 130 points and 13 first-place votes in the poll.
• Princeton was not the unanimous choice to win the league, as Harvard garnered 120 points and three first-place votes and Penn picked up 98 points and a first-place vote to round out the top-three.

Briefly the 2013-14 Schedule:
• Princeton will face eight teams that earned postseason berths a year ago, including three teams that advanced to the NCAA tournament and three that played in the WNIT.
• Princeton will host 11 games at Jadwin Gym, beginning with NCAA participant Marist on Sunday, Nov. 17 who is receiving 10 votes in the AP Top 25 and 17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
• Also on the schedule currently receiving votes towards a national ranking is Delaware, with that meeting set for Sunday, Dec. 15 at Jadwin Gym.
• The Ivy League slate begins on Saturday, Jan. 11 at Penn. 

Leaders of the Pack: Seniors Kristen Helmstetter and Nicole Hung were named co-captains for 2013-14.

Rasheed ‘13 Inks Pro Contract:
• The most prolific player in Princeton women’s basketball history, Niveen Rasheed ’13, signed a professional contract to play for Ippokratis Kos of the first division in Kos, Greece.
• Princeton’s first AP All-America, Rasheed carved a new landscape for Ivy League women’s basketball during her career.
• Despite missing half of her sophomore season due to an ACL injury, she concluded her tenure ranked fourth in points with 1,617, among numerous other statistical rankings in the Tigers’ all-time record book.
• The 2012 and 2013 unanimous Ivy Player of the Year and the 2010 Ivy Rookie of the Year, Rasheed was a three-time First-Team All-Ivy selection among garnering numerous national accolades. 

Smith Plays Overseas to Prep for Rookie Campaign:
• Freshman Vanessa Smith was one of eight current and former collegians who went to play in Ukraine with Athletes in Action this past summer.
• The squad played three games, facing the junior and senior national teams and a university team.
• With Athletes in Action, a faith-based organization, the group helped run a youth tournament as part of a service component to their trip.

Former Captain Brown ‘10 Earns Fulbright Scholarship:
• Former Princeton captain Tani Brown ‘10 was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Vietnam for an English Teaching Assistantship, the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced.
• Brown is one of over 1,700 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2013-14 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
• Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential. 

Tigers Establish New Ivy Win Streak:
•Last year the Tigers set a new Ivy League win streak record with 33 consecutive wins spanning the 2010-11 through 2012-13 seasons.
• Harvard previously held the record with 32 straight wins from 1995-96 through 1997-98.
• Fortuitously Princeton snapped the streak with a 56-53 win on Feb. 7, 1998.
• The Crimson countered by snapping the Tigers’ streak on Mar. 1, 2013 in a 58-55 loss. 

Under 50: The Tigers held 12 opponents to 50 points or less last year.

Four-Peat Ivy Champs!:
• Boasting a 54-2 Ivy record the past four years, Princeton called itself the outright Ivy League champion once again in 2013.
• This was the first time an Ivy program has earned four consecutive automatic berths into the NCAA tournament.
• This group was the first since the 1974-78 teams to win four consecutive Ivy titles and first since the double round robin was established. 

Tiger Trailblazers:
• During head coach Courtney Banghart’s tenure at Princeton, the Tigers have established new Ivy League records year-in and year-out.
• They have earned the highest seeds in the NCAA tournament at No. 9 the last two seasons, No. 11 and No. 12, in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
• The squad earned the first-ever national ranking at No. 24 in the 2012 final AP Top 25 Poll and is the first team to advance to four consecutive NCAA tournaments. 

One of the Ivy’s Best:
• The Class of 2013 is tied for the winningest class in Ivy men’s or women’s basketball history.
• Over their four-year run from 2009-10 to 2012-13, last year’s seniors went 54-2 in Ivy play matching only the Penn men’s basketball team’s Class of 1996 (1992-93 to 1995-96). 

Rasheed & Polansky Take Top Ivy Postseason Honors, Four Tigers Recognized:
Niveen Rasheed ’13 was voted the unanimous Ivy Player of the Year for the second straight year.
• Rasheed is only the second Tiger to receive the award, as Addie Micir ’11 earned it first in 2011, and Princeton is the first team to earn three consecutive Player of the Year awards since Penn from 1999-2001.
• Rasheed was also the unanimous 2010 Ivy Rookie of the Year, making her only the second player in Ivy history to earn three postseason awards unanimously.
Lauren Polansky ’13 was named Defensive Player of the Year for the third straight season, and Megan Bowen ’13 and Kristen Helmstetter ’14 earned second-team All-Ivy accolades.
• Polansky is only the second recipient of the Ivy Defensive Player of the Year award over its five-year history.

Scoring Some Buckets:
• Princeton scored 60 points or more in 22 games last year.
• The Tigers scored 70 points or more 16 times; 80 points or more seven times; 90 points or more three times. 

22-Wins or More: Princeton has won 22 or more games the past four years.

Ranked Opponents:
• Princeton’s faced one ranked opponent last year in then-No. 19/22 UCLA.
• The squad also faced teams who were receiving votes towards a national ranking in Rutgers, Delaware and DePaul.
• Princeton was 0-1 versus ranked teams and 1-2 versus receiving votes programs.
• Overall, Princeton’s three losses were by an average of 8.3 points.

Program Points Record:
• Princeton’s 99-point performance at Yale on Feb. 10, 2013 eclipsed a 27-year-old program single-game points record.
• The Tigers’ topped their 97-point record from Jan. 14, 1986 versus Long Island. 

Opponent Low: Princeton held Illinois State to only 23.4 percent (15-for-64) from the field, for a season-best mark in its 67-50 victory on Dec. 19, 2012.

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