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Junior Mariah Smith
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Women’s Basketball Aims to Carry Momentum into Tuesday Meeting at Rider

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 11/18/2013
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 Game No. 3: Princeton (1-1) at Rider (1-2)
Game Info: Tuesday, Nov. 19 • 7 p.m.
Location: Lawrenceville, N.J. • Alumni Gym •  DirectionsParkingTickets
All-Time Series: Princeton leads 22-8
Princeton record under Banghart: 5-1
Last Meeting: Princeton won 88-42 on Nov. 20, 2012 at Jadwin Gym
Live Media:
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About Princeton: Roster Schedule Stats
About Rider: Roster Schedule Stats
Game Notes:  Princeton Game NotesRider Game Notes

This Week for the Tigers: Two days after earning its first win of the year, the Princeton women’s basketball team (1-1) will head to local rival Rider (1-2) for a 7 p.m. contest on Tuesday, Nov. 19. 

Last Time Out:
• On a memorable afternoon where the program honored the Class of 2013 and held a banner unveiling ceremony, the Tigers earned an 81-58 victory over 2013 NCAA participant Marist on Nov. 17.
• Five players scored in double figures, but it was the defense that commanded the game and held the Red Foxes to 37 percent (20-for-54) from the field and outrebounded them 49-23, including 38 defensive boards. 

On Deck: The Tigers head to Georgetown for a Saturday, Nov. 23 contest in Washington, D.C. at 2 p.m. 

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 the Tigers on Twitter via @CoachBanghart and @PrincetonWBB.

Scouting Rider:
• Rider (1-2) snapped its season-opening two-game skid with a 62-48 victory versus Long Island-Brooklyn on Nov. 14.
• The Bronc offense is led by a pair of double figure scorers in MyNeshia McKenzie (20) and Lashay Banks (11.7).
• McKenzie is averaging a double-double on the year with a team-high 12.0 rebounds per game. 

All-Time versus Rider:
• Princeton owns the all-time series versus Rider, 22-8, including winning the last five meetings, in a series that was established in 1972-73.
 • In the last meeting, Princeton shot nearly 50 percent in its 88-42 victory over Rider on Nov. 20, 2012.
• The Tigers had three players in double figures and were led by Niveen Rasheed’s ’13 double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds). 

At the Helm:
• Senior Kristen Helmstetter scored a game-high 18 points versus Marist, going 7-for-13 from the field.
• She added 13 crucial second half points to extend Princeton’s lead and seal the victory.

Freshman Reaches Double Figures:
• Freshman Vanessa Smith scored in double figures for not only the first time of her career, but she is the first newcomer to score 10 points or more this year.
• She scored 11 vital first half points to help provide Princeton with a double figure advantage heading into halftime versus Marist on Nov. 17. 

Doubling Up:
• Sophomore Alex Wheatley scored in double figures for the second consecutive game, adding 10 points (4-for-5) versus Marist. She was coming off her first career double-double at Rutgers.
• Junior Blake Dietrick is also riding a two-game double digit scoring run, adding 10 points of her own versus the Red Foxes.

First Career Start:
• Junior Mariah Smith made her first career start versus Marist on Nov. 17.
• She had seven boards, three assists and two points. 

And Now Debuting: All three members of the Class of 2017 have now made their Tiger debuts with Taylor Brown seeing minutes versus Marist.

50 Percent Plus: A solid scoring team effort was witnessed versus Marist as the Tigers shot 52.6 percent (30-for-57) from the field.

Crashing the Boards:
• Princeton limited Marist to only three offensive rebounds, as it held a 49-23 rebounding margin in the game.
• The Tigers made 11 offensive boards and had 15 second chance baskets. 

Five in Double Figures:
• Princeton had five players score in double figures versus Marist marking the first time since Mar. 9, 2013 at Brown.
• Along with four starters scoring 10 points or more, freshman Vanessa Smith added 11 in her 19 minutes of work.

Ranked Opponents: Both Rutgers and Marist were receiving votes towards a national ranking at the time of the meeting.

CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25: Princeton enters this weekend’s action tabbed No. 5 in the Nov. 11 CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 Poll.

About the Tigers:
• 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.

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.
Megan Bowen ’13 and Kristen Helmstetter ’14 earned Second-Team All-Ivy honors.











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