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Sophomore Blake Dietrick and the Tigers host Rutgers Thursday.
Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer

Women's Basketball Returns Home to Host Rutgers Thursday

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 11/28/2012
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 Princeton (3-2) vs. Rutgers (3-1)
  Game Info:
Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.
Jadwin Gym 
All-Time Series Record: 
Rutgers leads 15-3
Last Meeting: Rutgers won 54-53 on Nov. 18, 2010
Game Notes: Princeton vs. Rutgers
Live Media:
Live Stats l Live Audio Live Video ($)

@PUTIGERS @CoachBanghart
Promotion: Students will receive t-shirts courtesy of Cheeburger Cheeburger on Nassau St.

This Week for the Tigers: The Princeton women's basketball team (3-2) opens a three-game home swing beginning with local rival Rutgers (3-1) on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.

Last Time Out: The Tigers went 1-1 over their Southern California road trip. Princeton opened the weekend with a 72-68 victory over UC Riverside on Nov. 23. Two days later at UCLA, the Tigers were unable to sustain their first half advantage and fell to the 19th-ranked Bruins, 65-52.

Niveen Rasheed led the offense in both games, scoring 19 points at UCR and 17 at UCLA.

On Deck: Princeton hosts UMBC on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. and Hofstra on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. Both games are part of the Holiday Hoops Food Drive. By donating two cans of food, all fans will receive free admission.

Get Connected: Are you following Princeton on Facebook and Twitter? Follow the athletics department at Facebook.com/PrincetonAthletics and Twitter.com/PUTIGERS. Connect with the Tiger women's basketball team on Facebook.com/PrincetonWBB or follow head coach Courtney Banghart on Twitter @CoachBanghart.

Scouting Rutgers: Rutgers has won its last three games after opening the year with a 57-51 loss at Georgia on Nov. 11. RU enters this week's action receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today Coaches top-25 polls.

The Scarlet Knight (3-1) offense is led by a trio of double figure scorers in: Monique Oliver (13.3 ppg), Erica Wheeler (11.0 ppg) and Betnijah Laney (10.3 ppg).  Oliver is also Rutger's rebounding leader with 8.0 boards per game.

Tigers All-Time vs. Rutgers: Rutgers leads the all-time series versus Princeton, 15-3. The Scarlet Knights edged the Tigers, 54-53, on Nov. 18, 2010 in Piscataway, N.J. Lauren Edwards gave Princeton a 53-52 lead with 1:13 to play, but Knights managed to score the game-winner with four seconds left in regulation. RU has won the last 12 meetings between the regional rivals.

Leading the Pack: As she has done throughout her career, senior Niveen Rasheed leads the Tigers in both points with 14.8 and rebounds with 9.6 per game. Rasheed also leads the team in assists with 18 and steals with 13. In four of five games, she's scored in double figures and has a pair of double-doubles on the year.          

This week Rasheed was named the College Sports Madness Ivy Player of the Week.

Wheatley Leads Newcomers: Freshman Alex Wheatley has become an immediate contributor for the Tigers. She's tied for the third-leading scorer with 6.8 ppg and is the team's second-leading rebounder with 4.8 rpg over 17.2 minutes of action per game.

At UC Riverside on Nov. 23, Wheatley scored in double figures for the first time tallying 13 points. Two days later at then-No. 19 UCLA, the forward grabbed a team-high eight boards, including six on the offensive glass.

Honoring the 2012 Ivy League Champs: Prior to Thursday's game versus Rutgers, Princeton will honor the 2011-12 team that won the program's third consecutive Ivy League championship.

The Class of 2012: Devona Allgood, Lauren Edwards and Laura Johnson will be in attendance for the banner unveiling ceremony.

Assists 4 Africa: The Princeton women's basketball team will be hosting Assists 4 Africa events at Jadwin Gym as part of the Princeton Varsity Club Service Circle. Its efforts will raise money for Vivre Ensemble Madeshael, the orphanage in Senegal the team visited in 2011, working with Progress 4 Africa (501(c)3) charity.

To pledge a one-time donation search for "Assists4Africa" on www.crowdrise.com or pledge an amount based on the number of assists the team makes throughout the season. Please direct all questions to PrincetonAssists4Africa@gmail.com.

Bench Points: The Tiger bench is averaging 30.6 points per game, scoring 153 points over five games. Subs have scored 20 or more points each game, including a pair of 40-point or more performances.

Rookie Debuts: All five freshmen made their Jadwin Gym debut versus Rider on Nov. 20. The game also marked the collegiate debuts of Annie Tarakchian and Taylor Williams. The quintet scored 26 of Princeton's 47 bench points.

Ranked Opponents: Princeton's meeting between then-No. 19/22 UCLA on Nov. 25 marked the squad's first game versus a ranked team.

College Insider Mid-Major Top-25: The Tigers dropped to No. 7 in this week's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 Poll. The Tigers received 549 votes in the Nov. 27 poll.

Holiday Hoops Food Drive: The Tigers' games on Dec. 2 and Dec. 5 are part of Princeton's Holiday Hoops Food Drive. By donating two cans of food, fans will receive free admission to the games.

The New Five: With a veteran laden squad, the Tigers are able to start an experienced lineup led by all four seniors in Megan Bowen, Kate Miller, Lauren Polanksy and Niveen Rasheed. Also moving into the starting five is junior guard Nicole Hung

Rasheed Named to Wooden Award Preseason Team & Naismith Watch List:  Senior Niveen Rasheed was selected to the Wooden Award Women's Preseason Top 30 and to the 50-player Naismith Watch List. The Tiger guard is the only Ivy League representative on the prestigious preseason teams recognizing the top NCAA Division I players in the nation.

Preseason Poll Predicts Ivy Four-Peat: Behind 132 votes and 13 first-place nods, Princeton was predicted to win the Ivy League title for the fourth consecutive season in the Ivy preseason media poll. Harvard was the only other team to collect first-place votes, earning 120 points and three first-place votes.

Ivy First:  The Tigers made history a year ago by becoming the only Ivy League women's basketball program to earn a national ranking. Princeton was No. 24 in the final AP Poll of 2011-12.

Welcome Back: The Tigers welcome back 10 letterwinners from a year ago, including unanimous Ivy Player of the Year Niveen Rasheed and two-time Ivy Defensive Player of the Year Lauren Polansky. Princeton will be led by a sturdy group of four seniors, looking to conclude their careers on top of the League for a fourth straight season.

The Newbies: Five freshmen join the Tigers in 2012-13. Princeton bolsters its lineup with a versatile group, each looking to become immediate contributors. The Tiger newcomers are: point guard Amanda Berntsen, guard Michelle Miller, guard/forward Annie Tarakchian, forward Alex Wheatley and forward/center Taylor Williams.

Preseason Honors: The Tigers have already picked up several preseason honors entering 2012-13. College Sports Madness tabbed head coach Courtney Banghart as the Preseason All-Mid Major and Ivy League Coach of the Year. Senior Niveen Rasheed was named the Preseason Ivy League Player of the Year and to the Preseason All-Mid Major and All-Ivy First Team.

Ivy Domination: This year's senior class has only seen one Ivy League loss throughout their careers, going 41-1. They have won the last three consecutive conference championships and were members of the first group to advance to the NCAA Tournament in Princeton history.

Milestone Ahead: Sixth season head coach Courtney Banghart currently boasts a 98-52 all-time record, including a staggering 65-16 all-time Ivy record. She is three wins away from another career milestone - her 100th victory at the helm of the program.

Rasheed Featured on ESPN: Senior Niveen Rasheed was featured on ESPN.com in a preseason article by women's sports writer Graham Hays. To view the article click here: http://m.espn.go.com/ncw/story?storyId=8603963

My Captain, Oh My Captain: Princeton's co-captains in 2012-13 are reigning Ivy Player of the Year Niveen Rasheed and two-time Defensive Player of the Year Lauren Polansky.

You'll Be Missed: Princeton graduated three players for last year's team, including All-Ivy Devona Allgood and Lauren Edwards. Between the returners and quintet of newbies, Princeton will look to fill their void.

New Faces, New Roles: In addition to five new players on the court, the Princeton coaching staff saw some new additions. After two years at the team's director of basketball operations Megan Griffith has been promoted to assistant coach. Griffith replaces Melanie Moore.

Tyler Cordell was hired during the summer as the program's new director of basketball operations. Cordell comes from Ithaca where she was a graduate assistant with the Division III women's basketball team.












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