This Week for the Tigers: Amidst a four-game road swing, the Princeton women's basketball team (6-3) travels next to Villanova (7-1) for a Wednesday, Dec. 12 meeting at 7 p.m.
Last Time Out: Delaware snapped the Tigers' three-game winning streak with a Lauren Carra buzzer beater. Despite holding the lead throughout the first half, the Blue Hens rallied back in the second half and Carra scored with 2.1 seconds left in regulation to edge Princeton 59-58 on Dec. 9.
On Deck: Princeton travels to Illinois State (Dec. 19) and DePaul (Dec. 21) to wrap up its pre-New Years road slate. The Tigers conclude 2012 at home versus Drexel on Dec. 31.
Follow the Tigers: Live video and stats will be available for all Princeton home games at GoPrincetonTigers.com. Live stats and video will be available from Villanova via GoPrincetonTigers.com. Dan Loney will also be live from the sidelines with play-by-play from Villanova, Pa.
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 Villanova: Villanova enters Wednesday's meeting riding a six-game winning streak, most recently jutting past Saint Joseph's, 55-51, on Dec. 8.
The Wildcats are led by Laura Sweeney team-highs in both points (12.6) and rebounds (5.8) per game. Rachel Roberts is Villanova's second-leading scorer, averaging 11.4 points per game.
All-Time vs. Villanova: Villanova leads the all-time series versus Princeton 8-7. The series was established in 1984-85 between the regional opponents.
In the last meeting between the Tigers and the Wildcats, Princeton dropped Villanova 56-41 on Nov. 19, 2011 at home.
Dietrick Earns First Career Start: Sophomore Blake Dietrick made her first career start at Delaware on Dec. 9. She played 37 minutes, tallying eight points, six rebounds and four assists. She started in place of Lauren Polansky, who was out with an injury.
Crashing the Boards: Princeton is outrebounding opponents 45.7 to 32.6. The Tigers hold a +13.1 margin entering week nine of the 2012-13 season.
Rolling Rasheed: Senior Niveen Rasheed maintains her stance as the Tigers' top performer, averaging team-highs in both points (15.4) and rebounds (8.8) per game. She also has dished a team-best 28 assists and is tied for first in steals with 19. Rasheed has scored in double figures eight times this season and has a pair of double-doubles.
She is the Ivy League's third-leading scorer; however she has scored in double figures versus a top-25 opponent and a pair of teams receiving votes.
Comforts of Home: The Tigers are 4-0 at home this season, putting together a quartet of dominant performances at Jadwin.
At home, Princeton is outscoring opponents 336-197. The Tigers saw a season-best performance versus UMBC on Dec. 2, outscoring the Retrievers 51-8 in the first half.
Helmstetter Notches Another Career Highs: She's already eclipsed personal bests in points, three-pointers and assists, but junior Kristen Helmstetter managed to establish a new career-high in rebounds on Dec. 9 at Delaware. The forward grabbed nine defensive boards, tying for team leader in the stat.
Ranked Opponents: Princeton's meeting between then-No. 19/22 UCLA on Nov. 25 marked the squad's first game versus a ranked team. The Tigers have also faced two teams who were receiving votes towards a national ranking in Rutgers and Delaware.
College Insider Mid-Major Top-25: The Tigers remain tabbed No. 7 with 575 votes in this week's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 Poll.
Have You Had Your Wheaties?: Freshman Alex Wheatley scored a career-high and team-leading 17 points versus Rutgers on Nov. 29. The forward has been a consistent contributor off the bench and is the Tigers' second-leading scorer with 8.2 points per game. She also is averaging 4.2 rebounds per game, while adding 12 assists and 12 steals in nine appearances off the bench.
Quintet in Double Figures: For the first time this season, five players scored in double figures versus UMBC on Dec. 2. Four of the starting five reached the scoring mark, along with newcomer Michelle Miller in 17 bench minutes.
Kate Miller led the offense for the first time this season with 13 points, going 3-for-6 from beyond the arc.
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.
Banghart Reaches Career Milestone: Sixth season head coach Courtney Banghart won her 100th career game at the helm of the Princeton women's basketball program Sunday in the Tigers' 93-46 win over UMBC. Banghart is now 101-53 all-time and 65-16 in Ivy play. Assistant coach Milena Flores has been on Banghart's coaching staff throughout that span, as well.
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.
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.
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
Status Update: Junior Nicole Hung will miss the remainder of the year due to a knee injury.
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.