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Two-Time Defending Champion Princeton Voted 2011-12 Women's Basketball Preseason Favorite

Princeton's Lauren Edwards
Princeton's Lauren Edwards

Photo courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Princeton has been selected to win its third-consecutive Ivy League title after a vote by conference media and women's basketball sports information directors. The Tigers are 27-1 in Ivy play the past two seasons, including a 13-1 mark in 2010-11.

Princeton received 14 first-place votes and 133 points. Four starters return from last year's 24-5 squad, including first-team All-Ivy selections Devona Allgood and Lauren Edwards and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Lauren Polansky. Allgood averaged 11.9 points and a League-high 7.2 rebounds per game while Edwards contributed 11.4 points, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals per contest. The Tigers will also benefit from the return of 2009-10 Rookie of the Year Niveen Rasheed, who missed last year's conference slate due to injury.

Harvard (18-10, 10-4 Ivy League) was chosen to finish second in the conference with 117 points and three first-place votes. Senior guard Brogan Berry, the second-leading scorer in the Ancient Eight, returns for the Crimson, who handed Princeton its only Ivy loss last season and finished in a tie for second with Yale.

The Bulldogs (14-14, 10-4 Ivy) were voted to place third with 103 points. Yale swept Harvard to earn the Ivy League's automatic bid to the WNIT, where it fell to Boston College, 85-61. The Bulldogs return four starters, including junior guard Megan Vasquez, who averaged 13.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists last season.
Penn and Brown finished within two points of each other at 68 and 66 points, respectively. The Quakers welcome back senior forward and defensive stalwart Jess Knapp, who finished fourth in the Ivy League with 38 blocks and sixth in rebounding (6.6 per game), along with sophomore guard Alyssa Baron, who led the League in scoring with 16.6 points per contest. Junior guard Sheila Dixon (11.0 points, 6.3 rebounds per game) returns for the Bears.
Columbia and Dartmouth finished in a tie for sixth-place with 52 points apiece and Cornell rounded out the voting with 21 points. The Lions will look to sophomore guard Brianna Orlich to improve from her 2010-11 campaign, where she averaged 9.3 points and 3.5 rebounds and was named to the League's Rookie Team.
Dartmouth expects junior guard Faziah Steen to improve from a solid sophomore campaign that saw her average 12.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.Cornell hopes to rebound from a tough 2010-11 season in which the Big Red dropped all of its 14 road games. Junior forward Clare Fitzpatrick led the team in scoring with 11.4 points and finished second in rebounding (5.2).


First-Place Votes in Parentheses

Rank School Points
1. Princeton (14)
2. Harvard (3)
3. Yale
4. Penn 68
5. Brown 66
6. Columbia 52
  Dartmouth 52
8. Cornell 21