Photos courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications and Princeton Athletic Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Add yet another individual
accomplishment to Princeton senior Niveen Rasheed.
After a vote by the Ivy League’s eight coaches, Rasheed was
unanimously voted Player of the Year for the third career unanimous
award for one of the most decorated players in confernce
Rasheed (Danville, Calif.) was also unanimously selected Rookie of the Year in 2009-10 and Player of the Year last season. She is the first Tiger in program history to earn back-to-back Ivy League Player of the Year awards and the first Ivy to receive consecutive unanimous Player of the Year accolades since Harvard's Hana Peljto following the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. Rasheed joins Peljto as the only two players in League history to earn three postseason awards in unanimous fashion, as Peljto was also Rookie of the Year in 2000-01.
Rasheed also was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection, marking her third appearance on the first team and her second-straight as a unanimous selection. The senior guard led the League in scoring (16.9 ppg), ranked second in rebounding (9.0 rpg) and third in assists (3.3 apg). She received Player of the Week seven times in 2012-13, the second-highest single-season total behind Harvard’s Allison Feaster, who took home 11 in 1997-98.
Rasheed’s Player of the Year award gives Princeton
three-straight for the first time in program history, after
Addie Micir was named Player of the Year in
2010-11. The Tigers are the first team to earn the honor
three-consecutive years since Penn from 1998-2001, when
Diana Caramanico was the recipient.
Since the Defensive Player of the Year award was created in 2009-10, Rasheed’s fellow classmate Lauren Polansky (Mill Valley, Calif.) has received it three times, setting a mark that will be hard to match. Polansky takes home her third-straight Defensive Player of the Year honor after a season in which she averaged 3.9 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game despite missing six contests due to injury. Polansky was a big part of Princeton's stellar defense, which led the League in field goal percentage defense (33.8 pct.) and scoring defense (52.8 ppg.).
Harvard sophomore Temi Fagbenle (London) was a unanimous selection for Rookie of the Year, the first to do so since Rasheed in 2009-10. Fagbenle becomes the fourth Crimson to earn unanimous Rookie of the Year honors, joining Brogan Berry (2008-09), Reka Cserny (2001-02), Peljto (2000-01) and Feaster (1994-95). Fagbenle earned 10 Rookie of the Week honors this season, tying her for first-place all-time in the Ivy League record book with Dartmouth's Eliza Morrison in 2003-04 and Penn's Diana Caramanico in 1997-98. Fagbenle averaged 12.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game and totaled seven double-doubles, third-best in the League.
Joining Rasheed on the first team was Penn junior Alyssa Baron (Miami), who also was a unanimous selection. Baron led her team in scoring (14.2 ppg), assists (3.9 apg) and steals (2.0 spg) and ranked second in rebounding (6.3). She scored in double figures in 24 of Penn's 28 games, including five contests of at least 20 points. Baron has steadily moved up the ranks on the All-Ivy teams, as she was honorable mention, as well as Rookie of the Year, in 2010-11 and second team last season.
A pair of Crimson found their way onto the first team in senior Victoria Lippert (San Diego) and junior Christine Clark (Tucson, Ariz.), marking the second-straight year Harvard had two first-team All-Ivy performers. Lippert was twice named Player of the Week while averaging 13.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists. She missed just six free throws all season, shooting 91.3 percent from the charity stripe (65-of-71). In League play, Lippert raised her game, contributing 14.4 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 94.6 percent from the free throw line (35-of-37).
Clark, meanwhile, earned Player of the Week four times, tying for the ninth-most in a single season in Ivy history. Clark led her team and ranked second in the League in scoring, with 15.7 points per game. She also averaged 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals per contest. It marks her second-straight appearance on the All-Ivy first team.
Rounding out the first team was Yale sophomore Sarah Halejian (Wyckoff, N.J.). Last season’s Rookie of the Year apparently does not know the meaning of sophomore slump, as she set career-highs in scoring (13.8 ppg), rebounding (3.4 rpg), assists (2.9 apg), field goal percentage (41.3 pct.) and three-point percentage (35.6 pct.). Halejian’s season included a 29-point effort against Harvard in which the sophomore finished one point shy of Yale’s single-game record. Halejian receives her first career All-Ivy honor.
Joining Fagbenle on the second team is Cornell junior Allyson DiMagno (Fairport, N.Y.), who led the League in double-doubles with 16, the highest single-season total since Columbia's Judie Lomax finished with 21 in 2009-10 en route to Player of the Year honors. DiMagno led the League in rebounding (11.5 rpg) and ranked third in scoring (14.7 ppg) and second in field goal percentage (47.1 pct.). She earns her second-straight All-Ivy accolade after receiving Honorable Mention last season.
Princeton put a pair of players on the second team in senior Megan Bowen (Bath, Pa.) and junior Kristen Helmstetter (Bridgewater, N.J.). Bowen started all 28 games and averaged 8.9 points and 3.9 rebounds, including a career-high two double-doubles. She scored a personal-best 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting to help Princeton hold off Dartmouth, 68-60 on March 2. Helmstetter scored in double-figures in 14 games and averaged 9.0 points and 4.9 rebounds on the year. Both players earn their first career All-Ivy awards.
Brown junior Lauren Clarke (Colts Neck, N.J.) closed out the second team. Clarke led her team in scoring (13.1 ppg) and assists (2.8 apg) while also averaging 3.7 rebounds per contest. She takes home her first career All-Ivy accolade and gives Brown a second team recipient for the third straight year, after senior Sheila Dixon earned the honor the past two seasons.
Dixon (Schenectady, N.Y.), meanwhile, was named honorable mention for her third-straight All-Ivy award. Yale junior Janna Graf (Mission Woods, Kan.) and senior Megan Vasquez (Merrick, N.Y.) also received honorable mention All-Ivy recognition, along with Dartmouth junior Nicola Zimmer (Chevy Chase, Md.) and Penn freshman Keiera Ray (Aurora, Ill.).
Vasquez takes home her third-straight All-Ivy accolade, while it marks the first for Graf. Zimmer earned her first career postseason award, while Ray became the first Quakers rookie to be named All-Ivy since Baron took home honorable mention status in 2010-11.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
*Niveen Rasheed, Princeton (Sr., G – Danville, Calif.)
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
*Temi Fagbenle, Harvard (So., F – London)
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Lauren Polansky, Princeton (Sr., G – Mill Valley, Calif.)
*Alyssa Baron, Penn (Jr., G – Miami)
Christine Clark, Harvard (Jr., G – Tucson, Ariz.)
Sarah Halejian, Yale (So., G – Wyckoff, N.J.)
Victoria Lippert, Harvard (Sr., F – San Diego)
*Niveen Rasheed, Princeton (Sr., G – Danville, Calif.)
Megan Bowen, Princeton (Sr., C – Bath, Pa.)
Lauren Clarke, Brown (Jr., G – Colts Neck, N.J.)
Allyson DiMagno, Cornell (Jr., F – Fairport, N.Y.)
Temi Fagbenle, Harvard (So., F – London)
Kristen Helmstetter, Princeton (Jr., F – Bridgewater, N.J.)
Sheila Dixon, Brown (Sr., G – Schenectady, N.Y.)
Janna Graf, Yale (Jr., F – Mission Woods, Kan.)
Keiera Ray, Penn (Fr., G – Aurora, Ill.)
Megan Vasquez, Yale (Sr., G – Merrick, N.Y.)
Nicola Zimmer, Dartmouth (Jr., G – Chevy Chase, Md.)
* Unanimous Selection