Photo courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- For the third-straight year, the Princeton women's basketball team has been selected to win the Ivy League title, which would be a League-record fifth-straight championship for the Tigers.
After a vote by conference media and women's basketball sports information directors, Princeton earned 130 points and 13 first-place votes. Next is Harvard, which garnered 120 points and three first-place votes. Penn grabbed 98 points and the final first-place vote, followed by Yale (91), Dartmouth (55), Cornell (52), Brown (45) and Columbia (21).
Princeton finished the 2012-13 campaign 22-7 overall, including 13-1 in Ivy play, to improve its impressive League record to 54-2 over the past four seasons. The Tigers will be without one of the best players in Ivy history in Niveen Rasheed, who graduated after receiving one Rookie of the Year, two unanimous Player of the Year and three first-team (two unanimous) All-Ivy honors.
The Tigers will look to senior Kristen Helmstetter to lead the way. Helmstetter earned second-team All-Ivy accolades last season after averaging 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in Ivy play. Junior Blake Dietrick also returns; she led the Tigers with 52 three pointers last year.
The only team to beat Princeton over the past four years, Harvard (21-9, 11-3 Ivy), returns a pair of 2012 All-Ivy performers in senior Christine Clark and junior Temi Fagbenle. Clark took home first team accolades after leading the team in scoring with 15.6 points per game, while grabbing 5.1 rebounds per game from her guard position. Fagbenle, the unanimous Rookie of the Year a season ago, averaged 12.3 points and a team-best 7.7 rebounds per game. In Ivy play, she improved to 12.9 points and 8.5 rebounds.
After back-to-back fourth-place finishes in the preseason poll, Penn (18-13, 9-5 Ivy) moves up to the third spot. The Quakers bring back the 2010 Rookie of the Year and three-time All-Ivy performer in senior Alyssa Baron (14.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg), as well as 2012 Honorable Mention recipient sophomore Keiera Ray (10.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg). Also returning is junior Kara Bonenberger, who averaged 9.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per Ivy game last season.
Yale (13-15, 8-6 Ivy) also brings back a former Rookie of the Year in Sarah Halejian (2011), who earned first-team All-Ivy honors last season after setting 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.).
The leading rebounder in the Ivy League in 2012, Cornell senior Allyson DiMagno (11.5 rpg), returns for the Big Red (13-15, 5-9 Ivy). DiMagno earned second team honors after recording a League-best 16 double-doubles in 2012-13. Another second team honoree form a year ago, Brown senior Lauren Clarke (13.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.8 apg), returns for the Bears (9-19, 3-11 Ivy).
Columbia (5-23, 3-11 Ivy) and Dartmouth (6-22, 4-10 Ivy) kick off new eras, with new head coaches Stephanie Glance and Belle Koclanes, respectively. The Lions return junior Miwa Tachibana, who scored 8.7 points per Ivy contest, while the Big Green bring back 2012 Honorable Mention All-Ivy recipient senior Nicola Zimmer, who averaged 11.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in League play.
2013-14 IVY LEAGUE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
First-Place Votes in Parentheses