Dynamic freshman forward Niveen Rasheed and a strong group of returning players propelled Princeton women’s basketball to a 12–2 nonconference record and a 70–39 dismantling of Penn in the Tigers’ Jan. 9 league opener.
Against the Quakers, Rasheed scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in just 21 minutes on the court. She has averaged 16.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
Rasheed “plays the game with reckless abandon,” head coach Courtney Banghart said. “She’s wildly athletic, and in our offense, she’s in a place where she can score from all over the floor.”
Rasheed and center Devona Allgood ’12 drive Princeton’s offense inside, and Addie Micir ’11 and Lauren Edwards ’12 lead an explosive group of shooters on the perimeter.
More than half of Princeton’s wins have been blowouts, including eight victories by 20 points or more, and the Tigers’ losses came in competitive games against UCLA and Rutgers. Banghart said that consistent effort played a key role in her team’s hot start.
“Their effort against Fairleigh Dickinson was the exact same as it was against Rutgers [and] UCLA,” she said. “They just love to compete. I worry about a lot of other things, but overconfidence is definitely not one of them.”The Tigers, vying for their first Ivy title since 2005–06, will host the league’s two perennial powers, Harvard and Dartmouth, Feb. 5 and 6. Princeton’s Feb. 12 trip to Columbia also should provide a key test. The Lions feature star forward Judie Lomax, the league’s leading scorer and rebounder.