With a fifth-straight Ivy League regular season championship under their belts, it’s no surprise that the Princeton women’s basketball team could be found all over the Ivy League awards this year.
For the fifth consecutive season, a Princeton player took home Ivy Player of the Year honors, and this year’s Tiger honoree was junior guard Kaitlyn Chen. Chen has been invaluable to the Tigers this season, scoring 15.4 points per game while shooting a phenomenal 48.9 percent from the field (up from 10.5 points and 43.4 percent during the 2021–22 season). The California native also ended the season on a tear, scoring above her season average in each of the last seven games, including a season-high 27-point performance at Penn in the final regular-season Ivy game.
Meanwhile, for the second-consecutive season, junior forward Ellie Mitchell took home Defense Player of the Year Honors, sharing this year’s award with Yale guard Nyla McGill. A monster on the glass all season long, Mitchell led the Ivy League in rebounding once again, pulling down 10.8 boards per game. She had five regular-season games with 15 or more rebounds, and also averaged 2.5 steals per game, good for fourth in the Ivy League. Mitchell is the first Princeton player to win multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards since Lauren Polansky ’13.
“Being named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year is an incredible honor,” Mitchell wrote in a comment to The Daily Princetonian. “I think that when any one of us is honored like this, it is really a reflection of the season-long combined efforts and hard work of our team as a whole. We have a high standard for the ideals which we know will make us successful as a team, especially our defense, which we hang our hats on, so it makes this award all the more meaningful.”
Rounding out the major awards, first-year guard Madison St. Rose was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year. The fourth-ever Tiger to win the honor, St. Rose averaged 9.4 points per game on the season. She came on quite strongly in Ivy League play, scoring in double-digits in eight of 14 league games, including an 18-point performance at Cornell in February.
“It’s an honor to receive the Rookie of the Year award,” St. Rose told the ‘Prince.’ “It has been a personal goal that I have dreamed of getting ever since I got out of high school. I would not have been able to get this award if it wasn’t for my teammates and coaching staff constantly reminding me to be confident.”
The Tigers also populated the All-Ivy teams, with Chen being a selection to the First Team, and senior guards Grace Stone and Julia Cunningham being named to the Second Team. Stone was also the team’s designated Academic All-Ivy team member. Cunningham averaged 10.5 points per game and broke the 1,000-point mark for her career earlier in the season, while Stone is averaging a career-high 9.9 points per game. Cunningham was named to last season’s First Team, while Stone was an All-Ivy Honorable Mention.
It means a lot to be recognized in this league with so many great players,” Cunningham wrote. “I'm grateful for the recognition and for the opportunity to play with this team again this weekend.”
This year’s Tigers followed up the 2022 edition of the awards, which saw them rack up Coach of the Year (Carla Berube), Player of the Year (then-senior guard Abby Meyers), and Defensive Player of the Year (then-sophomore forward Ellie Mitchell), as well as three All-Ivy honorees, by once again capturing three major awards and having three All-Ivy honorees.
With the same number of Ivy honors as last season, the Tigers also look towards having the same results in the upcoming Ivy League tournament, which they won last year in a trouncing of Columbia. The team will begin their title defense on Friday in the Ivy Madness semifinal game against fourth-seeded Penn, who they beat in March by 19 points in their regular season closer.
“As we move into Ivy Madness, we are excited for this opportunity because we know that for a lot of teams, their season has unfortunately come to an end,” Mitchell said. “We will continue to support each other through all of the ups and downs, and we will be giving our best efforts for every minute that we have together on the floor.”
“We’ve had the goal of winning the Ivy League and the Ivy League Tournament since the first day of preseason,” Cunningham added, “and that is the only thing on our minds right now moving forward into the weekend.”
Wilson Conn is a head editor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any corrections requests to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.