PHILADELPHIA - A school-record third overtime win propels the Quakers (9-12, 2-5 Ivy) into the home stretch of a four-game Ivy road swing. Penn concludes the second half of the road trip with two games in the Empire State. Tip off at Cornell (9-12, 3-4 Ivy) is on Friday at 7 p.m., and at Columbia (2-19, 0-7 Ivy) on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Catching the Games
Video and live stats will be available at CornellBigRed.com on Friday. Video and live stats are available through GoColumbiaLions.com on Saturday. A complete recap and box score can then be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.
In the Series vs. Cornell/Columbia
Penn lost in the first meeting with Cornell this year, but leads the overall series, 48-18. Recently, the Big Red have held the upper hand as Cornell has won four of the last five and nine of 13. The Quakers have left Newman Arena with just one win in their last four visits there—a 79-70 triumph in 2009. This marks the 53rd all-time meeting between the Quakers and the Lions. Penn leads the overall series with Columbia, 34-18. Penn has won two of the last three meetings by 20 or more, including a 75-50 victory at The Palestra on Jan. 27. However, the Quakers haven’t won in Levien Gymnasium since 2008 and have just one victory there in the past five seasons.
About the Big Red
Cornell has lost three of four since beating Penn on Jan. 29. Identical to Penn’s last four games, the Big Red have lost to Yale, Brown and Harvard and defeated Dartmouth. Cornell is one of the top shooting teams in the Ivy League. The Big Red rank third at 39.3 percent and shot 57 percent in the last matchup with the Quakers. They are second in the league in three-point percentage (.311). The Big Red rank third in the Ivies in assists (13.2/game) and fourth in steals (8.7). Clare Fitzpatrick (11.0) and Allyson DiMagno (10.7) are double-digit scorers for Cornell. DiMagno is second in the Ivies in rebounding (7.6) and Fitzpatrick is third (6.7). Fitzpatrick is also third among Ivy players with 22 blocks. Spencer Lane is second in the league with 3.8 assists per game and second in assist/turnover ratio (1.4). Taylor Flynn is the top three-point shooter in the Ivy League with a percentage 39.7.
About the Lions
Currently mired in a nine-game losing streak, Columbia has lost its first seven Ivy contests. Like the Quakers, they brought Brown into overtime. Penn won the first matchup between these teams at The Palestra, 75-50, on Jan. 27. Columbia ranks in the bottom half of the Ivy League in nearly every statistical category, but are strongest on the boards. The Lions are third in the Ivies in offensive rebounding. Both Tyler Simpson (11.9) and Melissa Shafer (10.7) average double digits in scoring. In the first meeting, Simpson had 19 points, but Shafer had just three. Courtney Bradford is third in the league with 6.7 rebounds per game and Taylor Ball is sixth in the Ivies in assists with 2.6 per contest. Shafer’s 1.9 steals per game rank sixth among Ivy players and her 1.9 threes per game rank fourth. Taylor Ward, who finished with 10 points and two 3-point field goals in the last game against Penn, is eighth in the league in made threes.
Penn has set two school records this year. Last week, for the second straight Saturday, the Quakers went into overtime. A loss to Brown at The Palestra on Feb. 4, was followed by Saturday’s win at Dartmouth. Those marked the third and fourth overtime games of the year for Penn. The Quakers are 3-1 in those games (also defeated St. Francis (N.Y.) and Drexel). The three overtime wins are the most in a single season in program history and the four total OT games match the 2000-01 team’s school record.
Penn did not leave the city of Philadelphia through its first three games (two at home, one at La Salle). But then, the Quakers logged a lot of miles in December. The team’s exact travels in that month went as follows: Philadelphia-->Niagara Falls, N.Y.-- ->Philadelphia -->Detroit, Mich.-->South Bend, Ind.-->Chicago, Ill.-->Philadelphia-->San Diego, Calif.-- ->Charlotte, N.C.-->Philadelphia. That’s approximately 8,100 miles traveled and 34 hours spent on either bus or plane or the Quakers. Which doesn’t include the time spent in airports and the deplaning in South Bend.
Traveling Quakers Part II
Since those December travels, the Quakers had not left Philadelphia until last weekend. Since returning from San Diego State’s Surf ‘N Slam Classic on Dec. 31, it had been 41 days since Penn left its home city (six home games, three Big 5 games). This trip through the Empire State marks the second straight road weekend for the Quakers and following the final two home games of the season next Friday and Saturday, the Red and Blue are back on the bus for the third time in four weekends (at Brown and Yale). Once again, you can follow every step of the team’s trips on their twitter account: @PennWomensBball.
No. 9 in the Nation
Penn ranks ninth in the country in three-point defense. Opponents are shooting just 25.1 percent (76-of-303) against the Quakers this year. And only Hampton (59) and South Carolina (43) have given up fewer made threes than Penn.
A freshman or sophomore has led the team in scoring in 27 of the last 28 games ... Penn has had a freshman in its starting lineup for in 49 straight games ... The Quakers are 8-5 this year when they have fewer turnovers than their opponent ... Penn has forced at least 16 turnovers in each win this year ... In all seight Ivy wins under Coach McLaughlin, the Quakers have not allowed more than 55 points in regulation and have won each by at least 10 points (avg. margin of victory is 16.1 ppg).
Two Penn Wins Would...
... break a three-game losing streak at Columbia.
... be the first sweep at Cornell and Columbia since 2005.
... make the Quakers 11-12 overall and 4-5 in Ivy play.
A Penn Win Would...
... be the first win in the Empire State since 2009.
... mark the third Ivy split in four weekends this season.
... make the Quakers 10-13 on the year and 3-6 in Ivy play.
Two Penn Losses Would...
... mark the third straight year the Quakers were swept on this road trip.
... mark the fifth loss in the last six meetings with Cornell.
... make the Quakers 9-14 on the year and 2-7 in Ivy play.
... be less good than two wins.
Charge for a Cure!
February: ALS Foundation
The women's basketball team is again dedicating its entire season to the fight against several diseases and the team needs your help. Last season, the team started an initiative which they have coined the "Charge for a Cure" program. The team raised more than $4,000 through the initiative last year. Each month of the season will be devoted to help a specific disease with personal ties to the program - American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, Luekemia and Lymphoma Society, the ALS Foundation, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. This month, the Quakers will be taking charges for Luekemia and Lymphoma Society, but the team is turning to its fans to lend a hand in its efforts. For more information and to donate to "Charge for a Cure," click here.
FOR A CURE!
Last Time Out
Penn split a road weekend with a loss at Harvard and an overtime win at Dartmouth. Harvard scored nine in a row and led 26-17. Alyssa Baron and Kara Bonenberger started a 9-2 run for Penn. It was capped by Baron’s buzzer-beating three-pointer that sent the Quakers sprinting into the locker room down by just one, 30-29. A wild start to the second half ensued. At one point, the lead changed hands on seven consecutive possessions. The Crimson edge was 46-43 when they rattled off six straight to go up nine with 12:43 to go. Another quick 6-0 run from Harvard put Penn’s deficit at 60-48 with just 5:40 remaining. This final deficit was too much to overcome. In Penn’s fourth overtime of the year, Katy Allen hit a three-pointer as the shot clock expired to break a 58-58 tie with 2:38 left in the extra session. Penn then hit 10-of-12 free throws to seal the game. Dartmouth tied it at 17-17 and then again at, 27-27, at intermission. It was a nine-point Penn lead, 53-44, with just 4:41 remaining. But Dartmouth made yet another comeback and tied it at 54-54 with 1:20 remaining. Baron’s baseline jumper as the clock wound down didn’t connect and the game went to overtime.
Penn returns to The Palestra for the final two home games of the year. The Quakers host Dartmouth on Friday, Feb. 24 and will then hold Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 25 against Harvard. The matchup with the Crimson marks the final home game for Jess Knapp and Jourdan Banks.