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PHILADELPHIA - For the first time in program history, the Quakers will make a trip to the state of Iowa. Penn (4-4) will play in the Cyclone Challenge hosted by Iowa State (7-1) in the city of Ames. Also in the event this year are Alabama State (2-7) and Air Force (1-9). Both of Penn’s games (Dec. 29 and Dec. 30) will tip off at 2 p.m. EST.
In the Series vs. Alabama State and Air Force
This will be the first all-time meeting between the Alabama State and Penn women’s basketball programs. In fact, this will mark Penn’s first-game against a member of the 10-team Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). However, this is the second time the Quakers will play Air Force. The last time these programs met on the hardwood was exactly 11 years ago to the day when Penn topped the Falcons, 60-42, at The Palestra on Dec. 30, 2001. Penn is 0-5 all-time against the rest of the Mountain West Conference (MWC) with its most recent meeting a 51-37 defeat at San Diego State in the Surf ‘N Slam Classic—exactly one year ago (Dec. 30, 2011).
Climbing the Record Books
Junior Alyssa Baron became the 19th Penn women’s player to reach 1,000 career points on Nov. 30. She is the third-fastest Quaker to accomplish that milestone (60 games) and the first since Carrie Biemer topped the landmark in 2008. Only Penn’s all-time leading scorer (man or woman), Diana Caramanico (48 games) and Mandy West (52 games) were faster to 1,000 points. A two-time Ivy scoring champion, Baron became the first freshman in Ivy history to lead the league in scoring and now has 1,054 points in her career, which ranks 14th all-time at Penn. She is now just 49 points from reaching the top 10 and could reach the top 10 during Penn’s next home game (Jan. 5).
Against the Mountain West
Penn is 1-5 overall against the Mountain West Conference. The Red and Blue’s only win was against its Cyclone Challenge opponent, Air Force. The 18-point home win over the Falcons came exactly 11 years ago to the day. Penn’s most recent matchup with the MWC was with San Diego State last year in the Aztecs’ annual Surf ‘N Slam Tournament—the Quakers lost by 14 in the championship game on Dec. 30. Penn’s other losses came against Wyoming, Fresno State and two to Colorado State.
Penn won four straight games for the first time since a seven-game streak during the 2004-05 season ... Penn has won seven of their last nine non-conference home games ... Four different Quakers have led the team in scoring this year, including four different players in the last five games ... Penn is 4-1 with its current starting lineup of Baron, Ray, Roche, Allen and Bonenberger ... Including ties, six different Quakers have led the team in rebounding in the first eight games ... Three different Quakers have scored more than 20 points in a game this season (Baron, Roche, Ray) ... Alyssa Baron has started 64 consecutive games for the Quakers ... Junior Meghan McCullough played in 59 straight games dating back to the 2010-11 season opener prior to suffering a season-ending injury at Army (Nov. 18).
Penn’s first six games were decided by single digits, including four by five points or fewer, two by a single possession and one overtime game. Penn suffered three straight losses to start the season. But those came by a combined 17 points (average of 5.7 points per game). In two of those losses, Penn was within one possession and had the ball with under 10 seconds to play. The Quakers then won three straight by a combined 15 points (5.0 ppg).
Penn Picked to Finish Fourth in Ivy League
After finishing last season in sixth place with a 6-8 Ivy League record, the Quakers were picked to finish fourth in the Ivy Preseason Media Poll. Last season, Penn was also picked to finish fourth in the Ivy League, but ended up finishing sixth for for the second season in a row.
Two Penn Wins Would...
... mark six wins in the last seven games.
... make the Quakers 2-0 all-time in the state of Iowa.
... make the Quakers 6-4 on the year.
A Penn Win Would...
... mark the first all-time loss to either Alabama State or Air Force.
... make the Quakers 5-2 in their last seven games.
... make the Quakers 5-5 on the year.
Two Penn Losses Would...
... mark a three-game losing streak entering 2013.
... make the Quakers 4-6 on the year.
... be less good than wins.
Charge for a Cure!
For the third straight year the women’s basketball team is dedicating its entire season to the fight against several diseases and the team needs your help. In its first two years, 109 donors have joined the “Charge for a Cure” program which helped the team raise nearly $7,000. Each month of the season will be devoted to help a specific disease with personal ties to the program—The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Go4theGoal, the American Cancer Society, The Dave Bryan Ride on Fund, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of America. At the end of each month, the coaches will total the number of offensive charges the Quakers have taken as a team and fans can pledge a donation per charge. This month the Quakers will be taking charges for the Go4theGoal Foundation, but the team is turning to its fans to lend a hand in its efforts. Here is how you can help!
FOR A CURE!
Last Time Out
An outstanding offensive performance from Drexel was too much for Penn at the Daskalakis Athletic Center. The Dragons shot better than 63 percent from the field and won the 23rd annual Battle of 33rd Street, 77-50. The Dragons jumped to an 11-4 lead in the first two minutes. Keiera Ray had six points in the early going to close the deficit to just 13-10 at the 12:49 mark. After Brianna Bradford drained a three from the top of the key and Katy Allen converted a three-point play, the game was tied, 18-18, with 8:17 left until half. Drexel built up another small lead, 29-24, but that catapulted to a 14-point edge at the break. The Dragons went on an 11-2 run over the final three minutes to take a 40-26 lead into the locker rooms. The Dragons scored the first six points of the second half and were quickly up by 20. Penn cut the deficit to 15, 48-33, with 15:54 remaining after junior Alyssa Baron and Ray hit back-to-back layups. But that was as close as the Red and Blue would get.
Following more than a month-long break, the Quakers will finally return home to the friendly confines of the Palestra. The Red and Blue start 2013 by hosting Big 5 rival Saint Joseph’s on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 2 p.m. Penn is 2-1 at home this season with its only loss coming in the final seconds to Virginia of the ACC.