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PHILADELPHIA - Riding a five-game winning streak and holding on to second-place in the Ivy League, the Quakers (14-9, 7-2 Ivy) make their final road trip of the year. Penn takes on Dartmouth (6-17, 4-5 Ivy) at 7 p.m. on Friday and then heads to Cambridge, Mass., for a rematch with Harvard (15-8, 6-3 Ivy) on Saturday at 6 p.m. PSN subscribers can see Friday’s game for free. GoCrimson.com will have video on Saturday.
Catching the Games
For Friday's game at Dartmouth, video and live stats will be available on the Penn Sports Network at PennAthletics.com. On Saturday at Harvard, video and live stats are available at GoCrimson.com. Twitter updates (@PennWBB) are also available throughout the contest. A complete recap and box score can then be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.
In the Series vs. Dartmouth/Harvard
Penn trails the all-time series with Dartmouth, 42-26. But the Quakers have won four straight in the series and five of the last six, including Penn's most lopsided win in series history (63-40) less than two weeks ago (Feb. 16). Last year in Hanover, the Quakers outlasted the Big Green in overtime, 73-63. Against Harvard, Penn has won just 22 of 70 all-time meetings, but that includes the most recent one. The Quakers snapped a 17-game and nine-year losing streak to the Crimson, 77-72, on Feb. 15 at The Palestra. However, Penn has not won in Cambridge since 2004.
About the Big Green
Dartmouth faced one of the nation’s toughest non-conference schedules which featured games against Syracuse, Marquette, Villanova and BYU. The Big Green went 2-12, but started Ivy play at 4-1. Since that time, they have lost four of the last five. The Big Green’s overall statistics are slightly skewed due to the strength of their non-conference schedule. They rank second-to-last in the Ivy League in three-point percentage (1-of-8 in the first meeting with Penn), turnover margin (23 against Penn) and assists, but they do remain one of the top rebounding teams in the league. Faziah Steen averages a team-high 12.0 points per game and leads the team with 38 steals. Tia Dawson is third in the league with 8.2 rebounds per game and fifth in blocked shots with 29. Nicola Zimmer is seventh in the Ivies in three-point percentage (38.3%). Kaitana Martinez has 3.0 assists per game to lead the Big Green.
About the Crimson
Harvard went 9-5 during a challenging non-conference slate and is off to a 6-3 start in Ivy play. The Crimson have lost to Princeton, Penn and Dartmouth in Ivy play this season. The Crimson have the league’s second-highest scoring offense at 68.3 points per game, but are second to last in defense at 65.4 points allowed. They lead the league in field goal percentage (.444) and three-point percentage (.356). They are also second in rebounding, and third in blocks, steals and assists. Christine Clark is second in the Ivy League with 16.0 points per game. Victoria Lippert (13.3) and Tami Fagbenle (12.5) also average double figures. Fagbenle is fourth in the league in rebounding (7.6) and first in field goal percentage (.575). Clark is eighth in the Ivies with 60 assists and fourth in free throw percentage (.847). Lippert, who leads the league with Emma Golen from the three-point line at 40.6 percent, is tops in the Ivies from the free throw line (89.9%).
Clinching a Postseason Berth
There is a mathematical chance that the Quakers will clinch the program’s third postseason berth on Saturday. A Penn sweep, a Harvard loss to Princeton and a loss by Yale would clinch second place for the Quakers. And here’s why second-place is such a big deal. In the Ivy League, the top two teams automatically qualify for the postseason. The first-place team recieves the bid to the NCAA Tournament and the second-place finisher automatically qualifies for the WNIT. Penn has only been to the postseason twice in the 42 previous seasons as a varsity program. The Quakers made the NCAA Tournament as Ivy League champions in 2000-01 and 2003-04.
The Penn women’s basketball team has not started a senior this season; coincidentally, neither has the Penn men’s basketball team. In an informal survey of the other NCAA Division I SID’s, it was discovered that only three other schools share this distinction. One of them is the Quakers’ Friday opponent, Dartmouth; the other two are Navy (Patriot League) and Wright State (Horizon League).
In the last meeting with Harvard and Dartmouth there were a lot of firsts for the Quakers...the first sweep of those two programs since 2004 and first at home since 2001 ... the first win over Harvard in nine years to snap a 17-game winning streak ... the first home win over the Crimson since 2001 ... the first 20-point win over Dartmouth in program history ... the first 5-2 Ivy League start since 2004-05.
Magic Number: 60
The statistic that may most indicate a Penn win or loss is 60 points. Since head coach Mike McLaughlin took over at Penn, the Quakers are 26-6 (.813) when they score 60 points, including 8-1 this year (only loss was 68-65 to Virginia of the ACC). In comparison, the Quakers are just 14-61 (.187) when they’ve scored less than 60 points under Coach McLaughlin. The trend continues defensively. Over the last four seasons, the Red and Blue are 8-39 (.170) when allowing more than 60 points. But when holding opponents under that number, the Quakers hold a winning record of 32-28 (.533).
At least one freshman has been in the starting lineup for the Quakers in 76 of the last 79 games ... Penn is 12-5 in its last 17 Ivy games ... Penn is 11-2 when leading at the half and 3-7 when trailing ... The Quakers have had fewer turnovers than their opponents in a remarkable 19 of 23 games this season (13-6 in those games) ... The Quakers have outrebounded their opponent just eight times this year, but are 8-0 in those games ... Penn has used the same starting lineup in 20 straight games (14-6) ... Alyssa Baron has started 79 consecutive games for the Quakers ... Three different Quakers have scored more than 20 points in a game this season (Baron, Roche, Ray).
Penn had quite the trip during its last Ivy road weekend. Here is how the Quakers survived and bonded through a blizzard, hotel flood, leaking gym and a weekend full of twists.
Climbing the Record Books
Junior Alyssa Baron passed three former Quakers over the homestand and is now in sixth-place on Penn’s all-time scoring list with 1,259 career points. Baron is seven points from surpassing Natasha Rezek (1992-94, 96) for a place in the Top 5. 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 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.
Two Penn Wins Would...
... mark a four-game sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth for the first time since 2000-01.
... mark the seven-game win streak since 2004-05 and first seven-game Ivy win streak since 2002-04.
... be the first nine-win Ivy season since 2003-04 and first 16-win season since the same season.
... mark the best 11-game Ivy start since 2003-04 Ivy title season (9-2).
... mark just the sixth nine-win Ivy League season in program history.
... make the Quakers 16-9 overall and 9-2 in Ivy play.
A Penn Win Would...
... match the most overall and Ivy wins since the 2004-05 team.
... make the Quakers 15-10 on the year and 8-3 in Ivy play.
Two Penn Losses Would...
... mark the first back-to-back league losses in over a year (span of 17 Ivy games).
... make the Quakers 14-11 on the year and 7-4 in Ivy play.
... be less good than two 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 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of America, but the team is turning to its fans to lend a hand in its efforts. Here is how you can help!
|CHARGE FOR A CURE!
Last Time Out
Penn posted its largest victory over Cornell since 1981 and improved its winning streak to four with a 67-40 win over the Big Red on Friday night. Then behind four players in double figures, Penn extended its winning streak to five games with another decisive victory, 66-48, over Columbia on Saturday night at The Palestra. On Friday, Penn led wire-to-wire. Cornell was within 16-11, but Penn scored seven straight and led 30-17 at the half. Leading by 10, 35-25, Penn scored 12 of the next 14 points for a 20-point lead and never looked back. On Saturday, Columbia led 25-23 with 5:10 left in the half. But that’s when Penn took over. Over the next 20 minutes, the Quakers outscored the Lions, 42-11.
Penn returns home for the final three games of the season. The Quakers host Brown on Friday and Yale on Saturday, which will mark Senior Day for Katie Davis and Brianna Bradford. The regular season finale is Tuesday, March 12 in a doubleheader with the men against Princeton.