PHILADELPHIA - On the road again. A wild trip to Miami last week—which included the program’s first-ever win over an ACC opponent—dropped the Quakers in Philadelphia early Sunday morning. The Red and Blue won later that day and after two days in the City of Brotherly Love, Penn (7-2) hits the road again for a 5:30 p.m. tip off in Baltimore against Morgan State.
Catching the Game
If you can't make it to Baltimore, fans can listen to the game on the Penn Sports Network as part of the Ivy League Digital Network. Live 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 the game.
In the Series vs. Morgan State
This will be just the second meeting all-time between these programs. The Quakers won the inaugural matchup at The Palestra last season, 79-73. Overall, Penn is 3-3 all-time against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) opponents, but has won the last three. Penn topped Norfolk State on Sunday, 79-49, and last season, the Red and Blue beat Howard in the First Round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational (65-60) at The Palestra—the program’s first-ever posteason victory. The win over the Bears last January started this three-game MEAC winning streak.
Though the Quakers started 0-2, they faced some tough competition. Entering the New Year, Penn’s first two opponents this season are a combined 23-2 (.920). St. Francis Brooklyn is 10-2 and its only two losses came on the road to BCS opponents in St. John’s and Miami (Fla.). No. 2 Notre Dame is undefeated through 13 games.
Despite that challenging start to the season, the Quakers have now matched the best nine-game start in program history. Currently at 7-2, the Quakers matched the 2011-12 teams for that distinction. Prior to Coach McLaughlin’s tenure at Penn, the Red and Blue had never won seven of their nine games, but they have now done so twice in the last three years. Penn has never won eight of its first 10 games.
Non-Conference Program Record
With its dramatic and historic victory at Miami and dominant win over Norfolk State, Penn is now currently riding a seven-game winning streak—matching the longest non-conference winning streak in program history. The last time Penn won seven straight non-league games was in 2000-01—the program’s all-time winningest team (22 wins). That group won its last seven non-conference games and after a loss to a Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament, the 2001-02 team won its first two games for a nine-game non-conference regular season winning streak.
Penn would hold sole possession of the second-longest winning streak in program history with a victory on Wednesday. The Quakers have won seven straight games for the first time since 2004-05—the first season under then-head coach Patrick Knapp. Penn also won seven in a row during the 1999-00 season in the first season under the program’s all-time winningest head coach, Kelly Greenberg. But only once have the Quakers won eight or more consecutive games—the longest win streak in Penn history came in 2000-01 when the Quakers went 22-6 and won their last 21 regular season games.
Penn has not lost a game since Nov. 23, 2013 against No. 5/6 Notre Dame—a span of 46 days. The Fighting Irish are now ranked second in the nation which means Penn has not lost to an unranked team since Nov. 9, 2013—a span of 60 days.
Magic Number: 60
The statistic that may most indicate a Penn win or loss? 60 points. Since head coach Mike McLaughlin took over at Penn, the Quakers are 33-8 (.805) when they score 60 points, including 6-0 this season. In comparison, the Quakers are just 18-65 (.217) 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 10-44 (.181) when allowing more than 60 points. But when holding opponents under that number, the Quakers hold a winning record of 41-29 (.586).
Penn is 20-3 over the last two seasons when leading at the half (5-1 this season) ... The Quakers are 4-0 this year when Alyssa Baron leads the team in scoring ... The Quakers have had at least two players score in double figures in every game this year ... Penn has had four different leading scorers in the last four games ... The Quakers have won 18 straight games when they have outrebound their opponent (last loss was at Cornell on Feb. 17 ,2012) ... Alyssa Baron has started 96 consecutive games for the Quakers—Penn is now 49-47 in those games ... Penn is 10-1 under Coach McLaughlin when scoring more than 70 points (only loss in double overtime, 88-84, at Harvard in 2011).
Last season, Kara Bonenberger and Courtney Wilson finished first and second in the Ivy League in blocks, respectively. This year, freshman Sydney Stipanovich leads the league with 24 blocks in nine games. The next closest Ivy player is Temi Fagbenle with 22 blocks...in 13 games. Bonenberger had just three blocks entering Sunday, but had five against the Spartans and is sixth in the league now. Stipanovich, who is already just 10 blocks from Penn’s all-time single-season top 10 in the category, is also 18th in the nation with her average of 2.7 blocks per game and Penn ranks 36th as a team with an average of 4.9 per game.
Baron in the Top 5
Senior captain Alyssa Baron is currently fourth all-time at Penn with 1,496 career points. But Baron is also among or just outside Penn’s all-time top five with 526 made field goals (4th), 132 three-pointers (6th), 312 made free throws (4th), 75.9 free throw percentage (5th) and 283 assists (5th).
A Penn Win Would...
... be the eighth straight and second-longest winning streak in program history.
... mark the first eight-game non-conference win streak in school history.
... be the best 10-game start in program history at 8-2.
... make the Quakers 2-0 all-time against Morgan State.
A Penn Loss Would...
... be the first on the road this season.
... snap a three-game win streak against MEAC opponents.
... be less good than a win.
Charge for a Cure!
For the fourth 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 three years, 146 donors have joined the “Charge for a Cure” program which helped the team raise nearly $9,000. Each month of the season will be devoted to help a specific disease with personal ties to the program. Fans can pledge a donation per charge and the amount of charges are totaled each month. The money raised will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (Nov/Dec), Dut Jok Youth Foundation (Jan.), Autism/Play 4Kay (Feb.) and Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s (March). To join the team in Charge for a Cure, contact Eric Dolan at firstname.lastname@example.org with your pledge or any questions. For more information, click here.
Last Time Out
The Quakers arrived in Philadelphia just 12 hours before tip off after a series of travel issues, but dominated from start-to-finish in a 79-49 win over Norfolk State at The Palestra. The Spartans trailed 12-10 at the 13:41 mark, but Penn dominated from that point on. The Quakers finished the half on a 28-5 run and led 40-15. Penn carried its enthusiastic play into the second half. The lead was up to 30 within 90 seconds and it hovered around that mark throughout the half. Penn used its bench extensively in the second half, but there was certainly no drop off. Throughout the final eight minutes, the Red and Blue played without any upperclassmen, but the lead never dropped below 25 points. Penn tied a single-game school record with 11 blocks.
As is tradition, the Quakers open Ivy play against Princeton. Penn will host the first matchup this year on Saturday with tip off at The Palestra set for 3 p.m.—the first game of a doubleheader with the men. Those with a ticket to the women’s game can see the Penn-Princeton men’s game for free (6 p.m.).