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PHILADELPHIA - Ivy League play kicks into full gear this weekend as Penn (7-8, 0-1 Ivy) travels to Columbia (2-14, 0-2 Ivy) and Cornell (10-6, 2-0 Ivy) for a pair of games in the Empire State. The Quakers will be looking for their first win at Newman Arena in Ithaca since 2009 and their first two-game sweep through New York since 2005. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.
Catching the Game
Video will be available for free on Friday against Columbia for Penn Sports Network subscribers at PennAthletics.com. Live stats are also accessible at PennAthletics.com. Video and live stats will be available at CornellBigRed.com on Saturday. 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. Columbia and Cornell
Penn has lost three straight to Cornell, but leads the overall series, 48-19. Recently, the Big Red have held the upper hand as Cornell has won five of the last six and 10 of 14. The Quakers have left Newman Arena with just one win in their last five visits there—a 79-70 triumph in 2009. This marks the 54th all-time meeting between the Quakers and the Lions. Penn leads the overall series with Columbia, 35-18. Penn has won three of the last four meetings by 20 or more, including a 61-41 victory in their last meeting at Levien Gym on Feb. 18—which broke a three-game losing streak at Columbia.
About the Lions
Columbia lost in double overtime in their last outing against Cornell. The Lions have now lost six straight, but that also included just a two-point loss to Lafayette. They have three common opponents with Penn. Both teams lost to Army and beat St. Francis Brooklyn, but Penn topped LIU Brooklyn by 14 and Columbia lost by 11. Columbia is last in the Ivy League in scoring at just 49.8 points per game and in field goal percentage at 31.5. Columbia boasts one of the better defenses in the league as they are tied for the league lead with 10.1 steals per game and are second in turnover margin (behind Penn’s +3.27) at +1.81. Tyler Simpson leads the Lions in scoring at 10.4 points per game. Brittany Simmons averages an Ivy League-best 2.4 steals per game, while Courtney Bradford ranks fifth in the Ivy League in rebounding with 6.2 per game and sixth in blocks with 15.
About the Big Red
Cornell enters the weekend on a four-game winning streak and alone atop the Ivy League standings at 2-0. The Big Red have two common opponents with Penn as both teams won at St. Francis Brooklyn—Penn won by one and Cornell won by 18. But the Quakers topped Bucknell at home in overtime and the Big Red fell to the Bison by 25 on the road. Cornell ranks near the top of the Ivy League in field goal percentage (.403) and field goal percentage defense (.383). They are second in the league in assists at 14.9 per game and rank in the middle of the pack in rebounding. Allyson DiMagno and Clare Fitzpatrick both score in double figures for Cornell at 13.9 and 13.0 points per game, respectively to rank in the top 10 of the league. DiMagno is the top rebounder in the Ivies with 11.9 per game, while Spencer Lane leads the league with 64 assists. DiMagno also has a league-high 35.7 minutes played per game. Clare Fitzpatrick leads the team with 11 blocks.
Penn posted seven or more out-of-conference wins in back-to-back seasons for just the second time in program history (1999-00, 2000-01). Penn also won seven non-league games last season—tied for fourth-most in program history.
Penn has won four of its last five Ivy road games, including three straight. The Quakers finished 2011-12 with wins at Brown and Yale for their first Ivy road sweep since defeating those same two schools in 2007 and earned their first winning season in Ivy road games since the 2004-05 team went 5-2.
New York, New York
Penn is 2-0 in New York City this season and 2-1 in the Empire State. The Quakers knocked off two Brooklyn teams during the non-conference portion of their schedule—a thrilling school record-setting, 18-point comeback win over St. Francis Brooklyn on Dec. 5 (61-60) and a 54-40 win at LIU Brooklyn on Dec. 9. A week earlier, Penn fell in West Point to Army on Nov. 30 (58-53).
Penn is 6-2 when leading at the half and 1-6 when trailing (only win was 18-point school-record comeback at St. Francis Brooklyn) ... The Quakers have had fewer turnovers than their opponents in 12 of 15 games this season (7-5 in those games) ... The Quakers have outrebounded their opponent just three times this year, but are 3-0 in those games ... Alyssa Baron has started 71 consecutive games for the Quakers ... Three different Quakers have scored more than 20 points in a game this season (Baron, Roche, Ray).
Climbing the Record Books
Junior Alyssa Baron moved into ninth place all-time at Penn in career scoring at Princeton on Jan. 12. She now has 1,162 career points and is 40 points away from passing Cheryl Rath for eighth place. 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...
... be the first sweep at Cornell and Columbia since 2005.
... mark the first five-game Ivy road win streak since 2005.
... mark the first three-game win streak over Columbia since 2005-07 (five straight).
... snap a three-game losing streak to Cornell and at Newman Arena.
... make the Quakers 9-8 overall and 2-1 in Ivy play.
A Penn Win Would...
... mark the second straight split during the Empire State weekend.
... make the Quakers 8-9 on the year and 1-2 in Ivy play.
Two Penn Losses Would...
... mark the sixth loss in the last seven meetings with Cornell.
... make the Quakers 7-10 on the year and 0-3 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 ALS and the Dave Bryan Ride On Fund, 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
A late comeback attempt fell short in the final non-conference game of the season for Penn. The Quakers trailed Temple by 24, but made it an eight-point game in the closing minutes before falling, 59-51, at The Palestra on Wednesday night. Penn led 10-7 in the early going, but Temple went on a 29-4 run spanning the two halves to take a commanding 36-14 lead. Both teams then alternated baskets until the midway point of the half. Temple extended its lead to as many as 24, 51-27, before the Quakers made their run. A 18-4 run got the Quakers within 55-45 with 4:05 remaining. A short while later, four points from sophomore Katy Allen had the Red and Blue within 57-49 with 1:08 to play. But Temple went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe to hold on for the win.
Penn wraps up a five-game road swing to start the Ivy season with a trip through New England to Yale (Feb. 8) and Brown (Feb. 9) before hosting its first Ivy League games of the season in mid-Feburary against Harvard (Feb. 15) and Dartmouth (Feb. 16).