PHILADELPHIA - A winning streak will come to an end on Wednesday at The Palestra. On Saturday, Penn (3-2) won its third straight game—in a span of six days—with a decisive road win at Bucknell. The Quakers will now host the Bison’s conference rival Army (7-1), which has won seven straight. Tip off is at 7 p.m. and the game can be seen on The Penn Sports Network.
Catching the Game
If you can't make it out to The Palestra, fans can watch the game on the Penn Sports Network as part of the Ivy League Digital Network. Live stats can be found at PennAthletics.com and 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. Army
These teams are meeting for the fourth straight season. The home team has won each of the previous three years and four straight in this series. The Quakers lost in West Point in 2010 and 2012, but topped the Black Knights at The Palestra in 2011. All three of those games were decided by 10 points or less. Overall, the Quakers lead the all-time series, 4-3, and are 2-1 at home against Army—the only loss came in 1981.
About the Black Knights
Army lost its season opener to St. Francis Brooklyn—its only common opponent with Penn—by a similar score. The Quakers lost 56-51 at home and Black Knights fell 56-53 on the road. Army has since won seven straight games. All but one of those games came at home, including a two-point win over Brown. Army allows just 55.8 points per game—second-fewest in the 10-team Patriot League and holds opponents to a league-low 34.3 shooting percentage. The Black Knights are also second in rebounding and three-point defense. Offensively, Army boast the PL’s top field goal percentage (.438) and is second in three-point percentage (.388). Kelsey Minato leads the Patriot League in scoring with 18.5 points per game and has a team-high 27 assists. She shoots 94.1 percent from the charity stripe and 44.4 percent from beyond the arc. Olivia Schretzman is tops among the Black Knights with 8.0 rebounds per contest. Aimee Oertner is second in the league with a team-best 55.6 field goal percentage and 18 blocks. Jen Hazlett leads the team with 10 steals.
Against the Patriot League
In the four-plus seasons under head coach Mike McLaughlin, the Quakers are 5-5 against Patriot League foes, including Saturday's eight-point road win at Bucknell. Penn has now won four of the last five since 2011 with the only loss in that span coming at Army last season (58-53).
Though the Quakers started 0-2, they have faced some tough competition. Entering Wednesday night, Penn’s first two opponents this season are a combined 15-2. St. Francis Brooklyn is 7-2 and its only two losses are to BCS opponents in St. John’s and Miami (Fla.). No. 4/5 Notre Dame is undefeated through eight games.
Despite that challenging start to the season, the Quakers have a chance to match the best six-game start in program history. Currently at 3-2, the Quakers are a win away from matching the 1980-81 and 2011-12 teams for that distinction.
In head coach Mike McLaughlin's first season at the helm of the Quakers, Penn won just two games. But the Quakers have set a program record by improving their record in three consecutive years - which led to the second-most wins in program history last year. Since that two-win season, the Red and Blue have had six different winning streaks of three or more games, including a high of six games (all against Ivy opponents) last season.
Decembers to Remember
The holiday season has been kind to the Quakers under head coach Mike McLaughlin. Penn has won five straight games in December and eight of the last nine (and 11 of the last 13). In contrast, the Red and Blue were 1-5 in November over the last two years.
After the win over LIU Brooklyn, Penn remains undefeated on Thursdays under fifth-year head coach Mike McLaughlin (5-0) ... Penn is 3-0 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 three different leading rebounders in the last three games ... The Quakers have won 12 straight games when they have outrebound their opponent ... Alyssa Baron has started 92 consecutive games for the Quakers ... Penn is 9-1 under Coach McLaughlin when scoring more than 70 points (only loss came in double overtime, 88-84, at Harvard in 2011).
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 30-8 (.789) when they score 60 points, including 2-0 this season. In comparison, the Quakers are just 16-65 (.198) 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 9-44 (.170) when allowing more than 60 points. But when holding opponents under that number, the Quakers hold a winning record of 37-29 (.561).
Co-Ivy and Big 5 Player of the Week
Senior captain Alyssa Baron, who became the fourth player in program history to reach 1,400 career points at La Salle, led Penn in scoring in all three games last week to help propel the Quakers to three wins in six days. For the week, the Miami, Fla., native averaged 18.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.0 steals, 2.7 assists, and shot 50.0% from the field and 94.7% from the free throw line. For her efforts she was named Co-Ivy League Player of the Week and Co-Big 5 Player of the Week by the respective league offices on Monday.
A Penn Win Would...
... be the fourth straight overall.
... match the program's best six-game start at 4-2.
... mark the third straight at home against Army.
A Penn Loss Would...
... be the second straight to Army and third in last four years.
... be the first at home to Army since 1981.
... make the Quakers 3-3 overall.
... be less good than a win.
Last Time Out
A big effort from a big frontcourt propelled Penn to a big road win over Bucknell, 69-61, at Sojka Pavilion on Saturday afternoon. Freshman forward Sydney Stipanovich posted her first collegiate double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds - both career highs. Meanwhile, junior forward Kara Bonenberger poured in another 16 points as the duo guided Penn to its third straight win. It was an up-tempo game from the start as Bucknell pushed the pace. The teams traded baskets through the first 10 minutes and Bucknell led 16-13. But the Bison went the next 18 minutes without a field goal. Penn capitalized. With the score tied at 19-19, Penn went on a 28-4 run. They ended the first half with 13 of the last 17 points for a 32-23 lead at the break, then scored the first 15 of the second half. Bucknell trailed by 24, but got within six late. The Quakers staved off the Bison though.
Finals. The Quakers have 10 days until their next game, but will be busy as student-athletes. Leading into the City Six matchup with Drexel on Saturday, Dec. 21, Penn will have Finals week. The Battle for 33rd Street tips off at 2 p.m. at The Palestra and can be seen on the Penn Sports Network.