PHILADELPHIA - Ivy League play begins in earnest for the Quakers. Following a program-record 10 non-conference wins, Penn will now begin a string of six straight Ivy League weekends. To start, Penn (10-5, 0-1 Ivy) hosts Dartmouth (3-13, 0-2 Ivy) on Friday and Harvard (12-4, 2-0 Ivy) on Saturday. Both games tip off at The Palestra at 7 p.m.
Catching the Game
If you can't make it out to The Palestra this weekend, you can watch both games on the Penn Sports Network. Live stats can be found here and live twitter updates (@PennWBB) are also available throughout each contest. A complete recap and box score can then be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.
Alumni and National Girls and Women in Sports Weekend!
FREE t-shirts to the first 100 kids and FREE pretzels to the first 50 students on Saturday. In addition, the Quakers will welcome their alumni back to The Palestra this weekend with the annual Red vs. Blue Alumni Game on Saturday. Last year, the Red team avenged a 2012 loss with a 63-50 victory.
In the Series vs. Dartmouth/Harvard
Penn trails the all-time series with Dartmouth, 42-27. But the Quakers have won five straight in the series and six of the last seven, including Penn’s most lopsided win in series history (63-40) at The Palestra last season. Dartmouth’s last win over the Quakers was Feb. 4, 2011 (68-65 in Hanover). The Quakers have won three straight at home dating back to 2010. Against Harvard, Penn has won just 22 of 71 all-time meetings, but that includes the most recent one at The Palestra. The Quakers snapped a 17-game and nine-year losing streak to the Crimson, 77-72, on Feb. 15, 2013. However, Harvard has still won 22 of the last 24 meetings.
Charge for a Cure: Teaming up with Men's Basketball
Penn men's and women's basketball needs your help! For the fourth straight year the women’s basketball team is dedicating its entire season to the fight against several diseases with its Charge for a Cure program. This year, the month of January is dedicated to the Dut Jok Youth Foundation - founded and run by Penn men's basketball senior Dau Jok. The women's basketball team raises money with each charge they take and fans pledge a donation per charge. To make a pledge (usually $1) contact Eric Dolan at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Dut Jok Youth Foundation, click here.
About the Big Green
*Dartmouth has started 0-2 in league play after back-to-back losses to Harvard. The Big Green are just 1-7 away from home with the lone win at NJIT. The only other common opponent with Penn is La Salle. The Big Green lost at home by 11, while the Quakers won by 10 on the road.
*The Big Green rely on the strength of their defense which averages 7.4 steals, 2.1 blocks and holds opponents to 30.8 percent from beyond the arc. Dartmouth is last in the league with an average of 57.7 points per game and gives up an average of 17.9 turnovers per game.
*Fanni Szabo leads the Ivy League in scoring with 16.5 points per game. She has exceeded 20 points on six occassions this year and 30 points in three games. Szabo is also the league leader with 2.5 steals per game and has a team-high 36 assists. Lakin Roland also scores in double figures for the Big Green with 10.4 points per game. Tia Dawson pulls down a team-best 6.6 rebounds per game.
About the Crimson
*Harvard has started 2-0 in Ivy play with back-to-back wins over Dartmouth. The Crimson are 12-4 overall with three road losses to Top 50 RPI opponents—at DePaul, at St. John’s and at Fordham—and a neutral site loss to Long Beach State. NJIT is the only common opponent with Penn. Both teams won handily.
*The Crimson are tops in the league in most offensive categories. They are second in scoring (72.6 ppg), field goal percentage (.438) and three-point percentage (.352). Harvard is also second in the league in rebounding margin (+8.3) and blocks (3.8 pg).
*Temi Fagbenle leads the league in field goal percentage (.541) and rebounding (9.6 pg), and is second in the Ivies with 1.7 blocks per game. She averages 13.6 points per game. Christine Clark scores at a team-high clip of 16.4 points per game. Erin McDonnell, who averages 11.1 points per game, connects on 53.7 percent of her threes. Ali Curtis has a team-high 47 assists and 21 steals.
Tough Start, Tough Stretch
Though the Quakers started 0-2 and dropped three straight in mid-January, they all came against some tough competition. Entering the weekend, Penn’s first two opponents this season are a combined 32-6 (.842). St. Francis Brooklyn is 13-6 and No. 2 Notre Dame is undefeated through 19 games. In all, Penn’s five losses have come against teams with a combined record of 72-20 (.783).
Strength of Schedule. As evidenced, the Quakers have faced some of the nation’s best. In fact, Penn faced the second-toughest non-conference slate in the Ivy League this year and ranked 79th in the country. Princeton ranked 76th in the nation and the only other Ivy team in the top 200 was Dartmouth at 181. All of Penn’s losses have come against Top 150 RPI opponents and all but one have come against the Top 50. The Quakers have posted four wins against the Top 100, including two on the road (Temple, Miami).
Despite that challenging start to the season, the Quakers recorded their best non-conference season in program history. They either set or tied seven school records during non-league play:
• Most non-conference wins in a single season (10).
• Best 10-game start in team history at 8-2.
• School record eight-game non-conference win streak. (The eight-game stretch is also the second-longest overall winning streak in program history—the 2000-01 Quakers won their last 21 regular season games and finished with a school record 22 wins).
• Two Big 5 road wins in the same season for the first time ever.
• Tied the 2004-05 team with the most Big 5 wins in a season (two).
• Tied the 2004-05 team with its highest Big 5 finish of all-time (third).
• Tied the 1990-91 Quakers as the only teams in school history to start the season 4-0 in true road games.
Rising in the Records
Senior captain Alyssa Baron became the fourth player in program history to surpass 1,500 career points earlier this season and now has 1,569. Baron will chase Kirsten Brendel (1,656 points) for third place and Jewel Clark (1,743) for second on Penn’s all-time list. Former Quaker Diana Caramanico holds the Ivy League scoring record at 2,415 points. Baron is 22nd on the Ivy League’s all-time scoring list and is also among or just outside Penn’s all-time top five with 552 made field goals (4th), 138 three-pointers (6th), 327 made free throws (4th), 75.7 free throw percentage (5th) and 297 assists (5th). See page 17 of the game notes for a complete list of Baron in the Penn and Ivy record books.
Freshman Sydney Stipanovich, who set the school single-game record with eight blocks against NJIT on Jan. 25, is seventh in the nation and leads the Ivy League with 50 blocks in 15 games—there are four Ivy League teams with fewer blocks. The next closest Ivy player is Harvard’s Temi Fagbenle with 27 blocks in 16 games. In addtion, Stipanovich is already third among Penn’s all-time single-season top 10 and is just the second player in Penn history to record 50 blocks in a single season. The only other player to do so was Katarina Poulsen, who owns the school record with 72 blocks in 1993-94 and also had 62 during the 1992-93 campaign. Poulsen also holds the career mark with 194 where junior Kara Bonenberger ranks fifth in with 80.
Five Quakers scored in double figures on Saturday and that did not include senior Alyssa Baron—the program’s fourth all-time leading scorer ... Penn has won 10 of its last 13 games ... Senior Alyssa Baron started all 102 games to start her career ... Sydney Stipanovich’s four double-doubles this year are the most in a season at Penn since Jennifer Fleischer finished with seven in 2005-06 ... Penn has won 20 of the last 21 games when outrebounding its opponent ... The Quakers are 7-0 this year when shooting better than 40 percent ... The Quakers have had at least two players score in double figures in all but one game this year ... Penn has reached 70 points in two straight games for the first time in the Mike McLaughlin era and is 13-1 under Coach McLaughlin when scoring more than 70 points (only loss 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 36-8 (.818) when they score 60 points, including 9-0 this season. In comparison, the Quakers are just 18-68 (.212) 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 11-46 (.193) when allowing more than 60 points. But when holding opponents under that number, the Quakers hold a winning record of 43-30 (.589).
Two Penn Wins Would...
... mark the first six-game win streak over Dartmouth since an eight-game stretch from 2001-04.
... be the first back-to-back home wins over Harvard since 1999-2001.
... mark the second straight sweep of Dartmouth and Harvard at The Palestra (only other time that has happened was 1984-85).
... make the Quakers 12-5 overall and 2-1 in Ivy play.
A Penn Win Would...
... be the second straight split with Dartmouth and Harvard.
... make the Quakers 11-6 overall and 1-2 in Ivy play.
Two Penn Losses Would...
... mark a five-game losing to streak to Ivy opponents (all at home).
... make the Quakers 10-7 overall and 0-3 in Ivy play.
... be less good than two wins.
Last Time Out
A school-record effort from Sydney Stipanovich capped a school record-setting non-conference season for the Penn. The Quakers handled NJIT, 84-48, on Saturday afternoon at The Palestra. Stipanovich broke a 22-year-old school record with eight blocks and nearly had the program’s first-ever triple-double. After a slow start, the Quakers opened up an 11-point lead and led 37-25 at the break. It was just a 10-point game five minutes into the second half, but another big run from the Quakers blew the game open for good.
Its the first Ivy League road trip of the season. Penn takes the tour through the Empire State with a stop in Ithaca, N.Y., on Friday to take on Cornell, and then on to New York City to face Columbia. Both games tip off at 7 p.m. and can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.