PHILADELPHIA - Riding the momentum of their first Ivy sweep in two years, the Quakers put their undefeated home conference record on the line with two more Ivy opponents coming to The Palestra this weekend. Brown visits on Friday, while Yale makes the trip to Philadelphia on Saturday. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.
Catching the Game
Video and live stats will be available at PennAthletics.com for each game. A complete recap and box score can then be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.
In the Series vs. Brown and Yale
This weekend will mark the 68th all-time meeting for the Quakers against both Yale and Brown. And in each series, the oppossing team holds a slim 34-33 advantage. Brown broke a three-game losing streak to Penn with a sweep last season, but the Quakers won in Providence, 52-32, on Jan. 29. Penn has won three of four at The Plaestra over Brown. Against Yale, the Red and Blue have dropped four straight, including a nine-point loss on Jan. 28. Prior to this stretch, the Quakers had won five of six over the Bulldogs. Penn is 18-14 all-time at home against Yale, but the Bulldogs remain one of three Ivy teams that Coach Mike McLaughlin has yet to beat (0-3).
About the Bears
Brown dropped five straight to open the Ivy schedule, but has since won its last three, including a 57-56 thriller over first-place Harvard on Saturday night in Providence. Behind Penn and Princeton’s nationally ranked defenses, Brown is third in the Ivy League at 61.7 points per game. The Bears are tops in the league in three-point defense with opponents averaging under 28 percent from that range. Penn shot 28 percent in the first meeting. Brown is also third in field goal percentage defense with opponents averaging just 37.5 percent. Sheila Dixon leads the team with 10.4 points per game and had a team-high 13 against Penn in January. She also leads the team in rebounding at 6.0 per game and has a team-best 54 assists and 43 steals. Lindsay Nickel is fourth in the league in made threes (37), while Lauren Clarke is fifth (33).
About the Bulldogs
Following a non-conference season that was highlighted by a home victory over No. 14 Florida State, Yale has surged into second-place in the Ivy League with six wins in their first eight conference contests. Yale is ranked third in the Ivies in scoring (61.7 ppg) and is the league’s third-best shooting team at 37.3-percent from the field. Yale is second in the league with nearly 15 assists per game and is third in the Ivies with nearly 10 steals per game. However, the Bulldogs do rank last in the leauge in field goal percentage defense (43.7%). Megan Vasquez had 16 against Penn in January and is third in the Ivies with 13.7 points per game. She has a team-high 28 threes. Michelle Cashen is fifth in the league with 6.6 rebounds per game. Aarica West is second in the league in assists and has a team-high 39 steals.
With nine wins this season, the Quakers have matched the the school record for the largest one-year turnaround in program history. The Red and Blue won just two games in 2009-10, but has seven more wins than that through 19 games in 2010-11. On only two other occassions has the program seen a similar turnaround in one year. The 2006-07 team won seven more games than the 2005-06 team to tie the school record set by the 1997-98 team. The largest one-year turnaround in Ivy history is 12 games by Harvard on two occassions.
10 Seconds. That’s it. During Penn’s sweep of Cornell and Columbia, the Quakers trailed for a total of 10 seconds in 80 minutes of game time. The Quakers never trailed against Cornell, while Columbia took its first and only lead with a free throw to start the second half. Ten seconds later, senior Erin Power was fouled and sunk a free throw to tie the game. Penn never trailed again.
Ivy Sweep Notables
It was Penn’s first Ivy weekend sweep since topping Cornell and Columbia at home on March 6-7, 2009 ... Penn held the opposition to 17 or fewer points in three of the four halves ... Penn’s 18-point win over Cornell was its largest against the Big Red since an 83-64 win in Ithaca, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1991 ... Penn’s 60-40 win over Columbia was its largest over the Lions in 11 years (79-43 at The Palestra on Jan. 28, 2000) ... The Big Red were held to 33 points—the fewest they’ve scored against Penn since 1981, when they posted 26 on Jan. 31 at The Palestra ... Columbia had just 40 points—it’s second-lowest output ever against the Quakers (39 on Feb. 24, 1995).
Top 15 in the Nation
The Red and Blue boast the 14th-best defense in the nation. Of the 333 Division I teams, the Quakers rank No. 14 in points allowed, giving up an average of just 53.6 per contest. Princeton ranks tops in the league as they’ve allowed a total of eight fewer points than the Quakers this season.
Penn has had the same starting lineup in 20 of 21 games (the Quakers had eight different starting lineups last season) ... In all four Ivy wins under Coach McLaughlin, the Quakers have not allowed more than 40 points and have won each by at least 13 points (avg. margin of victory is 17.8 ppg) ... In Penn’s last three Ivy losses, none have come by more than nine points ... Freshman Alyssa Baron has led the team in scoring in 17 games ... Penn has lost the last 24 games in which they have allowed 60 or more points, but are 6-4 under Coach McLaughlin when scoring that many.
Charge for a Cure! February:
Fight Against Breast Cancer
The Penn women’s basketball team is dedicating its entire 2010-11 season in the fight against several diseases and they need your help. The team has started an initiative which they have coined the “Charge for a Cure” program. Each month of the season will be devoted to help a specific disease with personal ties to the program – ALS, Lupus, Parkinson’s Disease, Breast Cancer, and Cystic Fibrosis. The team is turning to its fans to lend a hand in its efforts. For more information and to donate to "Charge for a Cure," click here.
FOR A CURE!
Last Time Out
Penn matched the biggest one-year turnaround in program history with its first Ivy sweep since the 2008-09 season and now has seven more wins than last season. On Friday against Cornell, the lead grew to 21-7 in the early going and Penn led at the half, 28-16. The Quakers held Cornell without a point for the first six minutes of the second half. That catalized an 11-2 Penn run over the half’s first 10 minutes to give Penn a 39-18 lead. The Quakers maintained their 21-point lead, 42-21, before the Big Red finally started to find the bottom of the basket with 12 points in the final 4:30. But Penn allowed them no closer than 15. On Saturday, the game went back-and-forth in the first half and was tied, 25-25, at intermission. But Penn opened the second frame on a 12-1 run. Columbia closed to within seven, 39-32, but the Quakers responded and opened the game up with a 19-6 run. Brianna Bradford scored four straight for a 49-34 edge with 7:11 to go, and Jess Knapp’s second three of the night capped the run with 2:50 left and gave Penn its largest lead of the night, 58-38.
Its the final two road games of the year. Penn travels to Columbia on Friday night and then heads to Ithaca, N.Y., to face Cornell on Saturday. Both games tip at 7 p.m.