PHILADELPHIA - With the conclusion of Ivy play on Tuesday night, freshman Alyssa Baron of the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team officially became the first freshman in Ivy League history to lead the league in scoring.
The last freshman to win the Ivy scoring title was Gail Koziara in 1978-79. But at that time, the Ivy League did not coordinate a league schedule and there were just six teams. The first season the Ivy League instituted its round-robin schedule was in 1979-80 and the first 14-game league schedule occurred in 1986-87.
Baron led the league in scoring at 16.6 points per game. She was the only player in the Ivy League with more than 400 points as she finished her first season with 464. Baron was also in the top ten in the Ivy League in three-point percentage (7th), made threes (9th) and minutes played (3rd).
Baron, an All-Ivy honorable mention selection and unanimous pick for the Ivy League All-Rookie team, set the school freshman record with 38 points at Harvard on Feb. 5. She was a seven-time Ivy Rookie of the Year (fifth-most all-time), two-time Ivy League Player of the Week, two-time co-Big 5 Player of the Week, co-ECAC Player of the Week (Feb. 8) and was recently named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
"This is a tremendous honor for Alyssa and for our program," said second-year head coach Mike McLaughlin of the Ivy Rookie of the Year award on Thursday. "I'm proud of what this group accomplished this season, and Alyssa was obviously a huge part of our success. For the coaches in this league to recognize her accomplishments, it really is a great honor. In our efforts to continue to move in the right direction, we are hopeful for even bigger and better things for Alyssa and the team in the years to come."
Penn's other league-leader was senior Erin Power as she logged an Ivy-most 33.96 minutes per game. She played a career-high 40 minutes in two games this season and saw 35 minutes or more in 18 games. Power also finished in the top 10 in the Ivy League in assists (8th), steals (2nd), rebounding (4th), offensive rebounding (3rd) and defensive rebounding (7th).
Next season, nine of the 12 Quakers return. Power and fellow seniors Caroline Nicholson and Jerin Smith played in their final game at Penn on Tuesday. The Quakers completed the largest single-season turnaround in school history in 2010-11, including their first Big 5 win since 2004.