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PHILADELPHIA - Senior Day will highlight the final home weekend of the year for the Quakers (10-13, 3-6 Ivy) and the final one of the careers for seniors Jess Knapp and Jourdan Banks. Penn tips off with Dartmouth (4-19, 2-7 Ivy) on Friday and Harvard (13-10, 6-3 Ivy) on Saturday. Both games start at 7 p.m.
Catching the Games
Video and live stats will be available on the Penn Sports Network (PSN) at PennAthletics.com. A complete recap and box score can then be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.
In the Series vs. Dartmouth/Harvard
Entering the 69th edition of the Penn-Dartmouth series, the Big Green lead 42-24. But the Quakers have won three of the last four, including the first meeting this year and the last meeting at The Palestra. Penn won all three of those games by double digits and its loss during that stretch was by three points on the road. Dartmouth holds a slight 17-14 edge over the Quakers in Philadelphia. Harvard extended Penn’s longest losing streak to an Ivy team to 16 games earlier this year. The Crimson own a 47-21 all-time advantage in the series, including a 20-13 lead at The Palestra. Penn’s last win over Harvard (73-72) was in Cambridge on Feb. 6, 2004. Penn’s last home win (79-66) against the Crimson was Feb. 9, 2001.
About the Big Green
Dartmouth won its second Ivy League contest of the year on Saturday at Brown and is 2-2 in Ivy road contests this year. Those are the Big Green’s only two wins in the last 19 games. Just 13 days earlier, Penn topped Dartmouth in overtime at Leede Arena. The Big Green rank seventh in the Ivies in scoring (51.7 ppg) and are last in points allowed (66.0). However, Dartmouth is fourth among Ivy teams in holding opponents to a 37.9 shooting percentage overall and 28.8 percent from three-point range. Dartmouth is seventh in rebounding, but ranks atop the league in blocked shot with 107 this season. Faziah Steen, who had 22 points in the first meeting against Penn, ranks fourth in the Ivies with an average of 15.7. Steen is also second in the league with 2.3 steals per game and has a league-high 51 made threes. Tia Dawson is third in the league in rebounding (6.7) and first in blocks with 41. Nicola Zimmer is fourth in assists (3.5).
About the Crimson
Harvard recently stopped a small two-game losing skid with a 20-point win at Yale and has now won five of its last seven games, including a win over Penn. The Crimson currently sit a half game out of second place behind the Bulldogs. The Crimson rank 12th in the nation in free throw percentage (76.9%) and rank in the top half of the Ivy League in nearly every offensive category. They are second in field goal percentage at 40.6 and second in rebounding. Defensively, they are fifth in the Ivies allowing 62.5 points per game, last in three-point defense (.339) and seventh in steals. Christine Clark (15.9), Brogan Berry (12.6) and Victoria Lippert (9.3) all rank in the top nine in the league in scoring. Lippert is second among Ivy players in shooting (46.0%), Berry has a league-best 106 assists and Clark has a team-high 39 steals. Emma Golen is second in the league in three-point percentage (.403), Lippert is third (.387) and Berry is fourth (.375).
#42 Jourdan Banks!
Jourdan missed her entire freshman year due to injury, but has been one of Penn’s most consistent and reliable players ever since. She has played 24 games or more in each of her three seasons and has ranked among the team’s top shooters each year. She led the team in field goal percentage as a junior and ranks second on the team this season at 40.5 percent–a career high. She also led all Quakers in free throw percentage during her junior year. Jourdan was voted a team captain this season and has started 15 games. In the season-opener, she hauled in a career-best nine rebounds during an overtime win over St. Francis (N.Y.). She led the team in scoring at Villanova—which included a made three on her only three-point attempt of the season—and finished just shy of her career-high 13 points – which she set at Cornell as sophomore. In all, Jourdan has played in more than 70 games in a Red and Blue uniform in just three years.
#4 Jess Knapp!
Jess also missed her entire freshman year due to injury and has played most of this season with two torn ligaments in her left knee. Despite that, Jess has played nearly 2,000 minutes in a Red and Blue uniform and has started 67 games. She scored her 500th career point earlier this season and is nearing 500 career rebounds and 100 assists. Jess is a two-time team captain and ranks fourth all-time at Penn with 94 career blocks. As a sophomore, she led the team in rebounding and blocked shots. Her 40 blocks that year rank fifth in single-season school history. As a junior, she finished fourth in the Ivy League in blocks and was second on the team in points, rebounds, field goals and free throws. This season, Jess has been limited by her injury, yet still ranks second among Quakers in steals, rebounds and blocks. Earlier this year, she recorded her fourth career double-double in a win over Rider. She has started four times since tearing her MCL and ACL, and has led the Quakers in rebounding in three of them—which includes a season-high 11 in the overtime win at Dartmouth.
Watching the Record Books
Senior Jess Knapp has now moved into sole possession of fourth place in the school record book with a total of 94 career blocks. She passed Big 5 Hall of Famer Jewel Clark (2001-04), who had 82 during her time in the Red and Blue. Knapp had 40 blocks in 2009-10 - fifth-most in a single-season in school history. She then had 38 blocks last season (sixth in school history). She is just six shy of becoming the fourth player in the history of the program with 100 career blocks.
With and Without Knapp
Senior captain Jess Knapp has decided to play on two torn knee ligaments instead of opting for career-ending knee surgery. She has been a stabilizing force over the past three seasons for the Quakers. Prior to missing five games with her current injury, she had started all but four games in her career and had played in 66 straight for Penn. Without her in the starting lineup since 2009-10, Penn is just 2-11 with six of those losses by 18 or more points. This season, the Quakers are 10-7 with Knapp in the lineup full-time and 0-6 without.
Turning It Around
Penn was 2-26 just two seasons ago. However, this season...The Quakers registered the best 10-game start in team history (7-3) ... Penn opened 5-0 at home for the first time since 2003-04 ... The Quakers won seven games before the month of January for the first time in the program’s 42-year history ... Penn’s seven non-conference wins rank tied for fourth-most all-time in school history ... Penn went through a stretch of 13 games without losing back-to-back games—the longest streak since 2003-04 (19 games) ... The Quakers won seven of nine games for the first time in seven years (2004-05) ... Penn posted back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 2003-04 and 2004-05.
No. 5 in the Nation
Only four teams in the entire country have allowed fewer than the 84 threes given up by the Quakers this year. By percentage, Penn ranks 14th in the country in three-point defense. Opponents are shooting just 25.8 percent (84-of-326) against the Red and Blue this year.
A freshman or sophomore has led the team in scoring in 29 of the last 30 games ... Penn has had a freshman in its starting lineup for in 51 straight games ... Jess Knapp has led the team in rebounding in three of her four starts since returning from injury ... In all nine Ivy wins under Coach McLaughlin, the Quakers have not allowed more than 55 points in regulation and have won each by at least 10 points (avg. margin of victory is 16.6 ppg).
Two Penn Wins Would...
... break a 16-game losing streak to Harvard.
... mark the first three-game winning streak over Dartmouth since 2003-04.
... make the Quakers 12-13 overall and 5-6 in Ivy play.
A Penn Win Would...
... mark the fourth Ivy split in five weekends this season.
... make the Quakers 11-14 on the year and 4-7 in Ivy play.
Two Penn Losses Would...
... mark an 11-game home losing streak to Harvard.
... make the Quakers 10-15 on the year and 3-8 in Ivy play.
... be less good than two wins.
Charge for a Cure!
February: ALS Foundation
The women's basketball team is again dedicating its entire season to the fight against several diseases and the team needs your help. Last season, the team started an initiative which they have coined the "Charge for a Cure" program. The team raised more than $4,000 through the initiative last year. Each month of the season will be devoted to help a specific disease with personal ties to the program - American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, Luekemia and Lymphoma Society, the ALS Foundation, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. This month, the Quakers will be taking charges for the ALS Foundation, but 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
For the second straight weekend, the Quakers split the two games. On Friday, senior Jess Knapp’s basket fell short at the buzzer and so did Penn’s comeback. The Quakers led 14-13 with 5:05 left until intermission, but the Big Red scored the last 11 points of the half and led by 10 at the break. The deficit was 13 when the Quakers came all the way back to tie the game on a three from Kathleen Roche with 3:04 to play. But Penn didn’t score again and Cornell converted a couple free throws to win the game when Knapp’s shot fell short. On Saturday, a 21-0 run spanned both halves in a 61-41 win at Columbia. Buckets from freshmen Jackie Kates and Katy Allen gave the Quakers an early 12-6 lead. The Quakers had the last eight of the first half. Senior Jourdan Banks had four of them, including the last basket that sent the Quakers into the locker room up 28-20. A 13-0 run to start the second half put the game out of reach. Kates contributed a pair of threes to keep the Lions at a distance and junior Katie Davis added a late bucket to put the finishing touches on the 20-point win.
Video and live stats will be available on the Penn Sports Network (PSN) at PennAthletics.com. A complete recap and box score can then be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the game.