PHILADELPHIA - One final Ivy weekend remains and the Quakers will spend it in New England with games at Brown (Friday) and Yale (Saturday). Penn is 2-2 in Ivy road games this year and is looking to surpass last season's overall win total. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.
Catching the Games
Video and live stats will be available at BrownBears.com on Friday. Video and live stats will then be available at YaleBulldogs.com on Saturday. 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/Yale
This will mark Penn's 70th all-time meeting against both of these teams. After an overtime win over the Quakers at The Palestra in February, Brown now holds a slight 35-34 edge in the all-time series. The Bears also own a small 12-10 advantage at the Pizzitola Sports Center. Yale leads the overall series 36-33 with six straight wins. Penn's last win over Yale came at The Palestra in 2009. The Bulldogs have won 19 of the 30 meetings inside Lee Amphitheater, including three straight wins over the Quakers dating back to 2008. Head Coach Mike McLaughlin is 2-3 against the Bears and 0-5 against the Bulldogs in his career.
About the Bears
Brown is still in the hunt for a WNIT berth with a 7-5 mark in the Ivy League. But the Bears have dropped two of three since winning four straight - a streak that started with an overtime win over Penn at The Palestra on Feb. 4. Brown is most likely the most consistent team in the Ivy League statistically. The Bears rank in the top half of the league in nearly every offensive and defensive category. They are second in field goal percentage defense (.365) and third against the three (.282). The only categories where they rank below the top four are blocks (eighth) and offensive rebounding (sixth). Sheila Dixon is the team's top scorer at 13.0 points per game. The other four starters average 9.1 ppg or better. Dixon is also the top rebounder (6.2/gm) and leads the Bears with 56 steals. Lindsay Nickel is one of just three Ivy players to shoot better than 39 percent from beyond the arc.
About the Bulldogs
Yale remains in second place in the Ivy League despite a four-point loss to last-place Columbia on Feb. 24. The Bulldogs have won seven of their last 10 in Ivy play, including a 12-point win over Penn on Feb. 3. Yale is second in the league in scoring behind Princeton - the only two Ivies to surpass 70 points against the Quakers this year. They are second in the Ivies in assists, steals, and three-point and free throw percentage. They are first in turnover margin and assist/turnover ratio. But last in field goal percentage defense and defensive rebounding. Megan Vasquez ranks fourth among Ivy players in scoring (15.3 ppg). She is also second in the league in free throw percentage (.818). Janna Graf is also in double figures in scoring (10.6), and has a team-high 50 threes and 5.8 rebounds per game. Aarica West is third in the league in assists (3.5/gm) and sixth in steals (1.9).
Matching Win Totals
With the 14-point win over Dartmouth on Friday night, the Quakers matched last season's win total at 11. With one more victory, the Red and Blue would have improved their win total in back-to-back years for the first time since the 2002-03 and 2003-04 teams did so. Penn won 12 games in 2001-02, but were victorious in 15 games the following year and improved to 17 wins during an Ivy League title season the next year.
Watching the Record Books
Freshman Kara Bonenberger had six blocks on Friday in the win over Dartmouth. That is third-most in a single game in program history and just one off the school record. She has 19 on the year, but has a long way to catch her teammate. Senior Jess Knapp has now moved into sole possession of fourth place in the school record book with a total of 95 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 five shy of becoming the fourth player in the history of the program with 100 career blocks.
Top 20 in the Nation
Throughout the year, the Quakers have ranked among the nation's best in three-point defense. By percentage, Penn ranks 18th in the country in three-point defense. Opponents are shooting just 26.3 percent (93-of-354) against the Red and Blue this year. South Carolina leads the nation in this category as they've held their opposition to just 20.4 percent from beyond the arc.
A freshman or sophomore has led the team in scoring in 31 of the last 32 games ... Penn has had a freshman in its starting lineup for in 53 straight games ... Jess Knapp has led the team in rebounding in five of her six starts since returning from injury ... Sophomore Alyssa Baron has three straight games with 20 or more points for the first time in her career ... In all 10 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 16.3 ppg).
Two Penn Wins Would...
... be the first win at Lee Amphitheater since 2008.
... mark three wins in the last four meetings with Brown, including two straight in Providence.
... mark five wins in the last seven Ivy games.
... make the Quakers 13-14 overall and 6-7 in Ivy play.
A Penn Win Would...
... mark the fifth Ivy split in six weekends this season.
... make the Quakers 12-15 on the year and 5-8 in Ivy play.
Two Penn Losses Would...
... mark a seven-game losing streak to Yale.
... give Brown two season sweeps over Penn in three years.
... make the Quakers 11-16 on the year and 4-9 in Ivy play.
... be less good than two wins.
Charge for a Cure!
March: Michael J. Fox 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 Michael J. Fox 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
Penn split their final two home games with a decisive, 63-49 win over Dartmouth and another close loss to Harvard, 57-53. On Friday, a 20-2 run propelled Penn to the win. It was a 24-15 advantage with 7:15 left until the half. The Big Green quickly closed the gap to 24-20, but the Red and Blue scored the last seven and led 31-20 at the break. The Quakers then scored the first eight points of the second half and a 20-2 run gave them a 44-22 lead with 14:20 to play. The advantage grew to as many as 25. On Saturday, Kara Bonenberger tied the game with 1:51 left, but Harvard scored seven of the last 10 to hold off the Quakers. Penn held Harvard without a basket over the last 5:53 of the first half and took a 31-28 lead into intermission. The Crimson retook the lead and built a 44-37 lead with 9:01 to go. But Penn tied it at 48-48 on an Alyssa Baron three-pointer with 3:53 to play. Bonenberger tied it, but Harvard scored on two straight trips in the final minutes to pull out the victory.
Penn has just one game remaining following this final Ivy road trip. The Quakers head across the New Jersey state border to take on Princeton. The Tigers have clinched their third straight Ivy title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Tip off is at 5 p.m., and is the first game of a doubleheader with the men's teams (7:30 p.m.).