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PHILADELPHIA - A wild road trip ended with yet another league win for Penn (10-9, 3-2 Ivy) to set up one of the biggest Ivy weekends in years. Penn trails both Harvard (13-6, 4-1 Ivy) and Dartmouth (6-13, 4-1 Ivy) by one game for second place. On Friday, the Quakers tip off with the Crimson—a team they haven’t defeated since 2004—and on Saturday, they host Dartmouth—the winningest program in Ivy history. Both games tip off at 7 p.m. and can be seen on the Penn Sports Network.
Saturday marks Penn's annual Play4Kay game, which raises money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. Fans are enouraged to buy pink t-shirts at the game ($10) to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation and all ticket sales ($5) will go toward Penn's Rena Rowan Breast Center at the Abramson Cancer Center.
Catching the Games
Video and live stats will be available on the Penn Sports Network at PennAthletics.com. Twitter updates (@PennWBB) are also available throughout the contest. A complete recap and box score can then be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.
In the Series vs. Harvard and Dartmouth
Friday marks the 70th all-time meeting between Penn and Harvard on the hardwood. The Crimson own a 48-21 edge in the series, including an active 17-game winning streak. The Quakers last defeated Harvard on Feb. 6, 2004, 73-72, in Cambridge. Penn has lost 11 straight home games to the Crimson, dating back to a 65-51 win on Feb. 9, 2001. Penn also trails Dartmouth in the all-time series. The Big Green have won 42 of the first 67 games, but the Quakers have won four of five and three straight, including two in a row at The Palestra.
About the Crimson
Harvard went 9-5 during a challenging non-conference slate and is off to a 4-1 start in Ivy play. They have posted wins over Yale, Brown and Cornell. Penn beat Brown and Cornell, but lost at Yale. The Crimson have the league’s second-highest scoring offense at 68.6 points per game, but are second to last in defense at 64.4 points allowed. They lead the league in field goal percentage (.442) and three-point percentage (.371). They are also second in rebounding, and third in blocks, steals and assists. Christine Clark is second in the Ivy League with 16.6 points per game. Victoria Lippert (12.5) and Tami Fagbenle (11.9) also average double figures. Fagbenle is fourth in the league in rebounding and first in field goal percentage (.540). Clark is sixth in the Ivies with 54 assists and third in free throw percentage (.831). Lippert leads the league from the three-point line at 43.2 percent and charity stripe at 91.1 percent.
About the Big Green
Dartmouth faced one of the nation’s toughest non-conference schedules which featured games against Syracuse, Marquette, Villanova and BYU. The Big Green went 2-12, but it paid off. They are 4-1 in Ivy play with wins over Brown, Columbia, Yale and Harvard. Penn also beat the Bears and Lions, but fell at Yale. The Big Green’s overall statistics are slightly skewed due to the strength of their non-conference schedule. Against the Ivy League, they have the second-best defense (54.8 ppg) and rank second in field goal percentage (.425). In five Ivy games, they rank second in FG% defense (.336) and 3-pt defense (.250). They are also second in rebounding and steals, and have attempted by far the fewest threes in the league. Faziah Steen averages a team-high 12.2 points per game. Tia Dawson is third in the league with 7.9 rebounds per game and fifth in blocked shots with 20. Kaitana Martinez has 3.0 assists per game to lead the team.
- Penn has not played at home since Jan. 23 against Temple.
- Dating back to last season, the Quakers have played eight straight Ivy league road games (5-3).
- Penn has won six of its last nine Ivy road games—two of the three losses came at the hands of Princeton.
- Outside of New Jersey, the Quakers are 7-2 in their last seven Ivy road contests.
- In that span, the Quakers swept two straight Ivy road weekends for the first time since 2004-05.
- Penn swept Columbia and Cornell for their first two-win trip through the Empire State since 2005.
- Prior to this run, Penn had not swept a single Ivy weekend since 2007 (at Yale and Brown).
- Penn has won three straight at Brown for the first time in school history.
Last weekend was filled with rescheduled games, changed venues, hotel floods and three feet of snow for the Quakers. After their arrival in New Haven, Conn., a winter storm dropped three feet of snow and forced the game at Yale to be rescheduled on numerous occasions. The team hotel was nearly evacuated at 4 a.m. on the night before the game due to flooding, which was also a problem at Yale’s home gym, Lee Amphitheater. An hour before tip-off, the court was deemed unplayable due to a leak in the roof and the game moved to the campus recreation center (Lanman Center). The Quakers then stayed in New Haven Saturday night and drove to Rhode Island on the day of the game at Brown. The team’s twitter account (@PennWBB) documented it all in real time and provided up-to-the-second updates. Photos are available on PennAthletics.com and PennBball on Facebook, and a video of the trip is being produced as well. A blooper preview:
The Last Time...
It has been nine years and 17 defeats since Penn last beat Harvard on Feb. 6, 2004 (73-72), but its been even longer (4,389 days) since the Quakers beat the Crimson at home—Feb. 9, 2001 (65-51). The last time Penn beat Harvard at The Palestra...
... the current Penn freshmen were in second grade.
... gas was $1.46 per gallon and a stamp was 34 cents.
... Ocean’s Eleven was near the top of the box office charts.
... Apple released a device known as the “iPod”.
... “Friends” was the most popular TV show.
... Destiny’s Child had two No. 1 hits—Independent Women and Bootylicious.
... a good omen for the Quakers? The Baltimore Ravens were defending Super Bowl champions.
... Coach Laukaitis was a sophomore under Coach McLaughlin at Holy Family.
On the Defensive
Penn has been near the top of the Ivy League in most defensive categories since Mike McLaughlin took over as head coach three seasons ago. The trend continues this year. The Quakers rank second in the Ivies in scoring defense at 56.8 points per game and are third in field goal percentage defense (38.0%). In addition, the Quakers lead the league in blocked shots and turnover margin.
Sophomore Kara Bonenberger and junior Courtney Wilson rank first and second in the Ivy League in blocked shots, respectively. Bonenberger has 28 this year and Wilson has 26 (though Bonenberger averages 15.3 minutes more per game). Both are nearing the single-season school record book. Most recently, Jess Knapp had 38 in 2010-11 which ranks sixth all-time at Penn. At their current pace, both players are set to pass that mark.
At least one freshman has been in the starting lineup for the Quakers in 72 of the last 75 games ... Penn is 8-5 in its last 13 Ivy games ... Penn is 7-2 when leading at the half and 3-7 when trailing ... The Quakers have had fewer turnovers than their opponents in 15 of 19 games this season (9-6 in those games) ... The Quakers have outrebounded their opponent just six times this year, but are 6-0 in those games ... Penn has used the same starting lineup in 16 straight games ... Alyssa Baron has started 75 consecutive games for the Quakers ... Three different Quakers have scored more than 20 points in a game this season (Baron, Roche, Ray) ... Penn is 8-3 when allowing fewer than 60 points.
Climbing the Record Books
Junior Alyssa Baron now has 1,202 career points and is tied with Cheryl Rath for eighth place on Penn’s all-time scoring list. Baron is eight points from matching Joey Rhoads for seventh and 15 points from reaching Karen Habrukowich in sixth. Baron became the 19th Penn women’s player to reach 1,000 career points on Nov. 30. She is the third-fastest Quaker to accomplish that milestone (60 games) and the first since Biemer topped the landmark in 2008. Only Penn’s all-time leading scorer (man or woman), Diana Caramanico (48 games) and Mandy West (52 games) were faster to 1,000 points.
In the Hunt
For the first time in awhile, Penn won’t have to fight its way to the top of the Ivy League from the bottom. Penn has a winning record through five Ivy League games for the first time since 2004-05 when the Quakers started 3-2 and finished fourth at 8-6. In fact, this season marks the first time the Quakers have a winning record in the Ivy League at any point in the season since the 2005-06 season.
Penn posted seven or more out-of-conference wins in back-to-back seasons for just the second time in program history (1999-00, 2000-01). Penn also won seven non-league games last season—tied for fourth-most in program history.
Two Penn Wins Would...
... be the first sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth since 2004 and the first at home since 2000-01.
... make the Quakers 12-9 overall and 5-2 in Ivy play.
A Penn Win Would...
... mark the first win over Harvard in 18 games or the fourth straight over Dartmouth.
... make the Quakers 11-10 on the year and 4-3 in Ivy play.
Two Penn Losses Would...
... make the Quakers 10-11 on the year and 3-4 in Ivy play.
... be less good than two wins.
Charge for a Cure!
For the third straight year the women’s basketball team is dedicating its entire season to the fight against several diseases and the team needs your help. In its first two years, 109 donors have joined the “Charge for a Cure” program which helped the team raise nearly $7,000. Each month of the season will be devoted to help a specific disease with personal ties to the program—The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Go4theGoal, the American Cancer Society, The Dave Bryan Ride on Fund, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of America. At the end of each month, the coaches will total the number of offensive charges the Quakers have taken as a team and fans can pledge a donation per charge. This month the Quakers will be taking charges for ALS and the Dave Bryan Ride On Fund, but the team is turning to its fans to lend a hand in its efforts. Here is how you can help!
|CHARGE FOR A CURE!
Last Time Out
A weekend filled with rescheduled games, changed venues, hotel floods and three feet of snow, ended with a decisive victory. The Quakers posted the second-largest win at Brown in program history on a rare Sunday night Ivy League matchup, 65-48, at Pizzitola Sports Center. Four Quakers scored in double figures led by junior captain Alyssa Baron, who finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 19 points, three assists and a career-high five steals. From the start, the Quakers were in full control. Penn led 14-2 in the first six minutes, led by 11 at the break and by as many as 21 in the second half. A blizzard caused Penn’s game at Yale to be rescheduled several times and then moved to the Lanman Recreation Center on campus. The Quakers were slower to adapt, fell behind by double digits, and a late run fell short in a 65-56 loss. Penn trailed by as many as 12, but got within three late in the second half. The Quakers had several shots to tie the game, but none fell and Yale crept away.
A four-game Ivy homestand wraps up with games against Cornell (Feb. 22) and Columbia (Feb. 23) at The Palestra. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.