Big 5 Opener for Women's Basketball at The Palestra Friday

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PHILADELPHIA - In the Big 5 opener for both teams, the Quakers and Explorers are both looking to get back on the winning track. In La Salle’s last trip to The Palestra, the Quakers broke a 24-game losing streak to Big 5 opponents and posted the program’s 400th win all-time. This season, Penn (0-3) has suffered three close losses to start the season, including a three-point loss to Virginia in its only home game thus far, while La Salle (1-5) has faced some of the nation’s top competition. On Friday, both teams will look to get off to a winning start in the Philadelphia basketball conference. Tip off is at 7 p.m.

Catching the Game
Video and live stats will be available on the Penn Sports Network (PSN) at A complete recap and box score can then be found at shortly after the conclusion of each game.

In the Series vs. La Salle
Penn’s only Big 5 win in the last eight years came against the Explorers in La Salle’s last trip to The Palestra. Penn’s 45-40 victory on Jan. 19, 2011 is one of just six wins in the previous 39 meetings between these teams. However, five of those wins came at home. Head Coach Mike McLaughlin is 1-2 against La Salle, including a 1-0 mark at The Palestra.

About the Explorers
La Salle has faced an increasingly challenging schedule to start the season. The Explorers are off to a 1-5 start, but they led at No. 22 North Carolina at the half and brought Georgetown of the Big East down to the wire—also on the road. La Salle’s lone win was a last-second three-pointer to top Lehigh on the road. Facing some of the nation’s top competition early in the season, La Salle has allowed 65.0 points per game and has shot just 30.3 percent to start the season, including a 25.0-percent rate from three-point range. La Salle has outscored its opponents in the first half this season, 171-162, but has been outscored by nearly 100 in the second half (228-142). Brittany Wilson leads the Explorers in scoring (20.8 ppg), rebounding (4.8 rpg), assists (2.2 apg) and blocks with six so far this season.

Reaching 1,000
Junior Alyssa Baron is just 10 points from reaching 1,000 for her career. Only 18 Penn women have accomplished the feat and only three have reached that milestone prior to their senior season. Baron is a two-time Ivy League scoring champion. Last year, she edged Princeton’s Niveen Rasheed by two points for the 2011-12 Ivy League scoring title. Baron became the first freshman in the history of the league to lead the league in scoring in 2010-11. She had 474 points last season for an average of 16.9 per game. In the 2010-11 season, she finished with 454 points for an average of 16.8 per game—the last Ivy player to win back-to-back scoring titles was Princeton’s Meagan Cowher in 2006-07 and 2007-08. Baron would be the first Penn player to reach the 1,000-point threshold since Carrie Biemer did so in 2008.

Against the Big 5
Its a daunting task each year for the Quakers to take on the Big 5. The conference for city bragging rights includes the other four Division I schools in Philadelphia—Temple, La Salle, Saint Joseph’s and Villanova. The first three are in the Atlantic-10 conference and the Wildcats are in Big East. Since the Quakers defeated Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 1, 2004 at Hagan Arena, 64-57, they have won just once in the last 30 meetings with Big 5 opponents. That win came over La Salle, 45-40, at The Palestra on Jan. 19, 2011. It snapped a 24-game Big 5 losing streak.

Penn Trends
Penn has won six of their last eight non-conference home games ... Alyssa Baron has started 59 consecutive games for the Quakers ... The Quakers are 0-3 for the first time since 2009-10 ... Meghan McCullough and Baron have played in 59 straight games together dating back to the 2010-11 season opener.

A Penn Win Would...
... be the second straight over La Salle at The Palestra—for the first time in program history.
... be the first of the 2012-13 season.
... snap a seven-game losing streak to non-conference opponents.

A Penn Loss Would...
... mark the first 0-4 start since 2009-10.
... mark the fifth straight dating back to 2011-12.
... be less good than a win.

Penn Picked to Finish Fourth in Ivy League
After finishing last season in sixth place with a 6-8 Ivy League record, the Quakers were picked to finish fourth in the Ivy Preseason Media Poll. Last season, Penn was also picked to finish fourth in the Ivy League, but ended up finishing sixth for for the second season in a row.

2012 Team Captains
Seniors Brianna Bradford and Katie Davis and junior Alyssa Baron were named the 2012-13 tri-captains for Penn on Oct. 3. Bradford played in 27 of 28 games last year, averaging 10.6 minutes per game. After her sophomore year she was named Penn’s Co-Most Intangible Player. Davis saw action in nine games last season. Following a career-high 17 games played her sophomore year, she was named the team’s Most Dedicated Player. Baron led the Ivies in scoring her first two years as a Quaker and was the first-ever freshman to win the honor­—she was also named Ivy League and Big 5 Rookie of the Year. She is a two-time All-Ivy recipient, a six-time Ivy Player of the Week and a three-time Big 5 Player of the Week.

Inside the Ivies
“Inside Ivy League Basketball,” a weekly online radio show dedicated to Ivy League men’s and women’s basketball, returns for its second season in 2012-13. Hosts Dan Loney and Brian Seltzer take an in-depth look at all the news and notes surrounding Ivy League basketball. Episodes will run on Mondays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. on ( with every episode available on-demand via BlogTalkRadio and Check each week for this season’s episode schedule and guest lineups. Follow the show on Facebook (Inside Ivy League Basketball) and Twitter (@insideivyhoops) for more information.

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 the Michael J. Fox Foundation, but the team is turning to its fans to lend a hand in its efforts. Here is how you can help!

Join Today!
Last Game: 2
November Total: 5
Season Total: 5

Last Time Out
A pair of scoring droughts, one early in the first half and the other late in the second, spelled defeat for Penn on at Army’s Christl Arena. Despite a career-high 21 points from freshman Keiera Ray, the Black Knights limited the Quakers to 31 percent shooting (18-57) from the floor and downed Penn, 58-53. Army ran off an 11-3 stretch over six minutes, putting the Quakers into a 21-10 hole as the game reached the under-four media timeout. Two free throws out of that break sparked a 12-2 response that would pull the Quakers within a point at halftime, 23-22. Ray made a deep three and gave the Quakers a 37-35 lead. But Army opened an 8-0 run. The Quakers had one last run in them, slicing what had been a nine-point deficit down to three in the final minute. Five straight points from Ray were followed by a Kara Bonenberger triple and a free throw from Rayne Connell that made it 54-51. Later, Penn pushed the ball upcourt looking to cut the lead to one or tie but the ball was poked out of the hands of Ray with nine seconds left on the clock and Army sealed the game with a pair of free throws.

Up Next
Penn has a busy stretch coming up before the holiday break. The Red and Blue host Bucknell for the first time since 2000 on Monday at 7 p.m. Then its a pair of games in New York City, the first against St. Francis (N.Y.) on Wednesday and the next against LIU on Sunday, Dec. 9.

Download: 4-La Salle.pdf