PHILADELPHIA - Non-conference play concludes on Saturday for the Quakers (8-6) with a trip to Newark to take on NJIT (8-13). The Red and Blue will be making just their second trip to the Fleisher Center. The game is set to tip off at 2 p.m. and can be seen on the Highlander Sports Network.
In the Series vs. NJIT
This will be just the fourth meeting between these two programs. Penn earned its first-ever win over the Highlanders last season in decisive fashion at The Palestra, 84-48. NJIT took the previous two matchups during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, including the last meeting in Newark, 52-48, on Jan. 11, 2012.
Catching the Game
Fans can watch the game online on the Highlanders Sports Network. Live stats can be found at NJITHighlanders.com. Live twitter updates (@PennWBB) are also available. A complete recap and box score can be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the game.
Senior Kara Bonenberger has started 77 straight games and Kathleen Roche has started 46 in a row ... Senior Renee Busch has made a three in seven of the last eight games ... Freshman Anna Ross has four or more assists in seven of the last nine games ... Freshman Michelle Nwokedi has four or more rebounds in seven straight games and has played no more than 16 minutes in each ... Junior Brooklyn Juday and sophomore Sade Gibbons each have a rebound in every game they’ve played.
Magic Number: 60
The statistic that may most indicate a Penn win or loss? 60 points. Since head coach Mike McLaughlin took over at Penn, the Quakers are 52-9 (.852) when they score 60 points, including 25-1 over the last two seasons (only loss was to Texas in NCAA Tournament, 79-61). In comparison, the Quakers are just 22-75 (.227) when they’ve scored less than 60 points under Coach McLaughlin. The trend continues defensively. Over the last six seasons, the Red and Blue are 14-52 (.212) when allowing more than 60 points. But when holding opponents under that number, the Quakers hold a healthy winning record of 60-32 (.652).
Penn is 30-11 (.732) in its last 40 games ... Penn has won 14 of the last 16 at The Palestra ... The Quakers have won 18 of the last 19 and are 36-2 (.947) over the last three seasons when shooting better than 40 percent ... The Red and Blue have won 17 of the last 18 games when their free throw percentage is better than 70 percent ... Penn has won 33 of the last 35 games when outrebounding its opponent ... Penn is 20-1 under Coach McLaughlin when scoring more than 70 points and undefeated in regulation as the only loss came in double overtime, 88-84, at Harvard in 2011.
Top 10 in the Nation
Entering this week, Penn ranks sixth in the nation as a team with 6.7 blocks per game. The Quakers have nearly double the amount of blocks as every other team in the Ivy League as Yale is second in the Ivies with 3.9 blocks per game. The Quakers are also among the nation’s best in several other categories. Head Coach Mike McLaughlin has always had strong defensive teams and this year is no different. The Quakers rank second in the Ivy League and 19th in the NCAA in scoring defense (55.7), and are also one of the nation’s more diciplined teams as they lead the Ivies and rank 11th in the NCAA with just 14.2 fouls per game.
Penn’s season finale against arch rival Princeton will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network. In last year’s season finale, the Quakers beat the Tigers in a de facto Ivy League championship game. Tip off is a 5 p.m., and will be followed by the men’s Penn-Princeton game which is also going to be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.
Sophomore Sydney Stipanovich had a double-double in two of Penn’s Big 5 games this year (and a near triple-double in a third Big 5 contest). In the three wins over the Big 5, Stipanovich has averaged an impressive 13.7 points per game, 11.6 rebounds and 3.7 blocks. She has also posted three other double-doubles this season and has 15 for her career—tied for ninth-most all-time at Penn with Auretha Fleming (1980-84). Her 10 double-doubles last season were the most in a season at Penn since Jennifer Fleischer in 2004-05.
You can start counting down. Senior Kara Bonenberger led the Quakers with 13 points on Wednesday and is now just 41 points shy of becoming the 20th player in Penn history with 1,000 for her career. The last Quaker to reach that milestone was Bonenberger’s former teammate and captain, Alyssa Baron, who did so on Nov. 30, 2012 and finished second all-time at Penn with 1,806 points.
Teammates Sydney Stipanovich and Kara Bonenberger are two of the top five shot blockers in school history. A sophomore, Stipanovich already ranks second on Penn’s all-time career blocks list and is moving up the Ivy League’s career list, while Bonenberger recently became the fifth player in school to reach 100 career blocks. Stipanovich’s 43 blocks this season are tops in the Ivy League, 14th in the nation and already rank seventh among the program’s single-season record book.
A Penn Win Would...
... be the second straight over NJIT after dropping the first two meetings.
... snap a three-game road losing streak.
... tie for the second-most non-conference wins in school history (9).
... make the Quakers 9-6 overall this season.
A Penn Loss Would...
... complete an 8-6 non-conference season.
... make the Quakers 8-7 on the year overall.
... be less good than a win.
Last Time Out: L, 70-44 vs. Villanova
A first-half barrage of three-pointers was the difference as Penn fell to Villanova, 70-44, in the Big 5 finale at The Palestra on Wednesday night. Penn will share its first-ever Big 5 title with Villanova (11-8) as both teams finished 3-1 in city conference play (Saint Joseph’s can also finish 3-1 with a win over La Salle later this season). The Quakers, who had never won the city championship prior to this season, set a school record with three Big 5 wins in a season. Penn’s school record four-game Big 5 winning streak was snapped largely due to a bombardment of threes. Sophomore Sydney Stipanovich scored the first bucket of the game with a long jumper from the wing, but Villanova scored the next 14 points - anchored by four threes - and led 14-2 at the 15:01 mark. The teams traded buckets and the Quakers had several possessions with a chance to get within single digits, but the Wildcats maintained that edge and led 39-27 at the break. Unfortunately for the Quakers, Villanova’s hot streak did not end at the half. The Wildcats promptly hit a three on the first possession of the second half. The deficit grew to 55-35 after the first seven minutes and was as large as 30, 70-40, before freshman Lauren Whitlatch hit her first career three and freshman Michelle Nwokedi scored her seventh point of the game to cap the scoring.
Ivy League weekends begin with the longest Ivy trip of the year. The Quakers travel through New England to take on Dartmouth on Friday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m., and Harvard on Saturday at 6 p.m. Both games can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN.tv).
Download: 15 - NJIT.pdf