Final Two Big 5 Matchups on Horizon for Women's Basketball

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PHILADELPHIA - Last week, the Quakers played a Big East team and an ACC team down to the wire. This week, the challenge remains stiff against two A-10 and Big 5 rivals. La Salle visits The Palestra Wednesday at 7 p.m., while Temple comes to the Cathedral of College Basketball on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Catching the Game
Video and live stats will be available at Video is available in HD on the Penn Sports Network. Dan Fritz and Ted Rawlings will call the action. A complete recap and box score can be found at shortly after the conclusion of each game.

In the Series vs. La Salle and Temple
Against La Salle in 37 meetings, the Quakers have won just five of them. Penn’s last victory (51-49) was at The Palestra on Nov. 23, 2004. Since then, the Red and Blue have dropped five straight to the Explorers, which included a near buzzer-beater in their last meeting at The Palestra. Against Temple, Penn has won 11 of the 40 all-time meetings. Penn’s last win was at Temple on Dec. 9, 2003 (70-64). The Owls have won each of the last six meetings by double digits.

About the Owls
Playing another demanding schedule, three of Temple’s six losses this season are to teams ranked in the Top 15. And each one was by 10 points or fewer. The Owls have won four straight, including their first three conference games. Temple leads the A-10 in turnover margin at +3.9. The Owls are averaging just 13.9 turnovers per game. They are also third in the A-10 in made threes, scoring at a 35.6 percent clip from beyond the arc. The Owls are averaging 67 points per game, while Penn is giving up under 55.0 per game. Kristen McCarthy leads the Owls with 13.4 points per game, while Qwedia Wallace and Shey Peddy also average double digits. Peddy also averages a team-best 4.1 assists and 2.6 steals per game. Natasha Thames, who has a field goal percentage of 55.4, averages a team-high 5.2 rebounds per game.

About the Explorers
La Salle broke a seven-game losing streak Saturday with an A-10 win over Saint Louis. Penn and La Salle have played five common opponents thus far. Both teams lost to Princeton, Drexel and Villanova, and beat Rider. La Salle lost by nine at Lafayette, while Penn won by seven in Easton a month a later. The Explorers have struggled on the road, going 1-9 this year. They rank fifth in the A-10 in turnvoer margin, but are last in rebouding. They have struggled from beyond the arc, allowing an A-10-high 41.7 opponent shooting percentage and shooting an A-10-low 28.6 from that range. Ashley Gale ranks fourth in the A-10 with 17.7 points per game and leads the league with 3.2 steals per game and 3.2 threes per game. Jess Koci is second in the league averaging 4.1 offensive boards. Michea Bryant has a team-high 49 assists and Chelsea Conner has a team-best 15 blocks.

Penn Trends
Penn has not allowed an opponent to reach 60 points in seven games, dating back to a 60-45 loss to Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 7 ... Penn has had the same starting lineup in 12 of 13 games (the Quakers had eight different starting lineups last season) ... The Quakers have been outrebounded just five times in 13 games ... Either Jess Knapp or Erin Power has led Penn in rebounding in every game this season ... Freshman Alyssa Baron has led the team in scoring in 10 of 13 games ... Freshman Meghan McCullough has had at least one assist in every game of her 13-game career ... Penn has lost the last 21 games in which they have allowed 60 or more points, but are 5-2 under Coach McLaughlin when scoring that many.

Daunting Big 5
The Quakers are oh-for-24 in the last six-plus years against Big 5 opponents. The last Big 5 team that the Quakers defeated was Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 1, 2004 at The Palestra, 64-57. The Quakers have also lost to Drexel in each of the last three meetings, meaning the Red and Blue will be in search of their first win over a Philadelphia opponent since topping Drexel at The Palestra, 60-57, on Dec. 21, 2006.

No. 400!
Penn’s next win will be the 400th in program history. Women’s basketball became a varsity sport at Penn in 1970 and since that time, the Quakers have accumulated 399 all-time wins. Wednesday’s game marks the 977th in team history. Penn set a team record with 22 wins during its 2000-01 Ivy championship run (22-6).

All-Time Wins (Ivy Schools)
Harvard - 538
Dartmouth - 527
Princeton - 501
Brown - 445
Yale - 413
Penn - 399
Cornell - 331
Columbia - 276 (since 1980-81)

Charge for a Cure! January: Fight Against Parkinson's
The Penn women’s basketball team is dedicating its entire 2010-11 season in the fight against several diseases and they need your help. The team has started an initiative which they have coined the “Charge for a Cure” program. Each month of the season will be devoted to help a specific disease with personal ties to the program – ALS, Lupus, Parkinson’s Disease, Breast Cancer, and Cystic Fibrosis. The team is turning to itsfans to lend a hand in its efforts. For more information and to donate to "Charge for a Cure," click here.

Join Today!
Last Game: 2
November Total: 16
December Total: 5
January Total: 5
Season Total: 26

Last Time Out
Rallying from a 17-point second-half deficit, Penn was down just three with under three minutes to play, but Virginia held on to win on their home floor, 54-45, Sunday afternoon at John Paul Jones Arena. Penn kept the Cavaliers off the board for the first 2:37 and held the ACC powerhouse to just one field goal over the first 4:28. Midway through the first half, Penn trailed by only three after a pair of free throws from McLean, Va., native Kristen Kody. But the Cavaliers held the Quakers without a point over the next 4:25 and went on a 9-0 run. Penn responded with six of the next eight and were within eight, 26-18, at the half. The Cavaliers scored 11 of 12 and led 37-21 just two minutes into the half. It was 40-23, but Virginia didn’t score a point against the Quakers defense for nearly eight minutes. Bradford scored seven straight points for the Quakers and had Penn down just 42-30 with 12:59 to play. Following a Cavaliers free throw, Bradford and Baron each hit layups and Kody followed with a mid-range jumper to get Penn within five. In all, it was a 15-3 run and the Red and Blue trailed just 43-38 with 7:48 to play. Virginia once again tried to pull away and was up nine, 47-38, with 6:28 to go. But junior captain Jess Knapp hit hit a three, Power muscled in a layup and Baron followed with a runner of her own to pull the Quakers within three, 48-45, with 3:12 remaining. Virginia kept the Quakers off the board the rest of the way and sunk free throws down the stretch to win by nine, 54-45.

Up Next
It’s the first Ivy weekend and it consists of road games at Yale (Jan. 28) and at Brown (Jan. 29). In fact, Penn’s first four Ivy games are on the road as they travel to Dartmouth (Feb. 4) and Harvard (Feb. 5) the next weekend.

Download: La Salle, Temple.pdf