First Ivy Trip Brings Women's Basketball to Yale, Brown

PHILADELPHIA - It’s the first Ivy League road weekend of the year for the Quakers as well as the first in the careers of the team’s five freshmen. The Red and Blue will be welcomed in New Haven by first-place Yale and then head to Providence to take on Brown Saturday night—two teams that swept Penn last season. Tip off for both games is at 7 p.m.

Catching the Game
Video and live stats will be available at on Friday night. Video and audio and live stats will be available at on Saturday night. A complete recap and box score can be found at shortly after the conclusion of each game.

In the Series vs. Yale and Brown
In 66 all-time meetings, Yale and Penn are deadlocked at 33 wins apiece. Yale swept both games last year, including a decisive 70-38 decision in Penn’s last visit to Lee Amphitheater. Following a stretch in which the Quakers won five of six over the Bulldogs, Yale has won four of the last five. Against Brown, the Bears have won 34 of the 66 all-time meetings, including two double-digit wins last season. Prior to that, the Quakers had won five of six over the Bears, but have just one win at the Pizzitola Sports Center since 2007.

About the Bulldogs
After starting the season at 1-7 against some tough opposition, Yale has won five of eight, including a home win over No. 14 Florida State. They have two common opponents with the Quakers as both teams lost at home to Villanova and at Army. Yale is third in the league in scoring (62.8 ppg), assists (15.38 apg), steals (9.1 spg) and field goal percentage (37.0%). They are also second in the league in turnover margin at plus-2.31. The Bulldogs are giving up 67.4 points per game and have been outrebounded by an average of 5.2 per game this season. Sophomore Megan Vasquez continues to lead the Bulldogs, averaging 13.6 points per game—fourth in Ivies. Michelle Cashen leads the team with 6.5 rebounds per game, while Aarica West is second in the Ivies at 3.94 assists per game. (Cashen is fourth at 3.07).

About the Bears
Brown’s season has been highlighted by a 56-50 win over Florida of the SEC on Dec. 5 in Providence. The Bears followed that with a two-overtime loss to Rhode Island and a win at Monmouth, but have since lost five straight to fall to 4-12. Both Brown and Penn beat Bryant in November and lost to NJIT. Penn ranks atop the Ivies in field goal percentage defense. Brown is No. 2, holding opponents to 37.8 percent from the floor. Brown leads the league in 3-point defense at 26.5 percent. Penn is second. The Bears are allowing a little more than 60 points per game and average 56.4 on offense. Sheila Dixon leads the Ivy League in defensive rebounding and averages a total of 6.3 per game in addition to her team-high 11.1 points per game and 41 assists. Lauren Clarke is Brown’s top three-point shooter at 34.2% and has a team-best 33 steals.

No. 1 in the Nation
Of the 333 Division I women’s basketball programs, no team has allowed fewer points this season than the Quakers. Through 15 games, Penn has given up just 812 points. Princeton ranks second with 832 points allowed through 15 games. The Quakers have played the second-fewest games in the nation to this point, but still rank in the Top 25 in the country in points allowed per game (No. 22 at 54.1 ppg). Penn also ranks 30th out of 333 in field goal percentage defense. The Red and Blue have held the opposition to 35.6 percent shooting this season. No. 1-ranked Baylor leads the nation in this category at 30.9 percent, followed by No. 8 West Virginia, Missouri State and No. 2-ranked Connecticut.

Halfway Comparisons
A little more than halfway through the 28-game schedule, here is a quick comparison of the Quakers through the same time period a season ago:
Category 2009-10 (Ivy Rank) 2010-11

1-14 (0-1 Ivy) 6-9 (0-1 Ivy)
45.1 (8th) 53.3 (7th)
Points allow/gm
61.3 (4th) 54.1 (1st)
Field Goal %
29.8 (8th) 35.4 (5th)
FG% Defense
40.5 (5th) 35.6 (1st)
3pt FG% Defense
35.2 (6th) 29.5 (2nd)
Rebound Margin
-3.1 (5th) +1.9 (3rd)

Sweeping the Honors
Freshman Alyssa Baron swept all three Player of the Week awards on Monday, earning Co-Big 5 Player of the Week, Co-Ivy League Player of the Week and Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors. She is just the sixth Ivy player since 2001-02 to win both of the league’s weekly awards. In leading Penn to its first Big 5 win in six years and a near-upset of the top team in the Atlantic-10, Baron averaged 20.0 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game, 4.0 assists per game and 2.0 steals per game against two Big 5 opponents. While she won the first Ivy League Player of the Week and Big 5 Player of the Week accolades of her career, Baron has now earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week recognition four times this season.

Penn Trends
Penn won six non-conference for the first time since the 2004-05 team won seven games ... Penn has allowed just one opponent to reach 60 points in the last eight games ... Penn has had the same starting lineup in 14 of 15 games (the Quakers had eight different starting lineups last season) ... The Quakers have been outrebounded just six times in 15 games ... Freshman Alyssa Baron has led the team in scoring in 12 of 15 games ... Freshman Meghan McCullough has had at least one assist in every game of her career ... Penn has lost the last 22 games in which they have allowed 60 or more points, but are 5-2 under Coach McLaughlin when scoring that many.

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: 10
Season Total: 31

Last Time Out
A strong defensive team effort and a career-high 23 points from freshman Alyssa Baron, came up just short for Penn in a 62-55 defeat to Temple Saturday afternoon at The Palestra. The Owls finished the half on an extended 19-6 run to take a 31-22 lead into the half. The Quakers held the Owls to just a single basket in the first five minutes. That led to a 10-2 Penn run to start the half and pull the Quakers within one, 33-32. Temple then converted a three-point play, but back-to-back buckets tied the game, 36-36, just six minutes into the second half. The team’s alternated baskets for the next eight minutes and the Quakers were down just one, 41-40 with 9:10 to go. But Temple scored 11 of the next 12 points and took an 11-point lead, 52-41, with just under five to play. Baron scored seven straight for the Red and Blue and had Penn within 53-48 at the 3:33 mark. Senior Erin Power hit a pair of free throws and the deficit was just four. It was a six-point game, 59-53, with one minute remaining. But the Quakers turned it over on their next two possessions and Temple hit some late free throws to win.

Up Next
Penn’s first four Ivy games are on the road, meaning the Quakers will be back on the bus next week for the annual trip to Dartmouth (Feb. 4) and Harvard (Feb. 5).

Download: Yale, Brown.pdf