First Ivy Weekend on Tap for Women's Basketball

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PHILADELPHIA - Following the program’s best non-conference season since 2004-05, the Quakers (7-8, 0-1 Ivy) host the first Ivy Weekend of the season when Columbia (2-14, 0-2 Ivy) and Cornell (7-9, 1-1 Ivy) visit The Palestra on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Tip off against the Lions is at 7 p.m., while the matchup with the Big Red is a Palestra matinee at 1 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. Columbia/Cornell
Last season, the Quakers won the first matchup with each of these teams at The Palestra, but lost in the rematch on the road. Head Coach Mike McLaughlin is 1-3 all-time against both opponents. This marks the 50th all-time meeting between the Quakers and the Lions. Penn leads the overall series with Columbia, 32-17. But Columbia has won six of the last nine. Prior to 2008, the Lions had won just twice at The Palestra, including a 17-game Penn win streak on its home floor. But Columbia has equaled its Palestra win total in the last four years. Penn also leads the series with Cornell, 47-16. However, Cornell has won three of the last four and eight of 12. The Quakers are just 2-4 against the Big Red at The Palestra in that time.

About the Lions
Columbia struggled during the non-conference portion of its schedule. The Lions were 2-12 with wins over Army and Bryant. The Quakers have also defeated Army this year and both teams lost to Princeton this month. Penn defeated two other common opponents—Lafayette and St. Francis (N.Y.)—which both defeated Columbia. The Lions have yet to win a road game this year (0-8). The Lions, much like the Quakers, have struggled offensively. The two teams rank tied for last in the Ivies in field goal percentage (31.1%). Penn is the only Ivy worse from beyond the arc than Columbia (25.2%) and the Lions rank last in the league in free throw percentage (62.2%). Defensively, the Lions rank near the middle of the pack in most categories. Melissa Shafer leads the team with 10.8 points per game. She is fifth in the league in steals (1.9/game). Amara Mibionwu is fourth in the Ivies in rebounding (6.4/game) and Taylor Ball has a tema-high 3.0 assists per game.

About the Big Red
Cornell started the season 3-7 with three of those losses by a combined 10 points. Since then, the Big Red have won four of six and three of those wins were by double digits. They have one common opponent with the Quakers as both teams lost to Princeton. Cornell ranks second in the Ivy League with a three-point shooting percentage of 31.1%. But they are second-to-last in the Ivies in three-point defense at 34.0%. The Big Red are second in the league in blocked shots (3.6/game) and third in assists (13.6/game). Allyson DiMagno (10.6 ppg) and Clare Fitzpatrick (10.5) each score in double digits for the Big Red. They are the team’s leading rebounders as well. Fitzpatrick pulls down 7.1 per game and DiMagno averages 7.0. Spencer Lane leads the team and is second in the Ivies in assists with 3.9 per game. Taylor Flynn is second in the league in three-point shooting (38.5%), while Fitzpatrick is also second in the league in blocks (1.3/game).

Welcome Home
Cornell head coach Dayna Smith is plenty familiar with the Palestra and the Penn women’s basketball program after serving as as an assistant coach at Penn for three seasons (1999-2002). Smith helped the Quakers to the 2000-01 league crown and a trip to the NCAA tournament, as well as a pair of regular season runner-up finishes. In her three seasons at Penn, the Quakers posted a 52-31 overall record and a 31-11 Ivy League record, including an undefeated 14-0 conference slate in 2000-01.

Last Home Meetings with Cornell/Columbia...Ivy Sweep Notables
It was Penn’s first Ivy weekend sweep since topping Cornell and Columbia at home on March 6-7, 2009 ... Penn held Cornell and Columbia to 17 or fewer points in three of the four halves ... Penn’s 18-point win over Cornell was its largest against the Big Red since an 83-64 win in Ithaca, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 1991 ... Penn’s 60-40 win over Columbia was its largest over the Lions in 11 years (79-43 at The Palestra on Jan. 28, 2000) ... The Big Red were held to 33 points—the fewest they’ve scored against Penn since 1981, when they posted 26 on Jan. 31 at The Palestra ... Columbia had just 40 points—it’s second-lowest output ever against the Quakers (39 on Feb. 24, 1995).

No. 6 in the Nation
Penn ranks sixth in the country in three-point defense. Opponents were shooting just 23.9 percent (51-of-213) against the Quakers this year. And only Hampton (48) and South Carolina (34) have given up fewer than the 51 made threes Penn has allowed. At the Surf ‘N Slam Classic, Penn’s two opponents combined to go 1-for-17 (5.9%) from beyond the arc.

Turning It Around
Penn was 2-26 just two seasons ago. However, this season...The Quakers registered the best 10-game start in team history (7-3) ... Penn opened 5-0 at home for the first time since 2003-04 ... The Quakers won seven games before the month of January for the first time in the program’s 42-year history ... Penn’s seven non-conference wins rank tied for fourth-most all-time in school history ... Penn went through a stretch of 13 games without losing back-to-back games—the longest streak since 2003-04 (19 games) ... The Quakers won seven of nine games for the first time in seven years (2004-05).

No. 1 in the Ivy League
Penn has been near the top of the Ivy League in most defensive categories since Mike McLaughlin took over as head coach two seasons ago. The trend continues this year. The Quakers rank atop the Ivies in scoring defense at 54.7 points per game, field goal percentage defense (35.8%) and three-point percentage defense (23.9%).

Penn Trends
Penn is 5-0 when scoring more than 50 points ... A freshman or sophomore has led the team in scoring in 21 of the last 22 games ... Alyssa Baron and Meghan McCullough have started 43 consecutive games together ... Penn has had a freshman in its starting lineup for in 43 straight games ... The Quakers are 6-2 this year when they have fewer turnovers than their opponent ... Penn has forced at least 17 turnovers in each win this year ... Senior Jess Knapp is 15 points away from reaching 500 for her career ... In all six Ivy wins under Coach McLaughlin, the Quakers have not allowed more than 49 points and have won each by at least 11 points (avg. margin of victory is 15.6 ppg).

Without Knapp
Senior captain Jess Knapp has been a stabilizing force over the past three seasons for the Quakers. In that time, she had started all but four games and had played in 66 straight for Penn prior to missing the Ivy Opener against Princeton on Saturday. Her injury in the Surf ‘N Slam Classic could likely end her season and career. Without her in the starting lineup, Penn is just 1-8 with six of those losses by 18 or more points. This season, the Quakers are 7-2 with Knapp in the lineup full-time and 0-6 without.

Watching the Record Books
Senior Jess Knapp has now moved into sole possession of fourth place in the school record book with a total of 90 career blocks. She passed Big 5 Hall of Famer Jewel Clark (2001-04), who had 82 during her time in the Red and Blue. Knapp had 40 blocks in 2009-10 - fifth-most in a single-season in school history. She then had 38 blocks last season (sixth in school history). She is just 10 shy of becoming the fourth player in the history of the program with 100 career blocks.

Two Penn Wins Would...
... mark the second straight home sweep of Columbia and Cornell.
... snap a two-game home losing streak and make the Quakers 7-2 at The Palestra this year.
... make the Quakers 9-8 overall and 2-1 in Ivy play.

One Penn Win Would...
... be the first since Dec. 29 against UNC-Greensboro.
... make the Quakers 8-9 on the year and 1-2 in Ivy play.

Two Penn Losses Would...
... mark an eight-game losing streak overall and a four-game Ivy losing streak.
... make the Quakers 7-10 on the year and 0-3 in Ivy play.
... be less good than two wins.

Charge for a Cure!
January: Luekemia and Lymphoma Society
The women's basketball team is again dedicating its entire season to the fight against several diseases and the team needs your help. Last season, the team started an initiative which they have coined the "Charge for a Cure" program. The team raised more than $4,000 through the initiative last year. Each month of the season will be devoted to help a specific disease with personal ties to the program - American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, Luekemia and Lymphoma Society, the ALS Foundation, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. This month, the Quakers will be taking charges for Luekemia and Lymphoma Society, but the team is turning to its fans to lend a hand in its efforts. For more information and to donate to "Charge for a Cure," click here.

Join Today!
Last Game: 1
November Total: 13
December Total: 8
January Total: 3
Season Total: 24

Last Time Out
Temple pulled away in the second half to win the Big 5 matchup, 72-47. Temple took a 7-2 lead during the first four minutes of play. Penn’s underclassmen rallied to tie the game at 11-11 at the 11:56 mark after back-to-back buckets from Baron. The Owls went on a 10-0 run and led 21-11 with 7:19 to play in the opening half. Kates hit a runner before Kody scored 11 straight points for the Quakers. During that stretch, Penn trailed, 27-18, but Kody hit a free throw, sunk a fastbreak three and knocked down a mid-range jumper in succession. Kates then drained a three to cap a 9-2 run and pull Penn within 29-27 at the 3:05 mark. Temple scored the last six points of the half and led, 35-27 at intermission. The Owls then scored the first four of the second half and led by double digits throughout the rest of the game.

Up Next
Penn will wrap up a five-game Ivy homestand next weekend. The Quakers host Yale on Friday, Feb. 3, and Brown the following night. Tip off for both games is at 7 p.m. at The Palestra. The Red and Blue will then travel for their first Ivy road games of the year at Harvard (Feb. 10) and Dartmouth (Feb. 11).

Download: 16-Columbia, Cornell.pdf