Home Opener for Women's Basketball Saturday

Game Notes

PHILADELPHIA - After two straight road games against 2009 NCAA Tournament opponents, it won’t get much easier as the Quakers open their home schedule with Duquesne. The Dukes made the WNIT last year and are off to a 3-0 start this season. Tip off is at 3:30 p.m.

Catching the Game
Due to a conflict with the Penn football game, this game will not be broadcast on the Penn Sports Network. Live stats will be available here and a full recap and box score can be found on PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the game.

In the Series
There is not much history between these two schools in women’s basketball. The teams have only met twice, but did so last season in Pittsburgh when the Dukes won by a score of 78-45. Duquesne has never played at The Palestra as the only other meeting between the programs came in 1991 when the Dukes pulled out an 87-78 victory in Pittsburgh.

Last Time Out
Expectedly low scoring between two defensive teams, Villanova’s stout defense was just a little bit better, handing Penn its second straight loss to start the season, 44-28, Wednesday night at the Pavilion. Penn got off to a quick start. On the team’s first possession, Caroline Nicholson immediatley knocked down a three from the top of the key. Penn held that lead throughout much of the first half until Villanova’s Maria Getty hit a three to tie the game at 11-11 with just under four minutes to play in the half. Villanova then took its first lead, 13-11, on the next possession. They would add two more baskets in the final two minutes for a 17-11 halftime lead. Sophomore Jess Knapp scored the first bucket of the second half, but Villanova scored eight of the next ten points to take a 25-15 lead with 15 minutes left. Though junior Jerin Smith hit a lay up a minute later to close to within eight, Villanova opened up its largest lead of the game at 30-17 midway through the second half. Penn made its run over the next two minutes with a Knapp lay up and a three-point play from senior Sarah Bucar to get to within 30-22. But on the very next possession, the Wildcats hit a three to squash all momentum. Penn scored next as Smith put in two more of her team-high 12 points, but once again, the Wildcats hit from beyond the arc to take a 36-24 lead with 6:28 remaining. Penn never again broke Villanova’s double digit lead. With the score 39-28 with 2:10 remaining, Villanova scored the game’s final five points.

About the Dukes
Duquesne has started the season 3-0 for the second straight year, knocking off to future Penn opponents in Cornell and Mount St. Mary’s. They also hit the century mark in a 100-69 win at Niagara. An explosive offensive team, the Dukes are averaging more than 87 points per game, but are giving up nearly 70 per game. In addition to outrebounding all three of their opponents, they have shot better than 53 percent from the floor as a team thus far this season. Maybe even more impressive is the .500 shooting percentage from three-point range this season (21-for-42). The Dukes offense is led by Alex Gensler’s 18.7 ppg, but four others also average double digits in scoring. Jaclyn Babe leads the team with 20 assists, while four Dukes are averaging more than five rebounds per game.

Tough Slate
Three for three. But not in a good way for the Quakers. With Saturday’s matchup with Duquesne, Penn will have played three straight teams that qualified for the postseason last year. Both Drexel and Villanova reached the NCAA Tournament in 2009, while Duquesne played in the WNIT. Next up? You guessed it. After the Dukes, Penn plays yet another NCAA tournament team. All Iowa State did last year was reach the Elite Eight.

Have a Seat
Senior Sarah Bucar has sat out for a total of one minute this season. She has logged a total of 79 minutes of playing time in the first two games, going to the bench only once. Her average of 39.5 minutes per game is second in the Ivy League, behind only Judie Lomax of Columbia (41.3) who played in an overtime game earlier this season. Third in the league is senior and fellow team captain Caitlin Slover. She played all of Penn’s game against Villanova on Wednesday and is averaging 36.5 minutes per game.

Ivy Leaders
It’s early in the season, but the Red and Blue have some players that have found their way to near the top of the Ivy League statistics. Sophomore Jess Knapp has three blocks this year, which is more than any other Ivy player so far this year. She is tied for the league lead with four others. Junior Caroline Nicholson’s plus-four turnover ratio (six assists to just two turnovers) is second in the league.

A Penn Win Would...
... make the Quakers 1-2 and be the first under head coach Mike McLaughlin.
... be the first ever against Duquesne in three meetings.
... break a six-game losing streak against non-conference opponents.

A Penn Loss Would...
... make the Quakers 0-3 for the second straight season.
... be the third in three all-time meetings with Duquesne.
... be less good than a win.

Up Next
It’s off to Chicago as the Quakers are one of four teams participating in the 26th Annual Mildred and Roger L. White Invitational at Northwestern. Penn plays the Big 12’s Iowa State Cyclones on Nov. 27 and then the host Wildcats on Nov. 28. NOTE GAME TIMES: vs. Iowa State begins at 3 p.m. Central and 4 p.m. Eastern; at Northwestern begins at 4 p.m. Central and 5 p.m. Eastern.

Download: 11-21-09 Duquesne.pdf