Philadelphia, Pa.- The Palestra
Jan. 19, 2006
THE GAME - Penn will try for its second straight win on Thursday evening in its annual meeting with Patriot League member Lafayette at The Palestra. The Quakers (3-11) will try and feed off the positive vibes of their first Ivy League and road victory of the season - a 68-62 triumph at Columbia last Saturday. Penn has snapped out of a 10-game losing streak by winning two of its last three games. The Leopards (4-11) have dropped six in a row and 11 of their last 12 after starting the season 3-0. The team is coming off of a tough 75-71 overtime loss to Navy.
THE SERIES WITH LAFAYETTE - It will be the 31st meeting of the Quakers and the Leopards. Penn holds a 16-14 advantage over Lafayette and has won seven straight games. The two teams have met annually since the start of the series in 1977.
QUAKER NOTE-MEAL - With an all-time mark of 199-188, the Quakers are vying for their 200th win at The Palestra since women’s basketball became an official NCAA sport at Penn in 1974-75 ... Penn is 42-37 all-time against Patriot League teams, including a win over Lehigh and a loss to American this season ... Senior Jennifer Fleischer needs 20 rebounds to surpass Auretha Fleming (1981-84) for fifth on the all-time list at Penn ... Fleischer has reached double-digits in rebounds in the last four games she has played and leads the Ivy League with 10.2 boards per game ... Junior point guard Joey Rhoads is sixth in the Ivy League in scoring average (14.6) and sixth in assists (3.29) ... She has led her team in scoring in six of the last eight games ... The six Quaker freshman have contributed 550 total minutes of playing time this year.
THE RHOAD TO VICTORY - Junior guard Joey Rhoads has showed why she is considered one of the top shooters in the Ivy League this season. The Huntingdon Valley, Pa., native has been stellar for the Quakers, averaging 18.5 points and 4.4 assists over the last eight games (she has led her squad in scoring in six of those eight games). Rhoads has reached the 20-point mark in four games this season (against Lehigh, Saint Joseph’s, American and Columbia) and has reached double digits in points in eight straight games and in 10-of-14 contests this season. One of her best performances of the season came in Penn’s season-opening 76-73 overtime triumph over Lehigh, when she scored 26 points (including a career-high six three-pointers), tallying five of those points in the extra frame to pace her team. For her efforts, she was named Ivy League Player of the Week for the first time in her career. Her third 20-point effort of the year came on Dec. 10 at American, as she dropped a career-high 27 points and nine assists on the Eagles, including a dramatic game-tying three-pointer with 9.3 seconds left to force the game into overtime. Against Columbia on Jan. 14, Rhoads nailed a crucial three-pointer and two free throws to ice off a 68-62 victory for the Quakers.
FLEISCH-WATCH - Senior center Jennifer Fleischer continues to rack up numbers that solidify her spot in the Penn record book. The New Hartford, N.Y., native has had a stellar career on the glass for Penn, as she currently ranks sixth on the school’s all-time rebounding list. She passed Diane DiBonaventuro (1978-82) for sixth place on Jan. 7 with 11 rebounds against Princeton. Her first rebound against Cornell was her 700th (only the sixth player in Penn history to do so), but she wasn’t finished, grabbing 21 total rebounds for the game to tie a career-best. Her other top performances this year included a 19-point, 17-rebound game against Marist on Dec. 31 and her 23-point, 18 rebound showing in two games at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash. She was named to the all-tournament team for her efforts. Fleischer has four double-doubles on the season (last one vs. Marist).
Penn Career Rebounds
1,207 Diana Caramanico (1998-2001)
972 Natasha Rezek (1991-93, 1994-96)
933 Jewel Clark (2001-04)
847 Kirsten Brendel (1988-91)
749 Auretha Fleming (1981-84)
730 Jennifer Fleischer (2003-present)
691 Diane DiBonaventuro (1978-82)
Penn Career Blocked Shots
194 Katarina Poulsen (1991-94)
114 Diana Caramanico (1998-2001)
97 Jennifer Fleischer (2003-present)
82 Jewel Clark (2001-04)
Penn Career Double-Doubles
65 Diana Caramanico (1998-2001)
43 Natasha Rezek (1991-93, 1994-96)
31 Kirsten Brendel (1988-91)
26 Carol Kuna (1977-80)
26 Vivian Machinski (1975-77)
25 Jewel Clark (2001-04)
22 Jennifer Fleischer (2003-present)
THROWN INTO THE FIRE - The Quakers’ intriguing six-member freshman class knew they would have the chance to have an immediate impact, and they have certainly had that opportunity so far - the rookies have contributed a combined 550 minutes of playing time. As of late, Kelly Scott has started four of the last five games at guard, averaging 5.6 points and 2.6 rebounds. Anca Popovici earned her first career start and helped Penn to its first Ivy League win at Columbia (Jan. 14), while Carrie Biemer has flourished in conference play thus far, averaging 6.7 points and scoring a game-high 12 points against Cornell. Maggie Burgess, Katarina Lackner and Maureen Mannion have also received significant playing time so far this season.
BITTEN BY THE INJURY BUG - The Quakers will have to play the remainder of the season without starting guard Lauren Pears, who tore her ACL against American. The junior was leading the team in assists and steals and was third in rebounds per game. In addition, junior captain Monica Naltner was sidelined with an injury for the American and Drexel games, but returned on Dec. 31 against Marist and will see significant time tonight. Sophomore Brilynne Parrish has also missed the last six games with an injury and is doubtful.
FREE BASKETBALL - The Quakers’ 76-73 win over Lehigh was just the second time in the program’s history that a season opener has gone into overtime (the other was in 1995, an 81-76 loss at Richmond). Penn holds a 9-8 all-time record in overtime games, including a 2-2 mark under Coach Patrick Knapp.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE PALESTRA - Penn men’s and women’s basketball games, volleyball and wrestling matches are played at the historic Palestra, the most storied gymnasium in the history of collegiate athletics. The Palestra has hosted more games, more visiting teams and more NCAA Tournaments than any other facility. Located on the University of Pennsylvania campus, The Palestra was given its name by Greek professor Dr. William N. Bates, who felt the name logical because in ancient Greece, young men would compete in a variety of events in a rectangular enclosure attached to the gymnasium to the view of all who would come a Palestra. The name was widely accepted by the organizing committee for it fit the specifications: authenticity, dignity, descriptive, and novelty. So, in 1927, “The Palestra” was opened. The women’s team currently has a 199-188 all-time record (.514) at The Palestra.
THE CAPTAINS - Senior Henley Hanson and juniors Joey Rhoads and Monica Naltner will be the team’s leading voices this season as tri-captains on the court.
NEXT TIME OUT - Penn travels to La Salle for its final Big 5 game of the 2005-06 season on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m.