Penn Travels to Empire State for a Pair of Ivy Battles

Game 19
Penn (10-8, 3-2 Ivy)vs.Columbia(10-9,3-3 Ivy)
New York City - Levien Gymnasium
Feb. 11, 2005
Penn 25, Columbia 15

Game 20
Penn (10-8, 3-2 Ivy)vs.Cornell(2-17, 0-6Ivy)
Ithaca, N.Y. - Newman Arena
Feb. 12, 2005
Penn 42, Columbia 9

Game Notes: Games 19,20 - Penn at Columbia/Cornell

Turning it Around - For the first time this season, Penn is looking up at someone else in the Ivy League standings. A combined five points pushed the Quakers out of the top spot in the League as they head to Columbia and Cornell this weekend. Penn looks to avenge a 74-69 loss to the Lions from last season’s final meeting between the two programs. The Quakers will also look to extend their winning streak against the Big Red to six games.

Last Time on the Floor - Penn trailed by 13 points late in the second half against Dartmouth on Feb. 5. What looked to be a runaway victory for the Big Green was almost not a win at all as the Quakers battled back to tie the score at 71 in the final minute on a Monica Naltner field goal from the top of the key. Dartmouth held on to a one-game lead in the Ivy League with an Elise Morrsion short jumper with 2.8 seconds remaining to beat the Red and Blue for the first time in nine attempts. Jennifer Fleischer poured in a career-matching 22 points and added 11 boards for her sixth double-double of the season.

vs. Columbia - Both teams come into Friday’s match-up with nearly identical records and both looking to move up the League standings. The Lions are allowing 60.2 points per game but the opposition is managing to hit only 29.3 percent of their shots from beyond the arc.

All-time against the Lions - Penn leads the all-time series at 25-15 but Columbia is the last to walk off the court with a win as the Lions defeated the Red and Blue, 74-69 on Feb. 28, 2004. It was the first win for the team from NYC since handing Penn a 70-67 loss on Feb. 19, 2000. These two teams met for the first time on Jan. 22, 1986 as Penn captured the series opener, 72-51 at The Palestra.

vs. Cornell - Penn earned two wins over Cornell last season. The Quakers enjoyed a 10-point win in the first meeting, coming away with a 72-62 victory on Valentine’s Day. The second meeting was a bit closer as the Red and Blue escaped Newman Arena with a 69-66 win over the Big Red.

All-Time Against the Big Red - These two teams’ records may appear to be moving in opposite directions this season but Penn vs. Cornell has been a closely fought battle over the past four seasons. Four of the last eight meetings have been decided by five points or less with the Quakers coming out on top all four times. The closest was a 69-68 victory over the Big Red on March 2, 2002. This series stands at 42-9 in favor of Penn. The first game between these two programs occurred on Dec. 23, 1974 as Cornell was victorious, 36-31.

The one and Only - Junior center Jennifer Fleischer is the only Ivy Leaguer that is averaging a double-double at this point of the season. Her 10.1 rebounds are best in the Ancient Eight and rank the New Hartford, N.Y. native 18th in the country. Fleischer’s 10.4 points per contest ranks 14th in the Ivies.

Shoot First, Ask Questions Later - To say senior guard Karen Habrukowich is shooting well from the outside would be an understatement. Habrukowich has a 45.1 three-point shooting percentage (37-for-82), which ranks third in the Ivy League and 12th in the nation. The senior’s 11.7 points per game leads the team and is 11th-best in the Ancient Eight.

Habrukowich’s Top 10 List - With 211 points so far this season, Karen Habrukowich has compiled 1,075 career points, placing her 10th on the Penn all-time scoring list. With her first two points this weekend, the Newtown, Pa. native will move past Mandy West (1999-2000) into the ninth position as West currently holds that spot with 1,076 points.

Two Games, Too Clutch - Monica Naltner has had a flare for the dramatic as of late. The sophomore forward hit game-tying shots late in the game twice last week. With six seconds remaining in Penn’s double-overtime win at Princeton, Naltner hit a six-foot jumper to tie the score at 51 and send the game into its first bonus session. Fast forward to four days later and the Cincinnati, Ohio native was at it again. This time with 1:31 remaining, Naltner nailed a jumper from the top of the key to complete the Quakers’ comeback from 13 points down and tie the score at 71.

Let the Kid Shoot - Penn holds a record of 5-1 in games where Joey Rhoads records double figures in the scoring column. Rhoads has recorded a season-high 16 points twice this season, once in a 64-57 victory over Big 5 rival Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 1, and again in a 54-50 win over Drexel on Dec. 23. Last season, Rhoads hit a career-high17 points in a span of 11 minutes. The sophomore knocked down 7-of-9 shots from the field, including 3-of-5 from downtown.

Coaching the Quakers - Patrick Knapp enters his first season at the helm of the Penn women's basketball program after spending 18 seasons at Georgetown. Knapp led the Hoyas to two Big East championships and was named the Big East Conference Coach of the Year for the 1992-93 season. Knapp reached 300-career victories when Penn defeated Lehigh, 68-53, on Jan. 18.

Coaching the Lions - Columbia University's Department of Athletics named Salvatore P. Verdi acting head women's basketball coach in the beginning of February. Since his appointment, Verdi has compiled a 1-1 record, collecting a win over Yale and suffering a loss to Brown last weekend. Verdi had most recently been the assistant women's basketball coach and came to Columbia with years of coaching experience at the professional level in the National Women's Basketball League (NWBL) and in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

Coaching the Big Red - A former assistant at the University of Pennsylvania, Dayna Smith is in the midst of her third season directing the women's basketball program at Cornell after helping build programs at Rhode Island and Penn for a combined six seasons as an assistant coach. Smith was named head coach on June 19, 2002. She became the first Rebecca Quinn Morgan `60 Head Coach of Women's Basketball when the position was endowed in the fall of 2003.

Quakers Honored - Every week the Big 5 and the Ivy League honor those that have shined on the basketball court during the previous week’s contests. The following is a list of Quakers who have received one or both of these honors: Big 5 — Cat Makarewich (Nov. 24); Jennifer Fleischer (Dec. 7); Joey Rhoads (Jan. 18). Ivy League — Cat Makarewich (Nov. 24). Penn Student-Athlete of the Week — Monica Naltner (Dec. 12).

Listen to Penn Hoops - Listen to Penn women’s basketball on the radio and online. The Quakers have three games broadcast on XPN - 88.5 FM this season. The Red and Blue also have several contests that will air LIVE on The next game that will be broadcast will be on Feb. 18 vs. Brown.

Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications

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