Quakers Open Ivy League Play with Rival Princeton

Game 11

Penn (1-9)vs.Princeton(9-4)
Philadelphia, Pa.- The Palestra

Jan. 7, 2006
7p.m.

THE GAME - The 2006 Ivy League women’s basketball season gets underway with Penn vs. Princeton on Saturday evening at The Palestra. The game will be televised nationally on the YES Network (DirecTV - Ch. 622), and can be seen in select locations regionally (N.Y., Conn., parts of N.J./Pa.).The contest will also be broadcasted on WXPN-FM 88.5 radio and on PennAthletics.com.

THE SERIES - This will be the 59th meeting between the Ancient Eight foes, in a series that began in 1974. The Tigers hold a 36-22 advantage overall, but the Quakers have won five straight.

THE TEAMS - It’s been a tale of two very different seasons so far for the archrivals. Penn (1-9) has dropped nine-straight games since opening up the season with an overtime victory against Lehigh at The Palestra. Aside from a few lopsided losses during the streak, the team lost an overtime heartbreaker to American on Dec. 10 and played tough against Rice, Marist and Saint Joseph’s. Princeton (9-4), on the other hand, could equal its best start since the 1995-96 season with a win Saturday. The Tigers have won four of their last six, with the two losses coming against No. 6 Rutgers and No. 1 Tennessee.

QUAKER NOTE-MEAL - Penn’s nine-game skid is the longest since the 1996-97 season, when the team dropped 11 in a row ... The Quakers are 17-14 all-time in Ivy League openers ... they are 7-5 all-time in conference openers at The Palestra ... Senior Jennifer Fleischer needs just two rebounds to surpass Diane DiBonaventuro for sixth all-time at Penn ... Fleischer leads the Ivy League with 9.0 rebounds per game.

quakers win! ... thuuuuuhhhh quakers win! - If Penn comes out on top in Saturday’s contest, you might just hear that call, as New York Yankees radio play-by-play man John Sterling will call the game for the YES Network. He is joined by color analyst Maragret McKeon, who coached the Boston University women’s team from 1999-2004. Chris Shearn will be the sideline reporter for the game. In addition to the YES Network telecast, fans can listen to the game on 88.9 WXPN-FM radio and play-by-play man Brian Seltzer. His color analyst will be Mikaelyn Austin, who played for the Quakers from 2001-04.

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 last week against Marist and will see significant time against Princeton. Sophomore Brilynne Parrish has also missed the last six games with an injury and is doubtful.

THE RHOAD TO VICTORY - Junior guard Joey Rhoads has recently showed why she has the potential to be one of the top shooters in the Ivy League this season. The Huntingdon Valley, Pa., native has been a bright spot for Penn, averaging 19.3 points over the last three games, while shooting 47.3 percent from the field (including a stellar 47.6 percent from three-point range). Rhoads notched her second 20-point game against Saint Joseph’s, scoring 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting against the Hawks. Her third 20-point effort 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. In Penn’s season-opening 76-73 overtime triumph over Lehigh, 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.

FRont and center - In the Quakers’ second game against 21st-ranked Temple, senior center Jennifer Fleischer had the daunting task of guarding the Owls’ All-America candidate, Candice Dupree. Despite Penn’s loss, Fleischer showed why she could be a force to be reckoned with this season. She notched her 19th-career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, including three offensive boards. Fleischer also held Dupree to zero points for the first 15 minutes of the game. The New Hartford, N.Y., native also added two blocks and a steal defensively. Fleischer followed up that performance with a 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 three double-doubles this season and 21 total for her career. As illustrated below, Fleischer is also among the school career leaders in rebounds and blocked shots.

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)

691 Diane DiBonaventuro (1978-82)

690 Jennifer Fleischer (2003-present)

Penn Career Blocked Shots

194 Katarina Poulsen (1991-94)

114 Diana Caramanico (1998-2001)

93 Jennifer Fleischer (2003-present)

82 Jewel Clark (2001-04)

25 years of big 5 women’s hoops! - This season marks the 25th year of women’s basketball in the Big 5. In one of the most storied and unique traditions in all of college basketball, the five Philadelphia institutions (Penn, La Salle, Villanova, Saint Joseph’s and Temple) have faced each other each year in round-robin format. The Quakers were actually involved in the first-ever Big 5 women’s basketball game on Dec. 2, 1979, against Villanova (The Quakers lost 72-56 to a Wildcats team that would finish with a 20-5 overall record). To commemorate that event, the Big 5 celebrated 25 years at halftime of the ‘Nova-Penn game this year on Dec. 4. With help from longtime Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Mel Greenberg, the Big 5 honored its top-25 players of all-time. Penn had two players named to the list, including all-time leading scorer Diana Caramanico (1998-2001) and Kirsten Brendel (1988-91), who is third on the all-time scoring list.

Welcome freshmen - The Quakers welcome an intriguing six-member freshman class for 2005-06, one that includes members from all corners of the globe. Maggie Burgess (Anchorage, Alaska) and Anca Popovici (Arad, Romania) may have lived 5,154 miles apart before, but both are now Quakers along with Katarina Lackner (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Carrie Biemer (Haddonfield, N.J.), Maureen Mannion (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Kelly Scott (New York, N.Y.). All have received significant playing time so far this season.

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 returns to action on Tuesday, Jan. 10, to take on non-conference foe Rider at The Palestra. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.

Download: WBB Notes vs Princeton.pdf