PHILADELPHIA – Here we go again. For the second time in three seasons, the Ivy League Women’s Basketball Championship will come down to Penn and Princeton in the final game of the regular season. The Quakers take their 12-1 Ivy record on the road Tuesday night to take on the 12-1 Tigers for the right to automatically play in the 2016 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. The teams will tip at 5:30 p.m., with the game to be broadcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network and ESPN3.
The Red and Blue will be seeking their second Ivy League crown in the last three seasons, thanks to a similar scenario two years ago. With the Ancient Eight crown up for grabs during the final game of the 2013-14 regular season, the Quakers went to Jadwin Gym and defeated the four-time defending Ivy champion Tigers by a score of 80-64. Penn finished that year with a conference record of 12-2, and captured the program’s third Ivy title.
Princeton went a perfect 14-0 in the conference last season, on the way to a perfect 30-0 regular season.
The Series vs. Princeton (Tigers lead 53-24)
The Quakers defeated the Tigers on January 9, 50-48, in the Ivy League opener for both teams.It was just Penn’s second win over the Tigers in their last 15 meetings. The Red and Blue are 11-26 all-time at Jadwin Gymnasium.
It was a stifling defensive effort for Penn against Princeton in January. The Quakers held the Tigers to a season-low 27 percent from the floor (17 of 62), including just two makes from beyond the arc. The Red and Blue also limited Princeton to just five points in the second quarter, and forced 17 turnovers. Offensively, Sydney Stipanovich led the way with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Last Time Out
The Quakers rounded out their regular-season home slate with wins over Dartmouth (65-50) and Harvard (62-46) over the weekend. Penn had five different scorers reach double figures against the Big Green, led by Michelle Nwokedi’s game-high 17 points. Nwokedi followed that up with an 18-point, 14-rebound effort against Harvard.
The Quakers improved to 23-4 on the year, setting a new program record for wins in a single season.
Final Ivy Honor
Michelle Nwokedi nabbed her third weekly honor of the season on Monday, as she was named the co-Ivy League Player of the Week. In the wins over Harvard and Dartmouth, the sophomore averaged 17.5 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks. They were her eighth and ninth double-doubles of the season, upping her career total to 17.
Add in Sydney Stipanovich’s four Player of the Week honors, and the Quakers wrap up the season with seven Ivy League accolades.
The Quakers are No. 36 in the NCAA's latest Rating Percentage Index (RPI). Penn holds five wins over teams currently in the RPI top 100—Princeton (32), Colorado State (44), Temple (69), Drexel (79), and Harvard (92).
Depending on the outcome of Tuesday night’s contest, the Quakers will either be playing in the NCAA Tournament or the WNIT.
With a win, Penn will happily await “Selection Monday” to see its draw in the Big Dance.In case of a loss, the Quakers will still have a chance for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. No Ivy League team has ever received an at-large bid into the 64-team field, but Penn's high RPI -- which won't be hurt by Tuesday's game, no matter the result -- would make them a solid contender for one.
Download: Princeton Away.pdf