PHILADELPHIA -A perfect 4-0 sweep of a four-game homestand saw the Quakers (18-7, 9-2 Ivy) extend their winning streak to seven games and clinch a postseason berth. Now Penn prepares for its final regular season road trip. The Quakers visit Columbia (8-18, 2-10 Ivy) on Friday at 7 p.m., and then try to avenge an earlier loss to Cornell (15-11, 6-6 Ivy) on Saturday in Ithaca, N.Y., at 6 p.m. Both games can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Catching the Games
Both games can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN.tv). Live stats can be found at GoColumbiaLions.com and CornellBigRed.com, while live twitter updates (@PennWBB) are also available. A complete recap, box score and highlights can be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.
In the Series vs. Columbia/Cornell
- Against Columbia, Penn has won seven straight games dating back to 2011. The Quakers have never won eight in a row over the Lions as the Penn seniors attempt to go an unblemished 8-0 against their light blue counterparts. The Red and Blue are also seeking a school-record fourth straight victory at Levien Gymnasium. Overall, the Quakers lead the series against Columbia, 40-18, including 8-3 in Coach McLaughlin’s tenure.
- Against Cornell, Penn had won four straight in the series before the Big Red knocked off the Quakers at The Palestra on Feb. 7. Penn has won back-to-back games at Newman Arena and is looking for its first three-game win streak in Ithaca since 2003-05. Coach McLaughlin is 5-6 against Cornell. Overall, Penn has won 52 of the previous 72 meetings.
1. Teammates Sydney Stipanovich (70) and Michelle Nwokedi (55) have combined for 125 blocks this season—that’s more than are 278 teams in the NCAA, including every Ivy school (Princeton is closest with 121 as a team).
2. Stipanovich and Nwokedi both rank among the top 50 in the nation in blocks—the only other teammates to join them are Kiah Stokes (4th) and Breanna Stewart (29th). Stipanovich ranks 19th in the NCAA with 2.8 blocks per game, while Nwokedi is 48th at 2.2 blocks per game.
3. The duo’s average of 5.0 blocks per game would rank 33rd in the nation as a team (tied with #11 Mississippi State).
4. They rank first and second in the Ivy League in blocks—the next closest player has 28 blocks (Alex Wheatley, Princeton).
5. Only one other player in school history had blocked 50 or more shots in a season (Katarina Poulsen). Both have done so and are currently third and fifth in the school’s single-season record book (Stipanovich holds record).
6. Oh, and teammate Kara Bonenberger ranks fifth all-time at Penn with 110 career blocked shots.
Top 10 in the Nation
Head Coach Mike McLaughlin has always had strong defensive teams and this year is no different. As a team, Penn ranks No. 5 in the nation with 6.5 blocks per game, 10th in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (.348) and 13th in the country in scoring defense (54.2 ppg). On five occasions this year, they have held an opponent under 40 points. The Red and Blue are also one of the nation’s most diciplined teams as they rank No. 12 in the NCAA with just 14.1 fouls per game.
Its official. Penn’s 2015 seniors—the first class to win an Ivy League championship and Big 5 title—is the winningest class in school history. Seniors Katy Allen, Kara Bonenberger, Renee Busch and Kathleen Roche have won 71 games at Penn which bests the Class of 2003 for most career wins all-time. They have also won a school record six Big 5 games (also true for the current juniors), and no other class had won more than four.
The last three seasons have produced three of the top five winningest seasons in school history. Before Coach McLaughlin, Penn had won 18 or more games only twice in its history, but has now done so in three straight seasons. The Quakers clinched back-to-back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in more than a decade. In the 2012-13 campaign, the Quakers snapped a string of seven straight losing campaigns and finished 18-13 and then followed that up with a 22-7 mark en route to an Ivy League championship last year. The last time Penn posted three straight winning seasons was 2002-03 (15-12), 2003-04 (17-11) and 2004-05 (15-12).
Senior Kara Bonenberger is moving up Penn’s all-time scoring list. She became the 20th player in Penn history with 1,000 career points on Feb. 7 in a win over Columbia at The Palestra—the first Penn player to reach that milestone since former teammate and captain, Alyssa Baron, who did so on Nov. 30, 2012 and finished second all-time at Penn with 1,806 points. Bonenberger has now racked up 1,047 career points to move into 16th place all-time at Penn and is five points from passing Erin Ladley (1998-2001) to move into the school’s all-time top 15.
Senior Kathleen Roche ranks 13th in the nation and third in the Ivy League in three-point percentage (.433). She recently moved into sole possession of sixth-place on Penn’s all-time career made three’s list. She has knocked down 147 shots from three-point range in her career and is 13 away from Jen Dorfmeister (1989-92) for fifth place at Penn. Roche, who owns the school record for threes in a half (six at St. Francis Brooklyn on Dec. 5, 2013), is tops on the team with 52 threes this season—ninth-most in a season in school history.
Penn has won 11 of the last 12 Ivy League games at The Palestra (only loss to Cornell on Feb. 7) ... Penn is 21-3 (.875) in its last 24 league games which is tied with No. 13 Princeton for the best mark over that stretch ... The Quakers have won 24 of the last 25 and are 42-2 (.955) over the last three seasons when shooting better than 40 percent ... The Red and Blue have won 21 of the last 22 games when their free throw percentage is better than 70 percent ... Penn has won 37 of the last 39 games when outrebounding its opponent ... Penn is undefeated in regulation under head coach Mike McLaughlin (23-0) when scoring more than 70 points, and 24-1 overall (only loss came in double overtime, 88-84, at Harvard in 2011) ... Penn has made a three in 150 straight games ... Penn is 15-2 this season when leading at the half, but 4-5 when trailing ... The Quakers are 5-0 on Ivy Saturdays this season and have won 10 of 11 on the second day of back-to-back games.
Senior Kara Bonenberger has started 88 straight games and Kathleen Roche has started 57 in a row ... Freshman Michelle Nwokedi has five or more rebounds in nine straight games, and has scored in double figures in eight of those nine games ... Sophomore Sydney Stipanovich has had exactly three blocks in five straight games and has scored in double figures in four of those five ... The Quakers are 24-6 (.800) when Renee Busch makes a three ... Freshman Anna Ross has had eight assists in two of the last three games ... Sophomore Sade Gibbons has played in 13 of the last 14 games off the bench and has a rebound in every game she has played this season.
With a win over Dartmouth on Feb. 21, Coach McLaughlin’s record went above .500 in Ivy League play for the first time. In building the program, the Quakers have increased their Ivy win total in each of the first five seasons under Coach McLaughlin (1, 5, 6, 9, 12). The fastest coach in women’s college basketball history to reach 400 career wins (any level), McLaughlin lost 15 of his first 16 Ivy contests and started 12-31 (.279) in Ivy play. Since then, the Quakers are 30-8 (.789) against the Ivy League, improving McLaughlin’s overall Ivy record to 42-39 (.519).
Magic Number: 60
The statistic that may most indicate a Penn win or loss? 60 points. Penn has won 32 straight regular season games when scoring more than 60 points. Since head coach Mike McLaughlin took over at Penn, the Quakers are 59-9 (.868) when they reach that number (32-1 over the last two seasons with only loss to Texas in NCAA Tournament, 79-61). In comparison, the Quakers are just 25-76 (.248) when they’ve scored less than 60 points under Coach McLaughlin. The trend continues defensively. Over the last six seasons, the Red and Blue are 17-53 (.242) when allowing more than 60 points. But when holding opponents under that number, the Quakers hold a healthy winning record of 67-32 (.677).
Penn will be featured in the season finale against arch rival Princeton with a nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network. In last year’s season finale, the Quakers beat the Tigers in a de facto Ivy League championship game. Tip off is a 5 p.m., and will be followed by the men’s Penn-Princeton game which is also going to be broadcast on the CBS Sports. In addition, the Quakers had four games broadcast on ESPN3.com this season.
Two Penn Wins Would...
... mark 12 in the last 13 games.
... mark the third 20-win season in school history (second straight).
... tie third-most Ivy League wins in school history (11).
... mark the first-ever eight-game win streak over Columbia and first-ever four-game win streak at Levien Gym.
... tie the second-longest win streak in school history at nine games.
... extend the road winning streak to seven games.
... make the Quakers 20-7 overall this season and 11-2 in the Ivy League.
One Penn Win Would...
... mark the third-most wins in school history (19).
... mark the first back-to-back 10-win Ivy League seasons in school history.
... make the Quakers 19-8 on the season and 10-3 in Ivy play.
Two Penn Losses Would...
... make the Quakers 18-9 overall and 9-4 in league play.
... be less good than two wins.
About the Lions
- Columbia had won two of three—with the only loss in overtime—before sliding into a three-game losing streak. The Lions lost another close one on Saturday—by one at the buzzer at Harvard.
- Columbia boasts one of the league’s best offenses at 63.1 points per game and is tops in the league in free throw percentage (.758). A strong indicator the Lions are better than their record, they rank among the middle of the pack in nearly every statistical category despite the fewest league wins this season.
- Columbia is led by an impressive young group. Sophomore Tori Oliver is second in the league in scoring (four points from first) at 16.8 points per game. Freshman Camille Zimmerman has equaled Michelle Nwokedi’s six Ivy League Rookie of the Week awards and scores 14.0 per game. Freshman Alexa Giuliano set a school record with eight threes at Harvard and averages 10.6 points. Junior Sara Mead has a team-best 45 steals and senior Amara Mbionwu averages 7.6 rebounds.
About the Big Red
- Cornell started 5-2 in league play but has since dropped four of the last five. Two of those were to Harvard by a combined 10 points and another was a close defeat to Brown in the final minutes.
_Cornell is sixth in the league in scoring (60.0 ppg), but third in defense (57.5 ppg) behind Penn and Princeton. The Big Red are second in the league in field goal percentage (.400), but rank seventh from beyond the arc (.281). They are also second in the league in assists (15.0) and are second in assist-to-turnover margin.
- Nia Marshall is third in the Ivies in scoring (six points from first), and Nicholle Aston averages 11.9 points per game. Aston is sixth in the league with 7.5 rebounds per game, while Marshall is seventh at 7.4. Aston also owns the second-best field goal percentage in the league (.517). Marshall is second in the Ivies in steals (55). Megan LeDuc (89), Christine Kline (88) and Kerri Moran (87) rank four, five and six, respectively in the Ivies in assists.
Last Time Out: W, 75-58 vs. Brown | W, 59-33 vs. Yale
Sophomore Sydney Stipanovich’s double-double led four players in double figures as Penn rolled to a 75-58 win over Brown on Friday night at The Palestra. The Quakers led by nine at the break and used a big run early in the second half to pull away from the Bears. Senior Night was one to remember on Saturday. In front of a large and loud crowd, the Quakers honored the winningest class in school history and then dominated from start to finish en route to clinching a postseason berth. The Quakers easily handled Yale, 59-33, at The Palestra. Freshman Michelle Nwokedi finished in double figures for the eighth time in nine games and matched a career-high with 19 points to go along with 12 rebounds.
A nationally-televised season finale against unbeaten arch rival Princeton. The game can be seen on CBS Sports Network at 5 p.m. As is tradition, it will serve as the final Ivy League game of the season and the first game of a doubleheader with the men, who begin at 8 p.m., and are also televised on CBS Sports Network.
Download: 26 - Columbia, Cornell.pdf