PHILADELPHIA - This will mark the final Ivy weekend of the season and of the careers for three Penn seniors when the Quakers head to Harvard Friday and Dartmouth Saturday. Both games tip off at 7 p.m. Penn’s season will then conclude with a women’s and men’s doubleheader at Princeton March 9.
Catching the Game
Video and live stats will be available Friday at GoCrimson.com. On Saturday, DartmouthSports.com will supply live stats and video. Complete recaps and a box score can be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.
In the Series
Two of the most dominant teams in the Ivy League, Penn has had recent struggles against both Harvard and Dartmouth. The Crimson have won the last 12 against the Quakers and own a 43-21 all-time series advantage. Penn’s last win over Harvard came in Cambridge in 2004. As for Dartmouth, the Big Green have now won five straight and 10 of 11 against the Red and Blue. Penn last defeated the Ivy League’s most northernly opponent in 2007 at The Palestra, but has not won in Hanover, N.H., since 2004.
About the Crimson
Harvard is undefeated at home this year, going 10-0 thus far. Also on the line is the Ivy title for the Crimson. A Penn win and a Princeton win Friday would eliminate Harvard from title contention. Harvard is second in the Ivies behind Princeton in scoring and lead the league in free throw percentage and three-point percentage. Though the Crimson rank sixth in points allowed, they hold opponents to just 37.6% shooting—second best in the Ancient Eight. They are also tops in the league in blocked shots. The Crimson is led by four players scoring in double figures—Emma Markley (14.2), Brogan Berry (12.2), Victoria Lippert (13.0), Christine Matera (10.3). Berry is tied for the league lead with 143 assists. Matera leads the Ivy League with 63 threes and Markley is the Ivy leader with 42 blocks and tops on the Crimson with 7.2 rebounds per game.
About the Big Green
Two of Dartmouth’s conference losses have come in overtime this season and only one Ivy opponent—Columbia—has won in regulation in Hanover. The Big Green has alternated wins and losses in the last five games. Expect a low-scoring affair. Dartmouth and Penn are the two lowest-scoring teams in the Ivy League and Penn hasn’t put up 40 against the Big Green since 2008. These are also two of the best defensive teams in the league. Dartmouth is second in points allowed and Penn ranks third. Brittany Smith is the heart of the Big Green. She averages a double-double as she leads the team with 12.4 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per game. Smith is also tops on the team with 48 steals, 55 assists and 49 blocks. She is second in the Ivy League in rebounding and blocks and is fourth in steals.
Career Weekend = Ivy and Big 5 Honors
It was a weekend that is usually dominated with news about the senior class, but freshman Brianna Bradford earned a lot of the limelight on the weekend of Senior Night. Bradford led Penn with a career-high 15 points against Columbia on Friday and was then second on the team with nine points vs. Cornell Saturday (she had entered the weekend with 10 total points in her career). Bradford also set career highs against the Lions in rebounds, made field goals, made three-pointers, assists, steals and field goal attempts en route to earning a spot on the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll and Big 5 Weekly Honor Roll.
Penn lost on Senior Night for just the first time in four years ... Penn has won five of the last seven when leading at the half, but has lost the last 23 when trailing at intermission ... Penn is undefeated on Thursdays ... The Quakers have shot 75 percent or better from the free throw line in five of their last six games ... Penn has lost the last 17 games in which they have allowed 60 or more points ... Four different Quakers have led the team in scoring in the last four games.
Last Time Out
A remarkable second half string of six-straight Columbia three-pointers buried Penn Friday night as the Lions defeated the Quakers, 80-61. Columbia went on an early 10-2 for a 19-9 lead. Brianna Bradford helped the Quakers close the gap with a three and assist to Caroline Nicholson as Penn got within 19-14 with 7:33 left in the first half. Abruptly, the Lions scored seven in a row and held a 26-14 lead. The deficit grew to 14, but in the final minute of the half, Caitlin Slover and Bradford hit back-to-back threes to bring the Lions’ halftime lead to just 35-27. The Quakers were down 42-33 when the Lions went on their incredible run. Over the next six possessions, they took six three-point attempts and made every single one. When the spree mercifully came to an end, the Lions were in complete command, 60-37 at the 13:57 mark. The Columbia lead didn’t fluctuate much after that. Despite holding the lead midway through the second half on Senior Night, Penn fell short of Cornell, 60-42, Saturday night. Jerin Smith tallied back-to-back lay ups to get the deficit to 16-14 early on. Cornell then scored on its next possession, but freshman Brianna Bradford hit a wide open three and on Penn’s next trip, Amy Donovan drained a three to give Penn its first lead, 20-18, which they took to the locker room. There were five lead changes in a wild second half. But Cornell finally found some breathing room as Penn went on a lengthy scoring drought. The Big Red went on a 17-6 run for a 48-36 lead with 3:55 to play and Penn was never again within single digits.
The season finale takes place at archrival Princeton on Tuesday, March 9. Tip off for the women is at 5 p.m., with the men’s game taking place after its conclusion.
Download: Dartmouth, Harvard.pdf