PHILADELPHIA After an improved performance that led to a fourth-place finish in the Ivy League, the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team held its annual team banquet Tuesday night to celebrate the end of the season. Seniors Carrie Biemer, Katarina Lackner, Anca Popovici and Kelly Scott were presented with jerseys to commemorate their time spent in the Red and Blue.
Scott won multiple awards on the night, claiming the prestigious Harshberger-Johnson-Brendel (HJB) Prize for Sportsmanship, Loyalty and Leadership as well as the Unsung Heroine Award. The HJB, created by Penn alumna and former player Cynthia Warner Johnson Crowley CW’52, honors the strong tradition of more than 60 years of women’s varsity basketball at Penn. Scott, a team captain during the 2008-2009 season, helped lead the way for the Quakers in posting averages of 10.2 points per game and 3.0 rebounds per game, while starting all 28 games. Scott earned the Unsung Heroine Award, which recognizes accomplishments that do not necessarily show up in the statistics but contribute to the team’s success.
For her efforts as the consummate team player throughout the campaign, junior Sarah Bucar was honored with the Epton-Tarr Award. Bucar, who managed to start 17 games despite being sidelined for part of the season, complemented Scott’s efforts in the backcourt with averages of 5.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per contest.
Meanwhile, Biemer parlayed an outstanding performance for the Red and Blue into her second consecutive team Most Valuable Player Award. Biemer led the Ivy League in scoring with 18.1 points per game and was second to teammate Erin Power with 5.2 rebounds per game. Displaying equal prowess both inside and outside - shooting 41 percent from the three point line along the way - Biemer also earned first team All-Ivy honors in her last year as a Quaker.
Power, a sophomore from Elmwood Park, Ill., was named as the Most Improved Player for 2008-2009. Power was the team’s leading rebounder with 5.8 rebounds per game and also dished out a total of 97 assists, far and away the best such mark on the Penn squad. Her efficient and effective court play as a guard was impressive enough to cultivate the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the Ivy League.
On the other side of the ball, senior Anca Popovici walked away with the Best Defense Award for the second year running. The guard from Mount de Chantal, W.Va., shone as the Quakers’ best on-the-ball defender throughout the season and was frequently deployed to stop the Ancient Eight’s best guards. Her defensive prowess, in addition to the contributions of Hustle Award winner and fellow guard Caitlin Slover, helped Penn stay competitive in an Ivy League characterized by remarkable parity among all eight members.