PHILADELPHIA - For the first time this Ivy season, the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team hits the road. The red-hot Quakers will travel north to take on Harvard on Friday night, followed by a matchup against Dartmouth on Saturday. Penn is currently 9-1 in its last 10 games, and 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 2005.
Catching the Game
As always, fans can watch both games online at the Ivy League Digital Network. Friday night’s contest against Harvard will also be streamed live on NESN. Live Twitter updates will also be available via @PennWBB. A complete recap and box score can be found on www.PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the game.
vs. Harvard, 76th meeting (Crimson leads series, 49-26)
The Quakers are seeking their fifth-straight win over Harvard, and third-straight on the road. Prior to this recent Penn success, the Crimson had rattled off 17 consecutive victories over the Quakers, including the first six meetings against Coach McLaughlin. The Quakers haven’t won three straight games at Harvard since 1985. Last season in Cambridge, Penn notched a five-point win over Harvard. Sophomores Anna Ross (19 points), Beth Brzozowski (14 points) and Michelle Nwokedi (11 points) all had big games in the victory at Lavietes Pavilion.
vs. Dartmouth, 76th meeting (Big Green lead series, 43-32)
The Quakers put together a season sweep of Dartmouth last season, including a 55-39 win at Leede Arena. Coach McLauglin is 9-3 against the Big Green during his time at Penn, with two of the three losses coming on the road. Dartmouth’s 53-50 win over the Quakers in 2014 is one of just five Ivy losses for Penn in the last two-plus seasons. Last season in Hanover, Dartmouth committed more turnovers than made field goals in a 55-39 win for the Quakers. Sydney Stipanovich scored a game-high 16 points, to go along with nine rebounds.
Harvard vs. Dartmouth
The Crimson and Big Green have already completed their season series, splitting a pair of January matchups.
Last Time Out
The Red and Blue were dominant over the weekend, picking up wins over Yale (68-49) and Brown (66-49). Penn defeated both foes by double digits, and allowed under 50 points for the sixth and seventh times this season. Sydney Stipanovich averaged 17.5 points and 15.0 rebounds in the two wins, en route to winning Ivy League Player of the Week honors.
The Quakers will return home for contests against Columbia and Cornell next weekend at The Palestra.
With the win over Yale last Friday, Head Coach Mike McLaughlin became just the second coach in Penn history to record at least 100 victories as the leader of the Quakers. Lois Ashley is the other, and she currently owns the most wins at Penn with 128 (12 seasons).
Sydney Stipanovich also achieved a pair of milestones last Friday, as she eclipsed 900 points for her career (currently has 948 points) -- and moved into second in Ivy League history in career blocks (235). Stip will become the 21st player in Penn history with 1,000 career points.
Ivy League Stip
Sydney Stipanovich earned her fourth Ivy League Player of the Week award this season on Monday. She now has 10 weekly honors for her career, two shy of Diana Caramanico’s program-best 12. In Penn’s two Ivy wins over the weekend, Stip averaged 17.5 points, 15.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per contest. Stipanovich is averaging 15.7 points, 13.7 boards and 3.3 blocks in three Ivy games this season.
Anna Ross put together her best two-game stretch of the year last weekend against Yale and Brown. For just the second time this season, she scored double figures in back-to-back games. Ross went for 16 points, six rebounds, and six assists against Yale -- followed by 10 points, four rebounds, and five assists versus Brown.
Playin’ by the Rules
The Quakers have made a name for themselves by playing stout defense this season, and not fouling in the process. In fact, Penn leads the entire NATION in fewest personal fouls per game at 11.2.
Sydney Stipanovich (2.9) and Michelle Nwokedi (2.8) currently rank 1-2 in the Ivy League in blocks per game, and are the main reason that the Quakers rank fourth in the country in blocks per contest (6.6). In addition, Nwokedi and Stipanovich each have a team-best seven double-doubles -- and are currently the only two players in the Ivy League to be averaging a double-double.
Penn racked up the most blocks in a single game in school history against La Salle (16). Stipanovich and Nwokedi have combined for more swatted shots (97) than every TEAM in the Ivy League.
Ivy League Success
Penn won 11 or more Ivy League games for the second-straight season in 2014-15. Prior to that, the Quakers had won 11 or more Ivy League games only twice in its entire history.
With their win over Temple last Thursday, the Quakers broke a program record with 11 non-conference wins in a season. In fact, Penn’s 14-3 start is the best in program history. Penn previously had 10 non-conference wins during each of the last two seasons.
Stipanovich now sits eighth in the Penn record books with 23 career double-doubles. The Quakers are 22-1 all-time in those games, and 7-0 this season. In addition, she currently ranks second in the Ivy League in rebounds per game (10.1) and tops in blocks per game (2.9).
Defense, which has been a staple of Mike McLaughlin teams over the years, is once again a strength for the Quakers this season. The Red and Blue currently rank 11th in the nation in scoring defense, holding opponents to 52.2 points per game this season. They also rank fourth in the NCAA in blocks per game at 6.6. Last season, Penn ranked No. 3 in the nation with 6.6 blocks per game, seventh in the NCAA in field-goal percentage defense (.348), ninth in the country in scoring defense (53.5 ppg) and 31st in three-point defense (.281).
Quaker Quick Hits
*Yale and Brown combined to make just 8-of-38 shots (21 percent) from beyond the arc during the Quakers’ first Ivy weekend.
*The Quakers tied a season-best (BYU-Hawaii) by allowing just 14 first-half points against Brown last Saturday.
Download: 2nd Ivy Weekend.pdf