Women's Basketball Heads to New England for a Pair

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PHILADELPHIA - After the first weekend of Ivy play, the Quakers (9-8, 2-1 Ivy) find themselves near the top of the Ivy standings. But another tough road trip lies ahead. Penn travels through New England this weekend to take on Yale (Saturday, 6p.m.) and Brown (Sunday, 7 p.m.). Penn has swept two straight Ivy road weekends dating back to the last trip to New England, but the Quakers have never swept Brown (7-11, 1-3 Ivy) and Yale (6-12, 1-3 Ivy) on the road in back-to-back seasons.

Due to the impending winter storm in the Northeast, the game time at Yale has been moved to 6 p.m. on Saturday. The game time with Brown has been moved to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Catching the Game
Video and live stats will be available at YaleBulldogs.com on Friday and BrownBears.com on Saturday. Twitter updates (@PennWBB) are also available throughout the contest. A complete recap and box score can then be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.

In the Series vs. Yale and Brown
This marks Penn’s 71st meeting against both Yale and Brown. The Bulldogs hold a slight 36-34 edge in the series, but most recently, Penn snapped a six-game skid to Yale with a 61-58 win in New Haven on March 3. The last time the Quakers won back-to-back games against Yale was between the 2007 and 2008 Ivy campaigns—both of which also came at Lee Amphitheater. Brown and Penn have split 35 wins apiece in their first 70 matchups, including a season split last season. The Quakers won the most recent matchup in Providence with a 72-66 decision, while the Bears won in overtime at The Palestra last season, 59-55. Coach McLaughlin is 3-3 against Brown and 1-5 against Yale in his three-year tenure at Penn.

About the Bulldogs
Yale has split its last six games after a challenging non-conference schedule. But they have dropped three of the last four against the Ivy League. They have three common opponents with the Quakers. Both teams lost at Army, won at St. Francis Brooklyn and defeated Bucknell. The Bulldogs allow 69.6 points per game—the most of any Ivy League team. However, they are one of just three Ivy teams to average over 60 points per game (65.0). They have the second-best three-point percentage of any Ivy team at 33.7 percent and boast the best three-point defense at 24.8 percent—which ranks sixth in the nation. Sarah Halejian leads Yale and is fifth in the Ivy League with 13.8 points per game and fourth in assists with 3.0 per game. Megan Vasquez is fifth in the league with 2.9 apg. Janna Graf ranks fourth in the Ivies with 2.1 steals per contest and is one of four Ivy players with a three-poin percentage above .400. Zecnab Keita leads the team with 11 blocks.

About the Bears
After a 6-8 non-conference campaign, Brown won its Ivy opener at Yale, but has since lost three straight games—all at home. The teams have played just one common opponent with Brown beating Army by three at home and Penn falling to the Black Knights by five on the road. The Bears are second-to-last in the Ivy League in scoring, but are third in defense. They rank second in field goal percentage defense at 37.1 and three-point defense at 25.3 (12th best in the nation). Brown is last in blocks among the Ivies and rank among the middle of the pack in rebounding. Lauren Clarke is third in the Ivies in scoring at 14.6 points per game and ranks sixth in the league with 2.9 assists per game. She also ranks in the top 10 in the Ivy League in steals, free throw percentage and field goal percentage. Brown is second in the league in made threes, led by Clarke’s 42 at a 39.6 percent clip. Sophie Bikofsky and Sheila Dixon lead the team in rebounding.

Road Warriors
- Penn has won five of its last seven Ivy road games—its only two losses came at the hands of Princeton.
- Outside of New Jersey, the Quakers are 6-1 in their last seven Ivy road contests.
- The Quakers have swept two Ivy road weekends for the first time since 2004-05.
- Penn finished 2011-12 with wins at Brown and Yale for their first Ivy road sweep since defeating those same two schools in 2007.
- Penn swept Columbia and Cornell last weekend for their first two-win trip through the Empire State since 2005.

In the Hunt
For the first time in awhile, Penn won’t have to fight its way to the top of the Ivy League from the bottom. Penn has a winning record through the first Ivy League weekend for the first time since 2004-05 when the Quakers started 3-0 and finished fourth at 8-6. In fact, this is the first time the Quakers have a winning record in the Ivy League at any point in the season since the 2005-06 season.

Tale of Two Teams
On both nights this week it will be a challenge from beyond the arc for the Quakers. Yale and Brown both rank in the top 15 in the nation in defending the three—Yale is No. 6 in the country at 24.8 percent, while Brown holds opponents to a 25.3-percent clip from distance to rank 12th among the 343 teams. However, that’s where the comparisons stop. Penn will face an offensive team that ranks last in defense on Friday. Yale allows more points than any Ivy team (69.6 ppg), but scores the third-most (65.0 ppg) and has the second-best three-point shooting team in the league (33.7%). Then on Saturday, Brown boasts a strong defense—third in the league at 58.5 points per game—but scores just 52.5 per game (seventh in the Ivies).

On the Defensive
Penn has been near the top of the Ivy League in most defensive categories since Mike McLaughlin took over as head coach two seasons ago. The trend continues this year. The Quakers rank second in the Ivies in scoring defense at 56.9 points per game and are third in field goal percentage defense (38.2%). In addition, the Quakers lead the league in blocked shots and turnover margin...

Atop the Ivies
... Penn is the runaway leader in the Ivy League in blocked shots with 4.5 per game and turnover margin at +3.18. The Quakers have played fewer games than most of the league, but have a dozen more blocks (77) this year than the next-best Ivy (Harvard, 65). Penn also has the fewest turnovers of any Ivy with just 14.1 per game and force an average of just 17.2 per game.

Block Buddies
Sophomore Kara Bonenberger and junior Courtney Wilson rank first and second in the Ivy League in blocked shots, respectively. Bonenberger has 27 this year and Wilson has 26 (though Bonenberger averages 15.3 minutes more per game). Both are nearing the single-season school record book. Most recently, Jess Knapp had 38 in 2010-11 which ranks sixth all-time at Penn. At their current pace, both players are set to pass that mark.

Penn Trends
Penn is 6-2 when leading at the half and 3-6 when trailing (including 2-0 last weekend) ... The Quakers have had fewer turnovers than their opponents in 14 of 17 games this season (9-5 in those games) ... The Quakers have outrebounded their opponent just five times this year, but are 5-0 in those games ... Alyssa Baron has started 73 consecutive games for the Quakers ... Three different Quakers have scored more than 20 points in a game this season (Baron, Roche, Ray) ... Penn is 7-3 when allowing fewer than 60 points.

Climbing the Record Books
Junior Alyssa Baron moved into ninth place all-time at Penn in career scoring at Princeton on Jan. 12. She now has 1,179 career points and is 24 points away from passing Cheryl Rath for eighth place. Baron became the 19th Penn women’s player to reach 1,000 career points on Nov. 30. She is the third-fastest Quaker to accomplish that milestone (60 games) and the first since Biemer topped the landmark in 2008. Only Penn’s all-time leading scorer (man or woman), Diana Caramanico (48 games) and Mandy West (52 games) were faster to 1,000 points.

Lucky Sevens
Penn posted seven or more out-of-conference wins in back-to-back seasons for just the second time in program history (1999-00, 2000-01). Penn also won seven non-league games last season—tied for fourth-most in program history.

Two Penn Wins Would...
... be the third straight Ivy road sweep (first time since the 2000-01 undefeated Ivy season).
... mark the first back-to-back sweeps at Yale and Brown in program history.
... mark the first four-game Ivy road win streak since 2004-05.
... make the Quakers 11-8 overall and 4-1 in Ivy play (first time since 2003-04 Ivy title team).

A Penn Win Would...
... be the first back-to-back wins over Yale since 2007-08 seasons or mark the program’s first-ever three-game winning streak at Brown.
... make the Quakers 10-9 on the year and 3-2 in Ivy play.

Two Penn Losses Would...
... be the seventh in eight games at Yale.
... make the Quakers 9-10 on the year and 2-3 in Ivy play.
... be less good than two wins.

Charge for a Cure!
For the third straight year the women’s basketball team is dedicating its entire season to the fight against several diseases and the team needs your help. In its first two years, 109 donors have joined the “Charge for a Cure” program which helped the team raise nearly $7,000. Each month of the season will be devoted to help a specific disease with personal ties to the program—The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Go4theGoal, the American Cancer Society, The Dave Bryan Ride on Fund, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of America. At the end of each month, the coaches will total the number of offensive charges the Quakers have taken as a team and fans can pledge a donation per charge. This month the Quakers will be taking charges for ALS and the Dave Bryan Ride On Fund, but the team is turning to its fans to lend a hand in its efforts. Here is how you can help!

Join Today!
Last Game: 1
January Total: 3
Season Total: 25

Last Time Out
The Quakers won both games in the Empire State for the first time since 2005. It marked Penn’s second straight Ivy League road sweep dating back to last season’s sweep at Brown and Yale. Trailing by four at the half on Friday, an astounding defensive effort gave Penn a 52-40 win at Columbia. The Quakers allowed just nine points, two baskets and forced 11 turnovers in the final 20 minutes at Levien Gym. On Saturday at Cornell, Kara Bonenberger and Keiera Ray combined for 30 second-half points to propel Penn to its first win at Newman Arena in four years, 65-56. Rayne Connell hit a buzzer-beating three to end the half and launched a 24-6 run for the Red and Blue. Penn led by double digits nearly the rest of the way.

Up Next
After five road games, Penn finally hosts its first Ivy League games of the season against Harvard and Dartmouth. The Quakers are also home the following weekend against Cornell (Feb. 22) and Columbia (Feb. 23).

Download: 18-Yale, Brown.pdf