Women's Basketball Heads to Snowy New England

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PHILADELPHIA - Ivy League weekends begin with the longest road trip of them all. The Quakers (9-6, 0-1 Ivy) head through snow-stricken New England for a pair of tough road games against Dartmouth (10-6, 1-1 Ivy) and Harvard (8-8, 1-1 Ivy). Penn looks to avenge last season’s loss at Leede Arena on Friday at 7 p.m., on the Ivy League Digital Network. While on Saturday, a national audience on ESPN3.com will look on as Penn vies for its first back-to-back wins in Lavietes Pavilion since 2000-01. Tip off at Harvard is set for 6 p.m.

Catching the Games
Fans can watch the matchup at Dartmouth on the Ivy League Digital Network. Saturday’s game at Harvard can be seen for free worldwide on ESPN3.com. Live stats can be found at DartmouthSports.com and GoCrimson.com. Live twitter updates (@PennWBB) are also available. A complete recap and box score can be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.

In the Series vs. Harvard/Dartmouth
- Against Dartmouth, Penn trails the all-time series, 43-28, but the Quakers have won five of the last six. The only loss to the Big Green in the last three seasons came at Leede Arena last year in a three-point defeat at the buzzer.
- Last season, Penn snapped a nine-game losing streak at Lavietes Pavilion and swept Harvard for the first time since 2001. The Crimson lead the all-time series 49-23, but Penn has won three of the last four against Harvard.

Hitting the Road
For the first time since the season opener at Tennessee on Nov. 14, the Quakers will have an overnight trip. Penn hasn’t left the NJ/PA area since a day trip to Annapolis, Md., to take on Navy on Nov. 22.

National TV
In addition to Saturday’s game on ESPN3.com, Penn will also 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.

Magic Number: 60
The statistic that may most indicate a Penn win or loss? 60 points. Since head coach Mike McLaughlin took over at Penn, the Quakers are 52-9 (.852) when they score 60 points, including 25-1 over the last two seasons (only loss was to Texas in NCAA Tournament, 79-61). In comparison, the Quakers are just 23-75 (.234) 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 14-52 (.212) when allowing more than 60 points. But when holding opponents under that number, the Quakers hold a healthy winning record of 61-32 (.656).

Penn Trends
Penn has used the same starting lineup in nine straight games (6-3) ... The Quakers have had three different leading scorers in the last three games and four in the last five (Roche, Stipanovich, Nwokedi and Boneberger twice) ... Penn has won 14 of the last 16 at The Palestra ... The Quakers have won 18 of the last 19 and are 36-2 (.947) over the last three seasons when shooting better than 40 percent ... The Red and Blue have won 17 of the last 18 games when their free throw percentage is better than 70 percent ... Penn has won 33 of the last 35 games when outrebounding its opponent ... Penn is 20-1 under Coach McLaughlin when scoring more than 70 points and undefeated in regulation as the only loss came in double overtime, 88-84, at Harvard in 2011.

Streaking Quakers
Senior Kara Bonenberger has started 78 straight games and Kathleen Roche has started 47 in a row ... Freshman Michelle Nwokedi has four or more rebounds in eight straight games ... Junior Brooklyn Juday and sophomore Sade Gibbons each have a rebound in every game they’ve played ... Gibbons has made 8-of-9 field goal attempts this season and seven in a row ... Freshman Anna Ross has three or more assists in nine of the last 10 games.

So Many Threes
Last Saturday, senior Kathleen Roche moved into sole possession of ninth-place on Penn’s all-time career made three’s list. She has knocked down 120 shots from beyond the arc in her career and is six away from matching Carrie Biemer (2005-09) and Mikaelyn Austin (2001-04) for seventh place. Roche owns the school record for threes in a half (six at St. Francis Brooklyn on Dec. 5, 2013) and is tops on the team with 25 threes this season.

Nearing 1,000
You can start counting down. Senior Kara Bonenberger is now just 39 points shy of becoming the 20th player in Penn history with 1,000 for her career. The last Quaker to reach that milestone was Bonenberger’s former teammate and captain, Alyssa Baron, who did so on Nov. 30, 2012 and finished second all-time at Penn with 1,806 points.

Top 10 in the Nation
Entering this week, Penn ranks ninth in the nation as a team with 6.5 blocks per game, and is also one of the nation’s more diciplined teams as they rank eighth in the NCAA with just 13.9 fouls per game. The Quakers are also among the nation’s best in several other categories. Head Coach Mike McLaughlin has always had strong defensive teams and this year is no different. The Quakers rank second in the Ivy League and 16th in the NCAA in scoring defense (54.3)—on three occasions this year, they have held an opponent under 30 points. The team is also 23rd among the 343 Division I schools in field goal percetange defense (.356).

Teammates Sydney Stipanovich and Kara Bonenberger are two of the top five shot blockers in school history. A sophomore, Stipanovich already ranks second on Penn’s all-time career blocks list and is moving up the Ivy League’s career list, while Bonenberger recently became the fifth player in school to reach 100 career blocks. Stipanovich’s 45 blocks this season are tops in the Ivy League, 19th in the nation and already rank seventh among the program’s single-season record book (she holds the school record with 99 blocks in a season).

Non-Conference Success
Penn’s nine wins outside of league play matched the second-most non-conference wins in school history (last season’s Ivy championship team set the school record with 10). Prior to Coach McLaughlin, the Quakers had won nine non-league games only once in program history, but have now done so in each of the last three years. Penn also set a school record with its fourth straight season at .500 or better against non-conference competition. This season, the Quakers faced one of the toughest non-league slates in recent memory. In addition to the season opener at No. 4 Tennessee and all four Big 5 rivals, four of the first six opponents won at least 19 games last year.

About the Big Green
- Dartmouth nearly swept Harvard to open Ivy play, but lost a 14-point second-half lead at home to the Crimson on Saturday. The Big Green went 9-5 in non-conference play with just one common opponent as Penn. Both teams beat NJIT, though Dartmouth went to OT at home.
- Dartmouth is second-to-last in the Ivies in scoring and rebounding, but among the top teams in nearly every defensive category, including second in three-point defense (.283).
- Sophomore sensation, Fanni Szabo has averaged a league-best 18.4 points per game, while Lakin Roland pours in an average of 13.9 per game. Roland is also fourth in the league in rebounding with 9.1 per game, while Szabo ranks fourth in steals with an average of 1.9. Katie Vareika leads the league in three-point percentage at an incredible clip of 54.5 percent. Tia Dawson is tops on the team and fifth in the league with 14 blocks this season. Expect to see a lot of Szabo as she leads the league with 36.8 min/game.

About the Crimson
- Harvard lost at home to Dartmouth by 15 to start Ivy play but came back to split the series with a road win Saturday. The Crimson were 7-7 in non-conference play with one common opponent with Penn. The Crimson lost to Temple on a neutral court by 12, while Penn won at home.
- As usual, Harvard is one of the top scoring teams in the league, ranking second at 66.0 points per game. The Crimson are also allowing the most points of any Ivy team at 69.5 per game. They are the second-best free throw shooting team in the Ancient Eight (.725) and are third in assists (15.4/gm).
- Temi Fagbenle is 16th in the nation and leads the league with 10.9 rebounds per game. She leads the Crimson with 14.3 points per game, while Annmarie Healy and Erin McDonnell each average 13.4 per game. Healy has the top field goal percentage in the league (.524). Healy has a team-best 21 steals, Ali Curtis leads the team with 63 assists, and Fagbenle has a team-high 15 blocks.

Two Penn Wins Would...
... mark the first back-to-back wins at Harvard since 2000-01.
... mark the first three-game winning streak over the Crimson since a five-game stretch from 1999-2001.
... be the first sweep at Harvard/Dartmouth since 2004.
... make the Quakers 11-6 overall this season and 2-1 against the Ivy League.

One Penn Win Would...
... be the fourth straight split split on this road trip.
... make the Quakers 10-7 on the season and 1-2 in Ivy play.

Two Penn Loss Would...
... be the first time Penn has been swept on this road trip since 2011.
... mark the first back-to-back losses to Dartmouth since a five-game losing streak from 2008-10.
... mark a three-game Ivy losing streak and make Penn 9-8 overall and 0-3 in league play.
... be less good than a win.

Last Time Out: W, 59-29 at NJIT
An impressive effort off the bench carried Penn to a road win over NJIT, 59-29, at the Fleischer Center on Saturday afternoon. In their final non-league game of the season, the Quakers earned their ninth non-conference win of the season which matches the second-most in school history. Last season’s Ivy League championship team set the program record with 10. Penn’s bench scored 36 of the team’s 59 points and was led by freshman Michelle Nwokedi who finished with a game-high 14 points, seven rebounds, career-high five blocks, three assists and two steals in 22 minutes. Sophomore Sade Gibbons matched a career-high with seven points off the bench.

Up Next
Penn returns to The Palestra for its first Ivy home games of the season. The Quakers have won six straight over Ivy opponents at the Cathedral of College Basketball and will welcome Cornell on Friday and Columbia on Saturday. Both games tip off at 7 p.m., and can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN.tv).


Download: 16 - Dartmouth, Harvard.pdf