PHILADELPHIA - The home stretch has begun. With seven games remaining, the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team begins its second trip around the Ivy League this weekend with matchups at Brown and Yale. The Quakers, who have won six-consecutive games, are 7-0 in the Ivy League for the first time since 2001 (14-0).
Catching the Game
Both games this weekend will be available live on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN.tv). 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. Brown, 78th meeting (Penn leads series, 42-35)
Penn’s 66-49 win on January 30 was the Quakers’ eighth-consecutive triumph over the Bears. Sydney Stipanovich led the way with 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Michelle Nwokedi (12) and Anna Ross (10) were also into double figures for Penn. Nwokedi narrowly missed out on a double-double, grabbing nine boards. The Quakers are 14-12 all-time at the Pizzitola Center, with their last defeat coming in 2010.
vs. Yale, 78th meeting (Penn leads series, 39-38)
Penn preceded the win over Brown earlier this season with a 68-49 victory over the Bulldogs. It was the Quakers’ fifth-straight triumph in the series, and Coach McLaughlin’s 100th career win at Penn. Sydney Stipanovich piled up 16 points, 16 rebounds, four blocks, and three assists. Similar to the Brown win, Michelle Nwokedi (14) and Anna Ross (16) also reached double figures against Yale. Coach McLaughlin is 6-7 all-time against the Bulldogs, and Penn holds a 15-20 record at Lee Ampitheater.
Last Time Out
The Quakers swept their third-straight Ivy Weekend, defeating Columbia (71-51) and Cornell (65-50) at The Palestra. Lauren Whitlatch scored a career-high 20 points in the win over Columbia, while Sydney Stipanovich recorded her ninth double-double (21 pts, 12 rebs) of the season against the Big Red. In addition to Whitlatch’s career night on Friday, Michelle Nwokedi poured in a game-high 24 points. It was the first time in over two seasons that Penn had two 20-point scorers.
Defensively, Penn forced 30 turnovers and collected 21 steals over the two games. The Lions and Big Red combined to shoot just 22 percent from beyond the three-point line (6-of-27).
The Quakers continue on the road with contests against Cornell and Columbia. The Quakers head to Ithaca on Friday night (7 p.m.), and New York City on Sunday (3 p.m.).
The Quakers have given up 51 points or less in all seven of their Ivy League wins this season. The Red and Blue rank 8th in the nation, and first in the Ivy League in scoring defense. Penn is allowing just 51.3 points per contest - a mark that shrinks to 48.0 in Ivy League games. In addition, Ivy foes are shooting just 32 percent from the field against the Quakers, and 20.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Michelle Nwokedi has scored in double figures in eight straight games, averaging 14.4 points during that stretch. Prior to her last game against Cornell (five rebounds), Nwokedi had grabbed at least seven boards in every contest this season.
The Quakers are the ONLY team in the country with two players averaging double-doubles this season. Sydney Stipanovich and Michelle Nwokedi are currently the only two players in the Ivy League that are averaging double-doubles.
Lauren Whitlatch scored a career high in back-to-back games against Dartmouth and Columbia. The sharpshooter poured in 19 against the Big Green on February 5th, and followed up with 20 points last Friday against Columbia. Over her last three games, she is shooting 50 percent (11-for-22) from beyond the three-point line.
Over the last six games, Anna Ross has been superb. The sophomore guard has reached double figures in four of those contests. In all, Ross is averaging 10.7 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds during this stretch. Ross is now leading the Ivy League in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.9), and ranks fourth in helpers per game (3.6). She finished tops in the conference in assist-to turnover ratio last season.
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 third in the country in blocks per contest (6.6).
The Quakers are tied for second in the country in fewest turnovers per game this season (11.2). Penn has especially been careful with the basketball in conference play, averaging 9.5 turnovers per contest in seven Ivy League games.
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.
With the win over Yale on January 29, 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).
Download: 4th Ivy Weekend.pdf