PHILADELPHIA - It will be a Pink Weekend inside The Palestra, as the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team will hold its annual Play 4Kay Game on Friday night against Columbia. Fans in attendance are encouraged to wear pink, and donations to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund will be accepted at The Palestra. The Quakers will complete the Ivy weekend on Saturday, as Cornell comes to town for a 7 p.m. tip.
Catching the Game
If you are unable to make it to The Palestra, 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.
In addition to Play 4Kay, the Quakers will also have their annual Alumni Game on Saturday prior to tip against Cornell.
vs. Columbia, 60th meeting (Penn leads series, 41-18)
The Quakers are seeking their ninth-consecutive win over the Lions, a streak that dates back to the 2011 season. Coach McLaughlin holds a 9-3 record against Columbia, including a season sweep last season. Michelle Nwokedi went for 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks in the Quakers’ 78-57 win at The Palestra.
vs. Cornell, 74th meeting (Penn leads series, 53-20)
Penn has won five of the last six meetings against Cornell, and leads the all-time series by a tally of 53-20. The Quakers and Big Red split two games last season, each picking up wins on the road. The Red and Blue, however, are 31-9 all-time when Cornell visits The Palestra. The Big Red were the only team other than Princeton to beat Penn in the Ivy League last season.
Columbia vs. Cornell
The Lions and Big Red have already completed their season series, with Cornell taking both matchups. The Big Red put together wins of 66-59 and 84-73 in mid-January.
Last Time Out
The Quakers improved to 5-0 in the Ivy League with a road sweep of Harvard (68-48) and Dartmouth (56-41) last weekend. Anna Ross dished out a career-high nine assists against the Crimson on Friday night, while Lauren Whitlatch achieved a pair of career-bests over the weekend. Whitlatch grabbed 11 rebounds versus Harvard, before pouring in 19 points against the Big Green. Sydney Stipanovich registered her eighth double-double of the season, and 24th of her career in the win over Dartmouth. She finished the night with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Quakers will head back up to New England next weekend for matchups against Yale and Brown.
The Quakers have given up less than 50 points in all five of their Ivy League wins this season. In fact, Penn has done so in each of their last four games (all wins). The Red and Blue rank 10th in the nation, and first in the Ivy League in scoring defense. The Quakers are allowing just 51.4 points per contest, a mark that shrinks to 47.0 in Ivy League games. In addition, Ancient Eight teams are shooting just 30.5 percent from the field against the Quakers, and 20 percent from beyond the arc.
Over the last four games, Anna Ross has been superb. The sophomore guard has reached double figures in three of those contests, to go along with a career-high nine assists in the win over Harvard. In all, Ross is averaging 11.25 points, 5.75 assists and 5.5 rebounds during this stretch. Ross is also now leading the Ivy League in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8), and ranks fourth in helpers per game (3.5). She finished tops in the conference in assist-to turnover ratio last 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.
Sydney Stipanovich (2.8) and Michelle Nwokedi (2.7) 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 (6.5).
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 (239). 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 February 1. She now has 10 weekly honors for her career, two shy of Diana Caramanico’s program-best 12. Stipanovich is averaging a team-high 13.0 points, and 12.0 rebounds in the Quakers’ five conference 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 11.3.
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 (105) than every TEAM in the Ivy League.
Download: 3rd Ivy Weekend.pdf