PHILADELPHIA - Its the first Ivy League weekend of the year as Penn hosts Yale on Friday and Brown on Saturday. Penn swept this home weekend last year, completing its first weekend sweep in nearly two years. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.
For Those Attending
The women’s basketball team is encouraging all fans to bring an old pair of shoes to the games this weekend in support of the Hoops for Haiti initiative. In coordination with the men’s team, Penn will be accepting donations to be given to those in need on the island of Haiti.
Catching the Game
Video and live stats will be available on the Penn Sports Network. Daniel Fritz and Phil Almquist will call all of the action. A full recap and box score can be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the game.
In the Series
Penn leads the all-time series with Yale, 33-31, and is tied with Brown at 32-32. In the last seven meetings with Yale, the Red and Blue have been victorious in five of them, winning three of the last four at The Palestra. Meanwhile, the Quakers have won the last three games and five of the last six against the Bears, which includes the last three at home.
About the Bulldogs
Yale dropped its Ivy opener to Brown, but won the rematch. The Bulldogs finished the non-conference season at 5-9 with games that included losses to power conference foes, Arizona State, Colorado and Kansas State. Yale has gone 4-2 at home this year, but is just 2-8 outside of New Haven. Much like Penn, the Bulldogs rank near the middle of the pack in the Ivy League in a majority of categories. However, Yale leads the Ivies in steals and is third in the league in rebounding and turnover margin. Though the Bulldogs rank last in three-point defense, the Quakers are last in three-point percentage. Three Bulldogs average nearly 10 points per game, led by freshman Megan Vazquez’s 11.3. Mady Gobrecht (9.7 ppg) is the team-leader at 6.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 blocks per game.
About the Bears
Brown sits at 1-1 in the Ivy League after splitting the opening two games with Yale. The Bears went 3-11 in the non-conference season, losing their last five outside of the Ivies. They have one opponent in common with Penn, falling by 29 at Saint Joseph’s—the Quakers lost by 17. Brown is second to last in the league in field goal percentage. Penn is last. And Brown ranks second in the league in field goal percentage defense. The Bears are eighth among the Ivies in rebounding and blocked shots, but third in steals. Hannah Passafuime leads the team with 9.0 points per game, followed by Christina Johnson’s 8.9 per game. Natalie Bonds is the Bears’ top rebounder at 6.3 per game and has a team-high 19 blocks. Courtney Lee leads Brown with 37 assists.
There will be a lot going on this weekend inside The Palestra. In addition to the two Ivy League contests, the Quakers will have a chance to show their appreciation to those who have put on the Red and Blue uniform before them. The program’s annual Alumni Game is Saturday afternoon. About 15 former Quakers have already agreed to participate in the festivities, which includes four-year letterwinners, Amy Tarr, C’97, and Cat Makarewich, C’05. Tip off is set for approximately 4 p.m.
A Weekend of Matchups
There will be a few interesting matchups between these teams this weekend. For instance, on Friday, the Quakers face a Yale team that ranks last in three-point defense, but the Red and Blue rank last in three-point offense. On Saturday, Penn faces a Brown team that seems to have a huge defensive advantage. The Bears rank second in the Ivy League in field goal defense, holding opponents under 40 percent on average. Accentuating the problem is Penn’s poor shooting thus far, ranking at the bottom of the league with a field goal percentage under 30. The winner of those battles could determine the winner of each respective game.
Penn has lost the last 15 when trailing at the half and won five straight when leading at the half ... Penn is undefeated on Thursdays ... Penn has lost the last 11 games in which they have allowed 60 or more points ... In the last four games, four different players have led the team in scoring ... Sophomore Jess Knapp has led the Quakers in rebounding in four of the last five games.
Last Time Out
On a day when most of the members of the Quakers struggled on the offensive end, Jerin Smith had a career day with more than half of Penn’s points in a 55-31 loss to Temple at McGonigle Hall Saturday afternoon. Temple scored on its first possession, but took three more minutes to score again. Unfortunately at that point,the Quakers were still looking for their first basket. When Jourdan Banks hit a free throw at the 14:45 mark, the Owls led at 8-1, and by the time the Red and Blue got their first bucket - an eight-foot jumper from Amy Donovan - the Owls led 14-3 seven minutes into the contest. Temple went up by 15 on several occassions in the first half, but when Smith grabbed an offensive rebound and layed in the put back with 6:48 remaining until intermission, Penn was down just 24-13. When Smith repeated the feat with 3:25 to go, Penn was down only 10, 25-15. Then, after forcing a turnover, Rebecca Lau floated in another bucket for the Quakers to pull within 25-17. But Temple scored seven of the half’s last nine points for a 32-19 edge at intermission. The second half began much like the first as Penn struggled on the offensive end. But so did the Owls. Six minutes into the second half, each team had just one basket. Temple broke the scoring slump with a three to gain its largest lead to that point at 37-21. However, after Smith hit a jumper from the top of the key, the Owls scored eight straight and led 45-23 with 8:29 to go. Meanwhile, the Red and Blue were still having trouble finding the bottom of the basket. Penn had just 12 second-half points and Temple led by as many as 24 points, including the final margin.
Penn wraps up a four-game Ivy home stand with games against Dartmouth and Harvard. The Quakers take on the Big Green Friday at 7 p.m. and the Crimson 24 hours later.
Download: 1-29-10 Yale, Brown.pdf