PHILADELPHIA--The Penn women's basketball team will host Lafayette in its final home game of the calendar year, Wednesday at The Palestra. The Quakers (3-4) look to repeat last season's success vs. the Leopards (5-3) and snapLafayette'sfour-game winning streak.
The two teams are meeting for the 33rd time. Penn owns a slight, 17-15 advantage over the Leopards including a 78-74 win at Lafayette last December. The Quakers have won eight of the last nine meetings between the schools.
The Quakers are coming off a loss to Big 5 rival Villanova, and look to regain the winning ways they had found with wins over Rider and Loyola (Md.).
If the Red and Blue are to do so, they will need Carrie Biemer to continue her solid start to the season. The forward is averaging 15.3 ppg.
Behind Biemer, coach Knapp counts on Kimberly Franklin who is pitching in 8.0 ppg. Sophomore Amy Donovan has worked her way into the lineup, contributing 7.1 ppg to go with 3 boards per game.
Sarah Bucar is averaging nearly 35 minutes a game at the point guard position. In her first season playing for Penn, Bucar is dishing 3.4 assists a game while pulling down 3.7 rebounds per contest. For the Quakers to trully ignite their offense, Bucar may be called upon to score more than her 4.7 ppg.
The area where Penn looks to focus more is defending the three-point shot. Teams are shooting almost 40% from beyond the arc, hitting an average of three more three-balls a game than the Quakers.
The Leopards may be just what the doctor ordered in that department. They come into the game shooting 30% from three-point range, having hit only 29 long distance shots in 8 games, an average of 3.6 per game. Of the three Leopards players who have taken more than five three-pointers, none are shooting better than 33% individually.
Instead, Lafayette looks to feed the ball to Vanessa Van De Venter. The senior forward leads the Leopards in scoring with 19.3 ppg, averaging ten more points a game than the next highest scorer. She has taken 55 more shots than the second ranking player on the team. She is coming off a carrer-day against NJIT, where she scored a personal-best 28 points. She is the most recent Patriot League OffensivePlayer of the Week. She has scored in double-figures in all eight games this season, including two double-doubles. Her 7.0 rpg also leads the team.
After Van De Venter, four players provide scoring depth. LaKeisha Wright, Cristin Zavocki, Jessica Spicer and Emily Garner all average more than seven points a game. Garner's points have all come off the bench while the other three have been consistent starters for Lafayette.
As a reminder, if you bring your ticket stub from Tuesday's men's basketball game versus North Carolina with you on Wednesday, admission to the game is free.