PHILADELPHIA - Penn arrived back safely through the latest New England blizzard with a pair of Ivy road wins last week. Now the Quakers (14-7, 5-2 Ivy) stay home to host Harvard (10-12, 3-5 Ivy) on Friday and Dartmouth (11-11, 2-6 Ivy) on Saturday at the friendly confines of The Palestra. Saturday marks Penn’s annual Play 4Kay game (wear pink!) and will be broadcast on ESPN3.com. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.
All fans are encouraged to wear pink to show their support in the fight against breast cancer. There will be free giveaways courtesy of theMid-Atlantic Dairy Association and all ticket proceeds from the game will go to the Play 4Kay foundation. You can donate to Play 4Kay here.
Catching the Games
If you can't make it out to The Palestra, both games can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN.tv), while Saturday’s game will also be broadcast for free on ESPN3.com. Fans can watch online or on their mobile device with the WatchESPN app. Live stats can be found at PennAthletics.com, while live twitter updates (@PennWBB) are also available. A complete recap, box score and highlights can be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.
In the Series vs. Harvard/Dartmouth
Penn is in search of its first season sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth since 2001, and a school record third-straight sweep of these teams at The Palestra.
- Harvard leads the all-time series, 49-24, but Penn has won three straight and four of the last five. The Crimson had won 17 in a row and 21 of 22 over the Quakers prior to this string of success for Penn. The Quakers have won back-to-back home games against the Crimson and are in search of their first three-game winning streak over Harvard at The Palestra since 1999-2001. Coach McLaughlin is 4-7 all-time against Harvard
- The Quakers have had similar success against the Big Green. Though Dartmouth leads the all-time series, 43-29, Penn has won seven of the last eight, including four in a row at home (Penn has never won five straight home games over the Big Green). Coach McLaughlin is 8-3 in his career against Dartmouth.
It may already be true—as the first class to win an Ivy League championship and Big 5 title—but it will become official with one more victory. The 2015 seniors will be the winningest Class in school history. Seniors Katy Allen, Kara Bonenberger, Renee Busch and Kathleen Roche have won 67 games at Penn. That ties the Senior Class of 2003 for most all-time. They have also won a school record six Big 5 games (also true for the current juniors), and no other class had won more than four.
With one more win this season, Penn can clinch back-to-back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in more than a decade. With seven games to spare, the Quakers have already posted the winningest three-year span in school history (54 wins). In the 2012-13 campaign, the Quakers snapped a string of seven straight losing campaigns and finished 18-13 and then followed that up with a 22-7 mark en route to an Ivy League championship last year. The last time Penn posted three straight winning seasons was 2002-03 (15-12), 2003-04 (17-11) and 2004-05 (15-12).
Senior Kara Bonenberger is moving up Penn’s all-time scoring list. She became the 20th player in Penn history with 1,000 career points on Feb. 7 in a win over Columbia at The Palestra—the first Penn player to reach that milestone since former teammate and captain, Alyssa Baron, who did so on Nov. 30, 2012 and finished second all-time at Penn with 1,806 points. Bonenberger has now racked up 1,028 career points to move into 17th place all-time at Penn and is 17 away from Jen Dorfmeister (1989-92) for 16th place.
Senior Kathleen Roche ranks 13th in the nation and atop the Ivy League in three-point percentage (.443). She has made multiple threes in six of the last seven games and has moved into sole possession of seventh-place on Penn’s all-time career made three’s list. She has knocked down 138 shots from three-point range in her career and is three away from Mandy West (1998-2000) for sixth place at Penn. Roche, who owns the school record for threes in a half (six at St. Francis Brooklyn on Dec. 5, 2013), is tops on the team with 43 threes this season, which is just five away from her career high and ninth-most in a season in school history.
Magic Number: 60
The statistic that may most indicate a Penn win or loss? 60 points. Penn has won 29 straight regular season games when scoring more than 60 points, and since head coach Mike McLaughlin took over at Penn, the Quakers are 56-9 (.861) when they reach that number (29-1 over the last two seasons with only loss to Texas in NCAA Tournament, 79-61). In comparison, the Quakers are just 24-76 (.240) 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 16-53 (.232) when allowing more than 60 points. But when holding opponents under that number, the Quakers hold a healthy winning record of 64-32 (.667).
Penn has seven of the last eight Ivy League games at The Palestra ... Penn is 17-3 in its last 20 league games which is tied with No. 16 Princeton for the best mark over that stretch ... The Quakers have won 21 of the last 22 and are 39-2 (.951) over the last three seasons when shooting better than 40 percent ... The Red and Blue have won 19 of the last 20 games when their free throw percentage is better than 70 percent ... Penn has won 35 of the last 37 games when outrebounding its opponent ... Penn is 22-1 and undefeated in regulation under head coach Mike McLaughlin (21-0) when scoring more than 70 points (only loss came in double overtime, 88-84, at Harvard in 2011).
Teammates Sydney Stipanovich (58) and Michelle Nwokedi (45) have combined for 103 blocks this season—there are 264 teams in the NCAA that have fewer (which is even more impressive considering the Quakers have played fewer games than the rest of the nation). Stipanovich ranks 20th in the NCAA with 2.8 blocks per game, while Nwokedi is just outside the top 50 at 2.1 blocks per game. The duo’s average of 4.9 blocks per game would rank 38th as a team in the NCAA. They rank first and second in the Ivy League in blocks and are currently fourth and eighth in the school’s single-season record book. Meanwhile, teammate Kara Bonenberger ranks fifth all-time at Penn with 109 career blocked shots, and that trio owns four of the top eight spots on Penn’s all-time single-season blocks list.
Top 10 in the Nation
As a team, Penn ranks No. 6 in the nation with 6.5 blocks per game, and is also one of the nation’s most diciplined teams as they rank No. 10 in the NCAA with just 14.0 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 19th in the NCAA in scoring defense (55.0)—on four occasions this year, they have held an opponent under 40 points. The team is also 22nd in the country with 29.0 defensive rebounds per game and 21st among the 343 Division I schools in field goal percetange defense (.356).
Freshman Michelle Nwokedi has led Penn in scoring in four straight games (ties longest streak of any Penn player since Alyssa Baron from December of 2013) ... Senior Kara Bonenberger has started 82 straight games and Kathleen Roche has started 51 in a row ... Senior Katy Allen has an assist in seven of the last eight games ... Nwokedi has four or more rebounds in 13 of the last 14 games, and has scored in double figures in six of the last seven games (five straight) ... Freshman Anna Ross has three or more assists in 13 of the last 14 games.
Two Penn Wins Would...
... mark a school-record third-straight sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth at home.
... mark a four-game season sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth for the first time since 2000-01.
... be the first four-game winning streak over Harvard since 1999-01 (five straight).
... be the first three-game home winning streak over Harvard since 1999-01.
... be the first five-game home winning streak over Dartmouth.
... mark eight wins in the last nine games.
... make Penn 9-1 in its last 10 Ivy League games at The Palestra.
... give Coach McLaughlin a winning record in Ivy League play for the first time at 40-39 (started 1-13 and 12-31).
... make the Quakers 16-7 overall this season and 7-2 in the Ivy League.
One Penn Win Would...
... set school record for most wins by a Senior Class (68).
... clinch a third-straight winning season for the first time since 2002-05.
... make the Quakers 15-8 on the season and 6-3 in Ivy play.
Two Penn Losses Would...
... make the Quakers 14-9 overall and 5-4 in league play.
... be less good than two wins.
About the Crimson
- Harvard has alternated wins and losses in its last four games after being swept by Penn and Princeton at home. The Crimson beat Cornell on the road—a team that defeated the Quakers at The Palestra. Harvard also beat Yale, but lost by three to Brown and suffered its first-ever loss at Columbia last weekend.
- The Crimson are third in the league in scoring (64.5) and last in defense (69.8). They rank near the middle of the pack in the conference in most categories, but are second in the league in offensive rebounding and made threes.
- Temi Fagbenle is 32nd in the nation and atop the Ivies with 10.4 rebounds per game. She also leads Harvard with 14.7 points per game and 1.1 blocks per game. She is the Ivy League leader with 86 offensive rebounds this season. Erin McDonnell (13.3) and Annmarie Healy (12.1) also average double figures for the Crimson. Ali Curtis is second in the Ivies with 73 assists, while Healy has a team-high 33 steals.
About the Big Green
- Entering its first matchup with Penn, the Big Green had won five of six. Since that time, they have lost five of six with the lone victory in overtime at Columbia.
- If it comes down to free throws, Dartmouth ranks 18th in the nation and atop the Ivy League (.750). The Big Green are last in scoring in the Ancient Eight (57.8) and seventh in field goal percentage (.363), and were held to 39 points and 27-percent shooting in the last matchup. They are second in the league in three-point defense (.279) and have the third-most made threes among the Ivies this year.
- Fanni Szabo was the only player to score in double figures in the first meeting (14). She leads the team and is second in the Ivies with 17.5 points per game. Lakin Roland averages 12.7 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds. Milica Toskovic has a team-high 68 assists, while Szabo leads Dartmouth with 44 steals. Tia Dawson tops the Big Green with 18 blocks this year.
Last Time Out: W, 61-42 at Yale | W, 83-75 at Brown
A strong second-half defensive effort and three scorers in double figures helped Penn pull away from Yale on Friday night, 61-42. The Quakers held the Bulldogs to four points in a 14-minute stretch of the second half and earned their first back-to-back wins at Lee Amphitheater since 2007-08. On Saturday, Penn provided some hot shooting to outscore Brown and earn a fourth straight Ivy League road victory, 83-75, at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
Penn remains in Philadelphia for two more home games next weekend. The Quakers host Brown (Feb. 27) and Yale (Feb. 28) at The Palestra. The game against Yale will also mark Senior Day for four Penn seniors.
Download: 22 - Harvard, Dartmouth.pdf