PHILADELPHIA - Still in search of their first Ivy win, the Quakers will hit the road for seven of their last nine games. Penn will start its first road swing in more than two months with a trip to Ithaca to play Cornell on Friday, followed by a game against Columbia in New York City on Saturday night. Both games tip at 7 p.m.
Catching the Game
Cornell has initiated its "Pack the House" challenge against Penn, so admission is free. For those who cannot attend, video and live stats will be available at CornellBigRed.com for Friday’s game. Video and live stats will be available at GoColumbiaLions.com for Saturday’s game. Complete recaps and a box score can be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.
In the Series
Penn leads the all-time series with Cornell, 46-15 and swept the series last season. However, prior to Penn’s first season sweep of Cornell since 2005, the Big Red had won five of six. In 20 all-time meetings at Newman Arena, the Quakers are 12-8, winning two of the last three. Against Columbia, Penn is 32-15 all-time. The teams have split the season series each of the last three years and have split the last six games in Levien Gymnasium.
About the Big Red
Cornell began the season at 6-3, but is mired in a longer losing streak than the Quakers having dropped its last 11 games. Friday’s matchup will be just the second Ivy home game for the Big Red. Penn’s last-ranked offense in the Ivy League will take on Cornell’s last-ranked defense. The Big Red are giving up nearly 70 points per game. Cornell is tied for last in the Ivies allowing opponents to shoot 42.1 percent. However, the Big Red rank second in three-point percentage defense. On offense, Cornell is second in the league in made threes, but last in turnover margin. Allie Fedorowicz is the team-leader with 12.7 points per game. Lauren Benson is second in the league in assists (5.2 per game), while Virginia McMunigal is the Ivies third-best three-point shooter at 43.8 percent. Allie Munson leads the Big Red at 5.1 rebounds per game and 10 blocks.
About the Lions
Columbia is second in the league with a 4-2 Ivy record. The Lions have been especially good at home this year, losing just twice—once in overtime and the other to No. 24 St. John’s. Both Columbia and Penn have lost to Yale and Harvard this season, but the Lions defeated Dartmouth and Brown. Columbia is second in the Ivy League in rebounding behind undefeated Princeton. The Lions are third in the Ivies in assists, first in steals and second in turnover margin. Judie Lomax is the Ivy scoring leader at 19.1 points per game and the nation’s rebounding leader at 14.3 per game. She also leads the country with 16 double-doubles and is second in the Ivies in field goal percentage (53.8) as well as first in steals (2.3). Danielle Browne is third in the Ivies with 87 assists, while Sara Lee is fourth with 59. Melissa Shafer and Kathleen Berry are second and fourth in the league in three-point percentage, respectively.
First Win at Cornell
Last season, the Quakers were suffering a similar fate at this point in the year. The Red and Blue had just three wins in their first 18 games and were winless in the Ivy League heading into Ithaca to play the defending Ivy League champions. The Quakers were down 11 at the half, but rallied to win the game and save their season. They went on to win six of the last 10 and finish fourth in the Ivy League. The 2009-10 squad, sitting in much the same position with just one win overall and still searching for their first Ivy victory, will aim for a repeat of last year’s feat.
Penn has had trouble scoring this season, but has recently found some help off of the bench. In fact, the Quakers’ bench has outscored the starters in four of the last five games. Last weekend, Amy Donovan led the team with nine points in just 20 minutes off the bench against Dartmouth. Then on Saturday, Jourdan Banks and Jerin Smith led the team with eight points apiece—each coming off the bench and playing 17 and 21 minutes, respectively. Donovan added four points in that game (14 minutes) and Brianna Bradford had a career-best four points in seven minutes.
On Feb. 8, senior Amy Donovan was named to the Ivy League and Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Week Honor Roll. Donovan came off the bench to lead the Quakers with nine points (season high) and two blocks (career high) in 20 minutes against Dartmouth. She added four points in just 14 minutes vs. Harvard. Other Penn recipients this year are: Sarah Bucar (Nov. 23, 30), Jess Knapp (Dec. 7, Jan. 18), Kim Adams (Dec. 14), Sara Ely (Feb. 1) and Jerin Smith (Jan. 4, 25).
68 Days in the City of Brotherly Love
Day 68! The Quakers played the last 12 games in the city of Philadelphia. Three were on the road in that time, but all against Big 5 opponents. The team last left the City of Brotherly Love on Dec. 6 to take on Navy—a span of 68 days. Penn has not spent the night in a hotel since Thanksgiving, when the Quakers were in Chicago on Nov. 27 and 28 for the Doubletree White Invitational.
Last Time Out
In a predictably low-scoring affair between two of the Ivy League’s top defenses, Penn was shut down in a 51-37 loss to Dartmouth Friday night at The Palestra. A night later, a monstrous run early in the game cost the Penn a chance to knock off Harvard in a 66-40 loss. Dartmouth scored first and never trailed. The Big Green had the game’s first nine points. With Penn trailing 18-12, Dartmouth scored 10 of the final 12 points to take a heavy advantage into the locker room, 28-14. Dartmouth increased its lead to 32-14. Penn went on a 7-0 run as was within 32-21 with 13:31 to go. The Quakers were then within nine, 39-30 with just over six minutes left, but the Big Green were scoring from the free throw line. They extended their lead to 45-30 with 4:35 remaining. Penn scored the next four, but wouldn’t get any closer. On Saturday, a 22-1 Harvard run had the Quakers trailing 24-5 with 8:38 to go in the first half. As usual, Penn made its own run to get back into the game. The Red and Blue held Harvard to just one basket over the next eight minutes and went on a 14-2 streak to find itself down just nine, 26-17, two minutes before intermisson. But Harvard scored with a minute remaining and hit a three as time expired to go into the locker room up 31-17. Knapp’s three-point play got Penn within 33-20, but Harvard went on another huge run, scoring 16 of the next 18 points to take its biggest lead to that point, 49-22 with 12:45 remaining. Harvard led by as many as 28 points and shared baskets with Penn for the remainder of the game.
Penn will be on the road again next weekend to take on Brown (Friday) and Yale (Saturday). The Quakers do not return home again until Feb. 26 when they host Columbia.
Download: 2-12-10 Cornell, Columbia.pdf