Women's Basketball Preps for Final Big 5 Game

PHILADELPHIA - Monday’s game against La Salle is the third in six days for Penn and will be its last of the season against the Big 5. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at The Palestra.

Catching the Game
Live stats are available on PennAthletics.com. La Salle is providing audio from its radio broadcast. Also, a full recap and box score will be available on PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the game.

In the Series
Of the 35 meetings between Penn and La Salle, the Explorers have come out on top in 30 of them, including each of the last three. However, the series is deadlocked at 2-2 at The Palestra since 2000. Penn’s last win over its Big 5 rival, was on Nov. 23, 2004, when the Quakers won 51-49 at The Palestra. That win came in head coach Patrick Knapp’s first season at Penn.

About the Explorers
La Salle will be playing for the first time in 2009 after finishing the 2008 calender year with a loss to Lehigh—snapping a four-game win streak. Three Explorers are averaging in double figures with Morgan Roberton leading the way with 14.0 ppg. Robertson also leads the team with an average of 8.9 rebounds per game. Junior Jaime Walsh is tops on the team with 42 assists, while Ashley Gale has an Explorer-best 10 blocks and 28 steals. La Salle and Penn have had three common opponents to this point: Lafayette, Drexel and Lehigh. Penn lost to all three on the road, while the Explorers defeated Drexel and Lafayette at home by a combined six points, but fell to Lehigh on the road by four.

Quaker Trends
Penn has been tied or leading at the half in seven of the last eight games ... The Quakers have passed the 60-point barrier in three of the last five games after not doing so in the first six games ... The Quakers have held three opponents under 50 points this season, including two of the last four, and are second overall in the Ivy League in scoring defense ... Four different players have led the team in rebounding at least once.

Home Sweet Home
For the first time this season, Penn is playing in back-to-back home games. To this point, Penn has mostly alternated home and away games. Penn has excelled inside The Palestra. The Quakers have been leading well into the second half in every home game this season, which includes all three Big 5 games.

Biemer in Double Digits
You can almost surely expect to see senior Carrie Biemer score in double digits tonight. She has done so in 23 straight games. The last time she was held under the 10-point mark was Jan. 15, 2008 against Seton Hall. She leads the team in scoring this season with 17.8 ppg.

Last Time Out
For the third straight Big 5 game, Penn led deep into the second half, but couldn’t hold off Temple in an 81-70 loss to the Owls Friday night at The Palestra. Similar to the early season match ups with Villanova and Saint Joseph’s, the Quakers gained and held the lead into the closing minutes against their Big 5 rival, but had victory snatched away before the final buzzer. Senior Carrie Biemer led the Quakers with 21 points. She and the Quakers came out firing as Penn made seven of its first 10 shots and five of its first six from three-point range. The hot start gave Penn a 20-12 lead eight minutes in. The fast-paced action continued and, for a time, so did Penn’s hot shooting. Biemer and senior Kelly Scott hit back-to-back threes for a 26-12 edge. Penn couldn’t hold back the Owls for long though. The favorites to win the Big 5, Temple went on a 16-4 run to close to within two with 4:48 to go in the half, and even took a brief lead, 36-34, with just 20 seconds left. However, Penn was up 37-36 at the half as on the final possession, Biemer knocked down a long distance three as the buzzer sounded. Unfazed by the comeback, Penn took yet another lead, stretching it to three possessions - it was 50-43 at the 12:52 mark after Biemer knocked down another jumper. For the next seven minutes, Temple was kept at bay, but with 5:17 left, an old fashion three-point play gave the Owls a 61-59 advantage. Penn was within two possessions down the stretch, but Temple held the lead and made its free throws to push the game out of reach as the clock wound down.

Up Next
It’s the start of the Ivy League season - though Penn will still have two other non-conference opponents left on the schedule, the match up at Princeton Saturday at 6 p.m. will be the Ivy League opener for both teams.