PHILADELPHIA - This weekend marks the only road trip of the month for the Quakers (12-7, 3-2 Ivy) as they hit the road to take on Yale and Brown. On Friday, Penn faces off against the second-place Bulldogs (11-9, 5-1 Ivy) at Lee Amphitheater (7 p.m.), and the following night the Red and Blue battle the Bears (9-11, 3-3 Ivy) in a Valentine’s Day matchup inside the Pizzitola Sports Center (6 p.m.). Both games can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Catching the Games
Fans can watch both games on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN.tv). Live stats can be found atYaleBulldogs.com and BrownBears.com, while live twitter updates (@PennWBB) are also available. A complete recap and box score can be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.
In the Series vs. Yale/Brown
This will mark the 75th meeting between Penn and both of these programs. Last season, Penn swept both Brown and Yale for the first time since 2007. Against Yale, the overall series record is seperated by just two games with the Bulldogs holding a slight edge, 38-36. While against Brown, the previous 74 meetings have been nearly as even with Penn leading the all-time series, 39-35. The Quakers are searching for their first three-game win streak over the Bulldogs since 2006-08 (four games) and Penn’s current five-game winning streak over the Bears is the longest since a nine-game stretch from 1978-83. On the road against these squads, the Quakers are riding the program’s first-ever four-game winning streak in Providence, but have not won back-to-back games in New Haven since 2007-08. In his sixth season, Coach McLaughlin is 3-7 against Yale and 7-3 against Brown.
Senior Kara Bonenberger became the 20th player in Penn history with 1,000 career points. She eclipsed the mark with a second-half layup in a win over Columbia at The Palestra on Feb. 7. She is 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’s 1,002 career points rank 19th in school history and are just 11 away from Beth Stegner (1980-83) for 18th place.
Behind a 5-for-5 performance from beyond the arc in the first half on Saturday, senior Kathleen Roche moved into sole possession of seventh-place on Penn’s all-time career made three’s list and is now 19th in the NCAA in three-point percentage. She has knocked down 133 shots from three-point range in her career and is eight 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) and is tops on the team with 38 threes this season, is shooting better than 43 percent from beyond the arc this year (38-of-88).
Penn plays at Brown on Valentine’s Day on Saturday. The Quakers have won four straight games on Valentine’s Day dating back to an 81-64 defeat at Brown in 1997. The current win streak began at Brown with a 73-70 victory in 1998, and includes last season’s 60-52 win over Yale at The Palestra. Overall the Quakers are 6-5 on the Valentine’s Day.
Magic Number: 60
The statistic that may most indicate a Penn win or loss? 60 points. Since head coach Mike McLaughlin took over at Penn, the Quakers are 54-9 (.857) when they score 60 points, including 27-1 over the last two seasons (only loss was 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 15-53 (.221) when allowing more than 60 points. But when holding opponents under that number, the Quakers hold a healthy winning record of 63-32 (.663).
Penn has seven of the last eight Ivy League games at The Palestra ... Penn is 15-3 in its last 18 league games which is tied with No. 19 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).
Senior Kara Bonenberger has started 80 straight games and Kathleen Roche has started 49 in a row ... Senior Katy Allen, who is on pace to play in her 100th career game for Penn this weekend, has an assist in six straight games ... Freshman Michelle Nwokedi has four or more rebounds in 11 of the last 12 games, and has scored in double figures in four of the last five games (three straight) ... Junior Brooklyn Juday and sophomore Sade Gibbons each have a rebound in every game they’ve played ... Gibbons has made 8-of-9 field goal attempts this season and seven in a row ... Freshman Anna Ross has three or more assists in 11 of the last 12 games.
Top 10 in the Nation
Entering this week, Penn ranks No. 7 in the nation with 6.5 blocks per game, and is also one of the nation’s most diciplined teams as they rank No. 8 in the NCAA with just 13.9 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 14th in the NCAA in scoring defense (54.7)—on four occasions this year, they have held an opponent under 40 points. The team is also 19th in the country with 29.0 defensive rebounds per game and 20th among the 343 Division I schools in field goal percetange defense (.354).
Two Penn Wins Would...
... mark the third straight sweep of Yale and Brown and second straight on the road.
... be school record fifth straight win at Brown and be first three-game win streak over Yale since 2006-08.
... mark six wins in the last seven games.
... extend Penn’s Ivy road winning streak to four games.
... make the Quakers 14-7 overall this season and 5-2 in the Ivy League.
One Penn Win Would...
... be first six-game win streak over Brown since 1978-83 or first back-to-back wins at Yale since 2007-08.
... make the Quakers 13-8 on the season and 4-3 in Ivy play.
Two Penn Losses Would...
... be the first time Penn has been swept on the road against Brown and Yale since 2010.
... make the Quakers 12-9 overall and 3-4 in league play.
... be less good than two wins.
About the Bulldogs
- Yale had won seven in a row before a 10-point loss at Harvard on Saturday. The Bulldogs faced a very challenging non-conference schedule and finished with a 6-8 mark out of league play. Among common opponents, Penn and Yale beat Columbia and Dartmouth. However, Yale lost at Harvard and Penn lost at home to Cornell.
- Yale ranks among the middle of the conference in most categories. The Bulldogs are last in the league in three-point percentage (.262), but tops among the Ivies in turnover margin. The Bulldogs turn it over just 14.4 times per game and force more than 18 per game. They are also the top offensive rebounding team in the league.
- Tamara Simpson leads the team with 9.3 points per game. Katie Werner averages a team-best 6.6 rebounds. Simpson also leads the team with 38 steals. Emmy Allen tops the Bulldogs with 22 blocks. Whitney Wyckoff has 38 assists in Sarah Halejian’s abscence (52 in 12 games).
About the Bears
- Brown has won three straight and its only Ivy losses are to the second and third-place teams. The Bears were 6-8 in non-conference play and had two similar opponents to the Quakers. Both teams handily defeated NJIT, while Brown lost at New Hampshire and Penn beat UNH at The Palestra.
- Brown has the second-highest scoring offense in the league at 66.1 points per game, and rank sixth defensively (66.7 ppg). The Bears are last in the league in rebounding and blocks, but first in the league in steals.
- Sophie Bikofsky is 13th in the NCAA with 2.9 threes/game. She is also 11th in the nation in free throw percentage (.895) and tops in the Ivies in both categories. She also leads the team with 41 steals and her 12.8 points per game is second on the team to Jordin Alexander’s average of 14.9. Alexander also has a team-high 51 assists. Janie White pulls in a team-best 6.7 rebounds per game and blocks a team-high 1.3 shots per game.
Last Time Out: L, 60-49 vs. Cornell | W, 78-57 vs. Columbia
For the first time in more than a year, Penn lost at home to an Ivy League opponent as Cornell held off a furious second-half rally and upended the Quakers at The Palestra on Friday night. Penn trailed by 18 and closed to within four before Cornell held on. On Saturday, a big night offensively, which included senior Kara Bonenberger’s 1,000th career point, ended with a decisive, 78-57, victory over Columbia at The Palestra. Full recaps at PennAthletics.com.
Penn returns home for two straight weekends. The Quakers host Harvard on Feb. 20, and Dartmouth on Feb. 21 in the team’s annual Play 4Kay game (wear pink!). The following weekend, Brown (Feb. 27) and Yale (Feb. 28) visit The Palestra. The game against Yale will also mark Senior Day for four Penn seniors.
Download: 20 - Yale, Brown.pdf