Women's Basketball Returns to Palestra Sunday

PHILADELPHIA - There’s always a chance for a letdown after a big win. Combine that with a series of traveling troubles that has caused a very short turnaround before tip off and the Quakers will be challenged in their prepartion for Sunday. But they shouldn’t have to look far for the movitation they will need. Penn will try to avenge last year’s season-opening loss to Norfolk State. Tip off against the Spartans is set for 2 p.m. at The Palestra.

Catching the Game
If you can't make it out to The Palestra, fans can watch the game on the Penn Sports Network as part of the Ivy League Digital Network. Live stats can be found at PennAthletics.com and live twitter updates (@PennWBB) are also available throughout the contest. A complete recap and box score can then be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the game.

In the Series vs. Norfolk State
This will be just the second meeting all-time between these programs. The Spartans won the inaugural matchup in the season opener last season in Virginia, 60-51. The Quakers have played three games against the MEAC under head coach Mike McLaughlin—all last season. In the other two matchups, the Red and Blue topped Morgan State at home (79-73) and beat Howard in the First Round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational (65-60) at The Palestra—the program’s first-ever posteason victory.

Big Win at Miami
- First-ever win over an ACC opponent (1-13).
- Coach McLaughlin's 50th career win at Penn.
- Sixth-straight win matches longest under Coach McLaughlin (won six straight Ivy games last season).
- First ACC win for an Ivy team since 2010 (No. 15 Florida State at Yale).
- First win in the state of Florida since 1982 (at Central Florida).

Traveling Troubles
Less than 24 hours before tip off and the Quakers are still in Miami. Meanwhile, Norfolk State is waiting for Penn in Philadelphia. Penn's flight was cancelled on Friday afternoon and the Quakers had to reschedule. The team traveled to Fort Myers, Fla., on Saturday to catch a late-night flight to Atlantic City where they will bus to Philadelphia and arrive early Sunday morning if all goes to plan.

Tough Start
Though the Quakers started 0-2, they faced some tough competition. Entering the New Year, Penn’s first two opponents this season are a combined 20-2 (.915). St. Francis Brooklyn is 9-2 and its only two losses came on the road to BCS opponents in St. John’s and Miami (Fla.). No. 2 Notre Dame is undefeated through 11 games.

Best Start
Despite that challenging start to the season, the Quakers have now matched the best eight-game start in program history. Currently at 6-2, the Quakers matched the 2011-12 teams for that distinction. Prior to Coach McLaughlin’s tenure at Penn, the Red and Blue had never won five of their first seven games, but they have now done so twice in the last three years.

Non-Conference Streak
With its dramatic and historic victory at Miami, Penn is now currently riding a six-game winning streak—its longest non-conference winning streak in 13 years. The last time Penn won six straight non-league games was in 2000-01—the program’s all-time winningest team (22 wins). That group won its last seven non-conference games and after a loss to a Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament, the 2001-02 team won its first two games for a nine-game non-conference regular season winning streak.

Winning Streaks
A win on Sunday would match the second-longest winning streak in program history. The Quakers have not won seven straight games since 2004-05 - the first season under then-head coach Patrick Knapp. Penn also won seven in a row during the 1999-00 season in the first season under the program's all-time winningest head coach, Kelly Greenberg. The longest win streak in Penn history came in 2000-01 when the Quakers went 22-6 and won their last 21 regular season games.

Penn Trends
Penn is 4-0 this year when Alyssa Baron leads the team in scoring ... The Quakers have had at least two players score in double figures in every game this year ... Penn has had three different leading scorers in the last three games ... The Quakers have won 14 straight games when they have outrebound their opponent and are 19-3 when leading at the half over the last two seasons ... Alyssa Baron has started 95 consecutive games for the Quakers—Penn is now 48-47 in those games ... Penn is 9-1 under Coach McLaughlin when scoring more than 70 points (only loss in double overtime, 88-84, at Harvard in 2011).

Baron in the Top 5
Senior and Miami, Fla., native Alyssa Baron added 14 points in her Homecoming at Miami on New Years Day. Earlier this year, she became the fourth player in program history to surpass 1,400 career points and now has 1,477. This season, Baron will chase Kirsten Brendel (1,656 points) for third place and Jewel Clark (1,743) for second. Clark is also 10th all-time in scoring in Ivy history. Former Quaker Diana Caramanico holds the Ivy League scoring record at 2,415 points. Baron is also among or just outside Penn's all-time top five with 525 made field goals (4th), 130 three-pointers (6th), 310 made free throws (4th), 76.0 free throw percentage (5th) and 281 assists (5th).

Charge for a Cure!
For the fourth straight year the women’s basketball team is dedicating its entire season to the fight against several diseases and the team needs your help. In its first three years, 146 donors have joined the “Charge for a Cure” program which helped the team raise nearly $9,000. Each month of the season will be devoted to help a specific disease with personal ties to the program. Fans can pledge a donation per charge and the amount of charges are totaled each month. The money raised will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (Nov/Dec), Dut Jok Youth Foundation (Jan.), Autism/Play 4Kay (Feb.) and Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s (March). To join the team in Charge for a Cure, contact Eric Dolan at erdolan@upenn.edu with your pledge or any questions. For more information, click here.

A Penn Win Would...
... be the seventh in a row.
... match the program’s best-ever nine-game start at 7-2.
... be the program’s first in two all-time meetings with Norfolk State.

A Penn Loss Would...
... snap a six-game winning streak and the program’s longest non-conference win streak since 2000-01.
... be the first since Nov. 23, 2013—a span of 39 days.
... be less good than a win.

Last Time Out
Trailing by one in the final seconds, Katy Allen improvised, and her layup with 5.6 seconds left gave Penn its first-ever win over an ACC opponent, 67-66 at Miami on New Years Day. Penn led by as many as 16 and played from ahead nearly the entire game. But Miami took its first lead with 1:54 to go and led by four with 90 seconds remaining at BankUnited Center. Meghan McCullough calmly hit a three from the wing to pull Penn within one with 1:21 to go. Then after a defensive stop, the ball was worked around to Allen at the wing, who was set to continue the play with a pass, but saw her defender out of place and headed for the basket. She sunk the layup for the final two of her career-high 18 points and gave Penn the lead back. Miami (8-5) got off a deep three, but it was off the back iron and the Quakers pulled off their sixth straight win.

Up Next
Penn travels to Morgan State for a 5 p.m. tip off in Baltimore on Wednesday. Three days after that, the Quakers open Ivy play against Princeton at The Palestra (3 p.m.)—the first game of a doubleheader with the men.


Download: 9-Norfolk State.pdf