Women's Basketball Returns to The Palestra

PHILADELPHIA - Two thrilling games both ended in defeat last week for the Quakers. But now, after playing its first five Ivy games on the road, Penn finally hosts a league opponent. The Red and Blue look to bounce back against Cornell on Friday and Columbia on Saturday. Both games tip off at 7 p.m. from The Palestra.

Catching the Game
Video and live stats will be available at PennAthletics.com for each game. A complete recap and box score can then be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.

Think Pink!
Penn's annual Pink Zone game is Feb. 12 against Columbia. All proceeds from ticket sales, raffles, and t-shirt sales will be donated to Penn's Rena Rowan Breast Center at the Abramson Cancer Center. Click here for complete information on the Pink Zone game festivities.

In the Series vs. Cornell and Columbia
Penn and Cornell have met 63 times on the hardwood with the Quakers holding a 47-16 edge. In the last three seasons, Cornell swept the 2008 series, Penn swept 2009 and then Cornell swept both games last year. Against Columbia, Penn will be meeting the Lions for the 50th time, having won 32 of the previous 49 matchups. The Quakers won 12 of 13 over the Lions from 2001-07. But Columbia has won five of the last seven, including two of three at The Palestra.

About the Big Red
Yet to win a road game (0-8), Cornell started 1-9 overall, but won four of seven before dropping its last three games. Penn and Cornell each lost to Yale and Harvard. However, the Big Red beat Dartmouth (Penn lost), but lost to Brown (Penn won). Cornell is last in the league in scoring at 52.1—hurt by their last-place three-point percentage (27.9). However, they rank in the top half of the league in defense, allowing just 63.2 points per game. Though the Big Red have allowed opponents to shoot 35.0 percent from the three-point arc—seventh in the Ivies. Clare Fitzpatrick leads the Big Red at 11.6 points per game, while Allyson DiMagno has a team-best 5.7 rebounds per game. Fitzpatrick is second at 5.4. Stephanie Long is third in the league with 63 assists and is fourth in assist/turnover ratio. Kristina Danielak is eighth in the Ivies with 17 blocks this year.

About the Lions
Also yet to win a road game (0-7), Columbia lost its first 13 games, but has since won five of seven and are one buzzer-beater away from being in first-place in the Ivy League, losing to Harvard in that fashion. The Lions are in the top half of the league in offense with 58.2 points per game, but are last in field goal percentage (34.4) and seventh in three-point shooting (29.1%). They counter that as the top offensive rebounding team in the league (Penn is second). On defense, they are third in blocks (3.6/gm) and lead the league with 10.25 steals per contest. Kathleen Barry leads the team with 11.2 points per game and 1.84 steals per game. Barry also leads the league with 7.5 rebounds per game. Brianna Orlich has a team-high 47 assists and Lauren Dwyer has a team-best 24 blocks. Melissa Shafer is Columbia’s best three-point shooter (33.7%).

At The Palestra
Penn’s first five Ivy League contests have all been in visiting gymnasiums. This weekend marks the Quakers first home games of 2011 against a league opponent. Overall, Penn has played nearly twice as many road games this season, going 4-8 in 12 road games and 3-4 in just seven home games. However, seven of the team’s last nine games will be played in Philadelphia—all against Ivy opponents.

Sweeping the Honors...Again
For the fifth time this season, freshman Alyssa Baron was awarded Ivy League Rookie of the Week status as announced by the league office Monday afternoon. Only one other Quaker has ever won more Rookie honors and only 12 players in the history of the Ivy League have won more Rookie of the Week honors. Penn’s Diana Caramanico holds the Ivy League record with 10 selections. Baron averaged 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.5 assists during a 1-1 week for the Red and Blue.

Double Overtime Notables
It marked the first time in school history that both the Penn men and women went to double overtime in the same night ... It was only the fourth double overtime game in Penn history (1-2) and the first since a 61-59 win at Princeton on Feb. 1, 2005 ... It was the first overtime game in the Coach McLaughlin era and the first since the 2008-09 team played in three overtime games ... Penn is now 11-8 all-time in overtime games against Ivy opponents, including a 98-90 loss at Harvard in its only other extra session with the Crimson.

Penn Trends
Penn has had the same starting lineup in 18 of 19 games (the Quakers had eight different starting lineups last season) ... Freshman Alyssa Baron has led the team in scoring in 16 of 19 games ... Freshman Meghan McCullough has had at least one assist in every game of her career ... Penn has lost the last 24 games in which they have allowed 60 or more points, but are 5-4 under Coach McLaughlin when scoring that many.

With seven wins this season, the Quakers have already amassed the fourth-best turnaround in school history. Penn won just two games in 2009-10, but has five more wins than that through 17 games in 2010-11. On only three other occassions has the program seen a better turnaround in one year. The 2006-07 team won seven more games than the 2005-06 team to tie the school record set by the 1997-98 team. Penn is three wins from breaking that mark.

First Year Wins Second Year Wins Win Diff.
2005-06 5 2006-07 12 +7
1996-97 6 1997-98 13 +7
1998-99 12 1999-2000 18 +6
2009-10 2 2010-11 7 +5
1973-74 8 1974-75 13 +5
1988-89 5 1989-90 10 +5
1989-80 10 1990-91 15 +5

Charge for a Cure! January: Fight Against Parkinson's
The Penn women’s basketball team is dedicating its entire 2010-11 season in the fight against several diseases and they need your help. The team has started an initiative which they have coined the “Charge for a Cure” program. Each month of the season will be devoted to help a specific disease with personal ties to the program – ALS, Lupus, Parkinson’s Disease, Breast Cancer, and Cystic Fibrosis. The team is turning to itsfans to lend a hand in its efforts. For more information and to donate to "Charge for a Cure," click here.

Join Today!
Last Weekend: 3
November Total: 16
December Total: 5
January Total: 15
February Total: 3
Season Total: 39

Last Time Out
Two losses by a combined seven points—one of which was in double overtime. Penn fell at Dartmouth, 68-65 in the final minute, but its excitement was dwarfed by the double OT loss at Harvard, 88-84. On Friday, Dartmouth’s Faziah Steen had 28 points. She led the Big Green all night and had the home team up midway through the second half. Penn chipped away and was up one, 55-54 with 8:16 to go. The Red and Blue maintained that lead for the next six minutes before a conventional three-point play with 1:49 left in the game gave Dartmouth the lead for good, 64-63. On Saturday, Baron set a Penn freshman record with 38 points. She tied the game at 72-72 with 10 seconds left. Harvard missed at the buzzer to send the game into its first extra session. Baron tied the game again, 76-76, with 24 seconds left in the first overtime. The Crimson then had a chance to win it, but missed their only shot attempt. Harvard eventually gained a three-point advantage, 85-82, with 1:34 left. Baron hit a lay-up to close to within a point. The Quakers forced a turnover, but with 11 seconds left, Harvard forced the ball loose from Baron and gained possession. Penn never got the ball back again.

Up Next
The Quakers are home for two more Ivy games next weekend when they host Brown (Friday) and Yale (Saturday) at The Palestra. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.

Download: Cornell, Columbia.pdf