PHILADELPHIA--The Penn women's basketball team takes its two-game winning streak to Villanova for a Big 5 clash on the Main Line. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. and is the first game of a Penn-Villanova men's-women's double-header Saturday.
The Quakers have built up some confidence after its first Big 5 game (vs. Saint Joseph's, Nov. 20) with two big wins over Loyola and Rider. Penn's put forth solid performances in both outings and produced two fairly complete games. The Quakers offense has been clicking with good point distribution--three players scored in double digits against Rider while four did it against Loyola.
Defensively, Penn has been quite stingy, holding its last three opponents to less than 40-percent shooting from the field. One area that has been a sticking point for the Quakers is defense beyond the arc. Penn was burned by the long shots in all three of its losses, and the Wildcats can shoot the three. Stacie Witman and Lisa Karcichave 40-percent or better shooting from three-point range. The pair, combined with Laura Kurz lead the team in scoring and rebounding, accounting for 74-percent of the points and 57-percent of the boards.
Which is not to say the other can not be overlooked, in fact, few people can look over anyone on the team. Onlyfour of the 15-woman roster are under 5 feet9 inches. One of those four is Maria Getty who has contributed 15 assists, though she trailed playmaker Tia Grant who has 21 in that category.
For Penn, Carrie Biemer is still Penn's top point-producer with 16.5 ppg, but since other teams have noticed that as well, other players have stepped up and shouldered some of the scoring. Senior Kimberly Franklin is averaging 9.3 points per game while Amy Donovan has been shooting well both inside and out with 7.0 points per game. Sophomore Sarah Bucar has also beefed up her scoring (5.5 ppg) while still dishing 3.83 assists per game.
Junior Maggie Burgess is first to the boards, with a team-best 5.5 rebounds per game and also has a team-best shooting percentage (.583 on 14-of-24) and contributes 5.5 points per game.
On to the category of "It Might Not Mean Anything, But..." Penn defeated Loyola pretty handily earlier this week and the Greyhounds squeaked out a two-point win over Villanova before that ... Penn is3-11 in games played on Dec. 1 ... Penn is 2-32 in the all-time series with the Wildcats.