PHILADELPHIA-There will be a lot to celebrate on Wednesday. Not only is a new basketball season starting at The Palestra, the Quakers will do so under a new Ivy League championship banner. And against a Big 5 rival, no less. Penn takes on La Salle at 7 p.m. The game and the banner unveiling ceremony can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Catching the Game
If you can't make it out to The Palestra on Wednesday, you can watch the game on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN.tv).Live stats can be foundhereand livetwitter updates(@PennWBB) are also available throughout each contest. A complete recap and box score can then be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the game.
Prior to the game, the Ivy League Digital Network will broadcast a 30-minute pregame show on ILDN.tv which will include interviews with the returning graduates, the team's 2013-14 highlight video and a live showing of the banner unveiling.
A pregame reception with light refreshments will be open to the public from 5:15-6 p.m. in the Assembly Room in Hutchinson Gymnasium. It will feature an appearance from the team, including several returning graduates from the title team, a few words from Coach McLaughlin and members of the administration as well as a 2013-14 highlight video.The first 200 fans at the reception/game will receive a free 2014 Ivy League championship Penn rally towel.
In the Series vs. La Salle - 42nd Meeting
Though La Salle owns the all-time series edge, 33-8, Penn has won two straight and three of the last four matchups. The Quakers won the first two meetings of this annual series—which began 41 years ago during the 1973-74 season—but the Explorers took 33 of the next 38 before this recent stretch of success for the Quakers. Penn is looking for its first-ever three-game winning streak over La Salle, but has never beaten a Big 5 team three times in four years. However, the Red and Blue are riding their first-ever two-game winning streak over La Salle at The Palestra.Coach McLaughlin is 3-3 against La Salle and 4-16 against the Big 5.
Its a daunting task each year for the Quakers to take on the Big 5. The conference for city bragging rights includes the other four Division I schools in Philadelphia—Temple, La Salle, Saint Joseph’s and Villanova. The first three are in the Atlantic-10 conference and the Wildcats are in Big East. Penn lost 24 straight Big 5 games after a win over Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 1, 2004 at Hagan Arena, 64-57, and were 1-30 against the Big 5 over an eight-year span. However, Penn is trending toward unprecedented success against its Big 5 rivals. In the last two years, the Quakers have won three Big 5 games and set or tied several school records last season:
• Two Big 5 road wins in the same season for the first time ever.
• Tied the 2004-05 team with the most Big 5 wins in a season (two).
• Tied the 2004-05 team with its highest Big 5 finish of all-time (third).
In addition, Penn’s two Big 5 losses last year were both on the road and came in the final minute—including a one-point loss at the buzzer to Villanova. A Big 5 win this year would:
...mark the first time since 1999-00, 2000-01 & 2001-02 that Penn has won a Big 5 game in three consecutive seasons.
...make Coach McLaughlin just the second Penn coach with five career Big 5 wins (Lois Ashley won six from 1975-87).
...mark four Big 5 wins in a three-year span for the first time ever.
Home Sweet Home
Penn has won seven straight home games dating back to Jan. 11 against Princeton. That matched the longest streak since the 2002-04 seasons. Overall, the Quakers have won 10 of 11 at The Palestra since a 76-54 defeat at the hands of No. 5/6 Notre Dame on Nov. 23, 2013. The Red and Blue have not won eight in a row at home since a 10-game stretch during the Ivy League championship 2000-01 team.
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 47-9 (.839) when they score 60 points, including 20-1 last season (only loss was to Texas in NCAA Tournament, 79-61). In comparison, the Quakers are just 19-70 (.213) when they’ve scored less than 60 points under Coach McLaughlin. The trend continues defensively. Over the last five seasons, the Red and Blue are 13-48 (.213) when allowing more than 60 points. But when holding opponents under that number, the Quakers hold a healthy winning record of 53-31 (.631).
Penn is 22-6 in its last 28 games ... Penn has won seven of the last nine on the road ... The Quakers were 16-0 last year (and 34-1 over the last three seasons) when shooting better than 40 percent ... The Red and Blue have won 14 of the last 15 games when their free throw percentage is better than 70 percent ... Penn has won 27 of the last 28 games when outrebounding its opponent ... Penn reached 70 points in 10 games last year (reached that number a combined nine times during Coach McLaughlin’s first four seasons) and is 18-1 under Coach McLaughlin when scoring more than 70 points—only loss in double overtime, 88-84, at Harvard in 2011 ... At least two Quakers scored in double figures in all but two games last year ... Sydney Stipanovich’s 10 double-doubles last season were the most in a season at Penn since Jennifer Fleischer in 2004-05.
Sydney Stipanovich picked up where she left off. The sophomore had six blocks at No. 4 Tennessee which finished one shy of the opponent record at Thompson-Boling Arena, last set by Brittany Griner. In addition, she became just the fourth Penn player to surpass 100 career blocks (reminder, she was playing her first game of her sophomore season). Last season, Stipanovich finished eighth in the nation (and second among freshmen in the NCAA) with an Ivy League-leading 3.4 blocks per game. Her 99 blocks in 29 games were more than every Ivy League team other than Princeton (114). The next closest Ivy player was Harvard’s Temi Fagbenle with 40 blocks in 28 games. In addtion, Stipanovich set the school’s single-season blocks record—she surpassed the 20-year-old mark with eight games remaining—and finished second on the Ivy League’s all-time single-season blocks list. Also, prior to last season, no Penn player had ever recorded eight blocks in a game, but Stipanovich did so three times. One week after setting the school record at eight, she broke her own single-game mark with nine blocks against Harvard on Feb. 1—third-most all-time in an Ivy League game.
Last year’s senior co-captain and the school’s second all-time leading scorer, Alyssa Baron, started every game of her career—a school record 116. That means the Quakers tipped off without Baron on the floor for the first time since March 9, 2010—a span of 1,711 days; or four years, eight months, and five days.
A Penn Win Would...
... be the first three-game winning streak over La Salle in program history.
... mark the second three-game winning streak over a Big 5 opponent and first since 1980-82 over Temple.
... make the Quakers 1-0 in the Big 5 for the second straight season.
A Penn Loss Would...
... snap a seven-game home winning streak.
... be the first to La Salle at The Palestra since Jan. 5, 2009.
... be less good than a win.
Last Time Out - L, 97-52 at #4 Tennessee
An encouraging effort from Penn put a big, early scare into the fourth-ranked Lady Vols, but Tennessee pulled away to top the Quakers, 97-52, at Thompson-Boling Arena on Friday night. In the season opener for both teams, the Quakers started three underclassmen in front of the orange-clad crowd of 9,706. The Quakers held a slight lead in the first few minutes before the eight-time national champions went up 15-10. Penn responded with a 7-0 spurt and led the defending SEC champions on the road, 16-15, at the second media timeout. Penn actually extended that lead. Freshman Beth Brzozowski recorded her first collegiate points for an 18-17 advantage and then a jumper from sophomore Sydney Stipanovich gave the Quakers a 20-17 edge at the 11:05 mark. However, the Lady Vols scored 47 of the next 55 points and ran away with the game from there.
A quick trip to Annapolis. The Quakers will take on Navy Saturday at 7 p.m. Penn has never won in four trips to Annapolis and is 2-5 all-time against the Midshipmen. The first meeting between these programs since 2009 can be seen for free on the Patriot League Network.
Download: 2 - La Salle.pdf