Women's Basketball Set to Host Fairfield in WBI Quarterfinals

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PHILADELPHIA - With the first postseason win in program history, the second-seeded Quakers (17-12, 9-5 Ivy) earned a spot in the Quarterfinals of the Women's Basketball Invitational where they will host third-seeded Fairfield (18-13, 11-4 MAAC). Tip off at The Palestra is set for Saturday at 7 p.m.

Catching the Games
Video and live stats will be available on the Penn Sports Network at PennAthletics.com. Twitter (@PennWBB) updates 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.

About the WBI
In its fourth season, the WBI is a 16-team tournament split into two regions. Penn is the first Ivy League team to earn a berth to the WBI. Minnesota, who qualified for the WNIT this season, is the defending champion. A link to the complete 2013 WBI bracket is at the top of this release.

In the Series vs. Fairfield
Penn and Fairfield have never met on the hardwood. Under fourth-year head coach Mike McLaughlin, the Quakers are 3-2 against MAAC opponents. All five of those games have come against Rider and Niagara. The Quakers have split a pair with the Purple Eagles and have won two of three over the Broncs.

About the Stags
Fairfield enters Saturday with an 18-13 overall mark after finishing third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) with an 11-7 mark. The Stags advanced with a home win over St. Francis (Pa.) in their First Round game on Thursday, 71-51. Fairfield has four common opponents with the Quakers. Both teams beat Brown, St. Francis Brooklyn and lost to Saint Joseph’s. However, Penn beat La Salle by nine at home and the Stags lost at home by 10. This is the 2nd WBI appearance for Fairfield following a second round exit in 2010. Fairfield ranks second in the MAAC in scoring defense and three-point defense. The Stags allow just 53.1 points per game and 27.0% shooting from beyond the arc. They are also near the top of the league in rebounding and assists. However, Fairfield is last in the 10-team MAAC in free throw percentage (.646), steals and turnover margin (-2.48). Katie Cizynski (12.0) and Brittany Obi-Tabot (10.5) lead the Stags in scoring. Cizynski is also tops on the team and fifth in the league in rebounding (8.5). Obi-Tabot has a team-best 28 blocks. Felicia DaCruz is seventh in the MAAC in assists, while Alexys Vazquez is fourth in the conference in three-point percentage at 39.9.

Postseason Landmarks
- This is just the fourth postseason appearance in program history and just the third since since the start of the Women's NCAA in 1981.
- Penn's win over Howard in the First Round marked the program's first-ever postseason victory.
- Saturday's WBI Quarterfinal will be the 30th of the season for Penn - a program record.
- Saturday also marks latest into March the Quakers have ever played.

Breaking Records
- Alyssa Baron and Kara Bonenberger each started their 29th game of the season on Thursday to tie Anca Popvici's school record.
- Brianna Bradford's five threes set a program postseason record to top the four Mika Austin made against UCONN in the NCAA Tournament in 2004.
- Bonenberger and Courtney Wilson each had two blocks Thursday. Bonenberger leads the Ivy League with 45 blocks and Wilson is second with 43. They currently rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in the school single-season record book.

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 28-7 (.800) when they score 60 points, including 10-2 this year (including Thursday's WBI First Round). In comparison, the Quakers are just 15-63 (.192) when they’ve scored less than 60 points under Coach McLaughlin. The trend continues defensively. Over the last four seasons, the Red and Blue are 9-42 (.176) when allowing more than 60 points. But when holding opponents under that number, the Quakers hold a winning record of 34-28 (.548), including eight straight wins.

Penn Trends
At least one freshman has been in the starting lineup for the Quakers in 81 of the last 85 games ... Penn is 14-2 when leading at the half this season and 3-10 when trailing ... The Quakers have had fewer turnovers than their opponents in a remarkable 24 of 29 games this season (16-8 in those games) ... The Quakers have outrebounded their opponent just nine times this year, but are 9-0 in those games ... Penn has used the same starting lineup in 25 of the last 26 games (17-8) ... Alyssa Baron has started 85 consecutive games for the Quakers ... Three different Quakers have scored more than 20 points in a game this season (Baron, Roche, Ray) and senior captain Brianna Bradford had 17 in a recent win at Dartmouth.

Winning Ways
In 2009-10, Penn won just two games—the fewest wins in program history. Now, just three seasons later, the Quakers have posted the third-most wins in program history. Penn posted seven or more out-of-conference wins in back-to-back seasons for just the second time in program history (1999-00, 2000-01)—and their eight non-league wins this year are tied for second-most all-time at Penn. The winning ways continued into league play where the Quakers won nine games for just the sixth time in school history.

Climbing the Record Books
Junior Alyssa Baron added another 10 points in her first postseason game. She has 408 points this season and is now the fourth-best scorer in program history with 1,344 for her career. Next 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 became the 19th Penn women’s player to reach 1,000 career points on Nov. 30. She is the third-fastest Quaker to accomplish that milestone (60 games) and the first since Biemer topped the landmark in 2008. Only Penn’s all-time leading scorer (man or woman), Caramanico (48 games) and Mandy West (52 games) were faster to 1,000 points.

Senior Starters
As is tradition, Coach McLaughlin started all of his seniors on Senior Day. It marked the first career starts for Katie Davis and Brianna Bradford. Prior to that, Penn was one of just four schools where both basketball program’s had yet to start a senior this season. The only other three schools in the country with that distinction of youth: Wright State, Navy and Dartmouth.

A Penn Win Would...
... mark just the third 18-win season in Penn history.
... make the Quakers 18-12 overall and advance to the WBI Semifinals.

A Penn Loss Would...
... conclude the 2012-13 season with a 17-13 overall record.
... be less good than a win.

Charge for a Cure!
For the third 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 two years, 109 donors have joined the “Charge for a Cure” program which helped the team raise nearly $7,000. Each month of the season will be devoted to help a specific disease with personal ties to the program—The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Go4theGoal, the American Cancer Society, The Dave Bryan Ride on Fund, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of America. At the end of each month, the coaches will total the number of offensive charges the Quakers have taken as a team and fans can pledge a donation per charge. This month the Quakers will be taking charges for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of America, but the team is turning to its fans to lend a hand in its efforts. Here is how you can help!

Join Today!
Last Game: 2
March Total: 9
Season Total: 42

Last Time Out
Four Quakers scored in double figures to lead Penn to its first-ever postseason win. The second-seeded Quakers outlasted seventh-seeded Howard, 65-60, on Thursday night in the First Round of the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) at The Palestra. Howard jumped out to a 10-1 lead in the first four minutes. But a 20-4 run had Penn on top, 21-14 at the 7:05 mark. Kathleen Roche who buried a three as the buzzer sounded and put Penn up 36-28 heading into the break. The Bison closed to within one, but Penn built the lead back up to 10 until Howard went on an 8-0 run to close to within 62-60 with 1:20 left. But Kara Bonenberger scored for Penn to go back up four and the Bison were never within one possession again.

Up Next
The winner of the Quakers/Stags matchup will take on top-seeded Detroit or fifth-seeded College of Charlston on March 27 or March 28 at a site to be determined for the right to play in the 2013 WBI Championship game.

Download: 30-Fairfield.pdf