PHILADELPHIA - All Ivy League weekends are tough, but this week takes on added meaning as Penn, riding a three-game win streak, has its longest trip of the season to take on first-place and undefeated Dartmouth Friday, followed by a showdown with second-place Harvard Saturday. Penn last swept this weekend in 2004, when they won the Ivy League title.
Catching the Games
Live stats are available, while a full recap and box score will be available on PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game. Dartmouth and Harvard will have live video available for each of their games.
In the Series
Dartmouth leads the overall series with Penn at 37-21, including a win at The Palestra on Jan. 31. The Big Green have won the last four home games against the Quakers, dating back to a 71-58 Penn win on Feb. 7, 2004. Harvard also defeated Penn at home earlier this season, extending the Crimson’s win streak over the Quakers to 10 games. Penn’s last win in the series came in Cambridge, the day before its win over Dartmouth in 2004.
About the Big Green
Dartmouth is currently on a nine-game winning streak, which includes a 56-39 victory at The Palestra on Jan. 31. Brittany Smith put up 28 against the Quakers during that meeting. She leads the team with 13.5 ppg with Koren Shcram also averaging in double digits with 12.0 ppg. Smith is second in the Ancient Eight in rebounding and Schram is second in steals. Smith has a Big Green-high of 32 blocks, while Schram leads the team with 51 assists. Dartmouth has the top scoring defense in the League, allowing just 56.8 ppg and are holding team’s to a league-best 37.0 field goal percentage. The team is also second in the Ivies in rebounding.
About the Crimson
Penn was within one of the second-place Crimson with 6:22 to go in the game at The Palestra three weeks ago. Harvard escaped, 72-63. The Crimson were led by Emily Tay’s 22 points in that game. Tay, who leads the Ivy League in assists, is third on the team with 11.4 ppg. Emma Markley, the reigning Ivy Player of the Week, leads the Crimson with 13.6 ppg. Markley also leads the League in blocks. Freshman Brogan Berry averages 11.5 ppg, is the top free throw shooter in the Ivies at 83.5% and is second in the League behind Penn’s Erin Power in assist-to-turnover ratio. Harvard leads the league in scoring, field goal percentage and three-point percentage.
Penn leaves for Hanover, N.H., on Thursday and will stop in Storrs, Conn., to practice at top-ranked UConn’s Gampel Pavilion. Head Coach Patrick Knapp has ties with the Big East school after serving as the head coach at Georgetown for 18 seasons.
After a highly successful finish to the month of December where the Quakers went 3-1, the team struggled through January only to start 3-1 in February - the second-best record of any Ivy League school so far this month.
Quite the Defensive Effort
Brown’s 16 first-half points on Feb. 6, was the fewest allowed by a Penn team since Jan. 28, 2005, when the Quakers held Yale to 15 first-half points en route to a 53-40 win. Current assistant coach Amanda Kammes was a senior starter on that Quaker squad.
Senior Carrie Biemer is fast approaching 1,000 career points. Entering Friday’s game against Dartmouth, she is just five away from becoming the 18th Quaker to reach the historic milestone.
Other Winning Streak Nuggets
Last Time Out
Last weekend, Carrie Biemer registered a double-double and Erin Power was just one point from the same accomplishment as Penn rolled past Brown, 66-49 at The Palestra Friday, while on Saturday, Kelly Scott and Biemer scored in double figures as Penn won its third straight game, outlasting Yale, 62-46, at The Palestra. On Friday, Biemer led the way with 28 points and 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Power added nine points to go along with 11 rebounds and five assists. Power sank a layup at 12:19 of the first half and the Quakers never trailed again. Brown tried to whittle down the lead, getting within 55-47 at the 3:06 mark. That would be as close as they would get. On Saturday, the two teams played to a 19-18 halftime score. With Penn up 32-27, Yale scored seven straight and led 34-32 with 12:28 remaining. However, Penn’s defense took over from there. Yale went more than 10 minutes without a field goal. Penn scored nine straight in the first three minutes of the drought and Penn had its largest lead of the game to that point, 44-37, with seven minutes to play. After a few Bulldogs free throws, it was 46-40, but Biemer knocked down a three for a nine-point edge with 4:56 left. Over the next three-plus minutes, Slover and Bucar each hit two free throws and sophomore Jerin Smith had a layup to stretch the lead to 55-43. By the time Yale finally made another field goal with 1:28 to go in the contest, Penn only had to hit a few free throws to keep the Bulldogs at bay.
Coming up is another road Ivy weekend as Penn travels to Yale on Feb. 27 and then to Rhode Island to take on Brown on Feb. 28.
Download: 2-20-09 Dartmouth and Harvard.pdf