PHILADELPHIA - Penn returns to The Palestra for the first time in three weeks. On Friday, the team will join in the fight against breast cancer with the annual “Pink Zone” game against Columbia. On Saturday, its Senior Day as three Quakers play in their final game at The Palestra.
Catching the Game
Video and live stats will be available at PennAthletics.com for both games. Complete recaps and a box score can be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each game.
In the Series
With the Lions taking the first matchup of the season in New York City on Feb. 13, the teams have now alternated wins and losses in the series for the last five games. Columbia was the last to win two in a row and no team has swept the season series since Penn did so in 2006. Cornell stopped a two-game skid to Penn with a win two weeks ago, but the Quakers still have a commanding lead on the all-time series at 47-15. The Big Red will be looking for their fourth win at The Palestra in their last five tries.
About the Lions
Columbia is coming off a tough two-point loss at home to Harvard Saturday, but at 15-9, has already assured itself of the first winning season in program history. They have won six of 10 Ivy games, going 3-2 at home and on the road. Columbia averages 66.0 points per game and gives up nearly 62. They are the best defensive rebounding team in the Ivy League and also rank first in steals. The Lions outrebound their opponents by an average of nearly five per game. Penn is outrebounded by an average of nearly four per game. Junior Judie Lomax is coming off her fifth Ivy League Player of the Week performance. She leads the nation in rebounding (13.8 per game) and leads the Ivy League in scoring (18.6 pg) and steals (2.5 pg) as well. Danielle Browne is third in the Ivy League with 103 assists, Melissa Shafer is tied for the Ivy lead shooting 43.3 percent from three-point range, and Lauren Dwyer is third in the league with 42 blocks.
About the Big Red
Cornell began the season at 5-3, but has lost 14 of its last 15 games with its only win against Penn on Feb. 12. The Big Red have just one true road win this season in nine tries and are 2-10 overall away from Ithaca. Penn’s last-ranked offense in the Ivy League will take on Cornell’s last-ranked defense. The Big Red are giving up nearly 70 points per game. However, the Big Red rank second in three-point percentage defense. On offense, Cornell is second in the league in made threes, but as oppossed to league-leader Columbia, the Big Red are last in steals and turnover margin. Allie Fedorowicz is the team-leader with 11.9 points per game. Lauren Benson is second in the league in assists (5.8 per game), while Virginia McMunigal is the Ivies best three-point shooter at 43.3 percent. Allie Munson leads the Big Red at 5.1 rebounds per game and 10 blocks.
Join the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team in the fight against breast cancer on Friday night! All proceeds from Friday’s game against Columbia will be donated to the fight against breast cancer. The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) started “Pink Zone” in a unified effort to assist in raising breast cancer awareness. The initiative, formerly known as “Think Pink,” began in 2007 with more than 120 schools unified in its efforts. This season, there were more than 1,500 confirmed teams participating in the event. This will be the third year that the women’s basketball program has participated in WBCA’s PinkZone initiative. Last year, Penn’s efforts helped to raise $5,228 and with a $2,880 contribution from the Penn Pan-Hellenic Council, there was a total of $8,108 donated to the Rena Rowan Breast Center at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital.
Tonight’s contest marks the final home game for three Penn seniors—all of whom were named team captains this season. Below is a brief look back at their careers in the Red and Blue uniform.
Sarah Bucar - Sr., 5-6, G
Sarah is serving as a team captain for the second straight season. Since coming to West Philadelphia as a transfer from West Virginia University, she has started 69 games for the Quakers. Sarah leads the Ivy League in minutes played this season and has logged nearly 2,500 minutes in a Red and Blue uniform. Earlier this year, she was named to the Doubletree White Invitational all-tournament team en route to setting career highs in steals and made threes this season. Sarah has scored more than 500 points in a Quakers jersey and has recorded more than 250 assists and 300 rebounds in her collegiate career.
Amy Donovan - Sr., 6-0, F
In returning to the court for the Quakers this season, Amy has undoubtedly been the team leader off the bench. Voted a team captain in mid-season by her teammates, she excelled on the court, leading the Quakers in three-point percentage and free throw percentage this year. Entering the weekend, Amy was just 11 points shy of 200 for her career. Amy’s current career free throw percentage of 89.5 percent, is one of the best in school history. This season, Amy has already set career game-highs for rebounds, blocked shots, steals, made field goals and minutes played.
Caitlin Slover - Sr., 5-8, G/F
Caitlin has played in every single game for the Quakers in the last two seasons—which hasn’t come without injury or pain. In fact, tonight marks her 92nd career game in a Penn uniform. The co-captain has had the best season of her career, setting season-highs in points, steals, assists, blocks and made threes. Caitlin is second on the team in made threes, steals, assists and is seventh in the Ivy League in minutes played. When the season comes to a close, Caitlin will have accumulated more than 400 points, 300 rebounds and 100 assists in her career in addition to starting more than 50 games for the Quakers.
It’s Senior Day on Saturday. And over last weekend, all three Penn senior captains hit a milestone. Caitlin Slover collected her 300th career rebound against Yale and now has 301 as a Quaker. Slover is also just 13 steals from 100 in her career. Amy Donovan grabbed her 100th career rebound in leading the Quakers with a career-high seven against Brown. Sarah Bucar scored her 500th career point in a Red and Blue uniform. Bucar now has 544 career points (507 with Penn, 37 with West Virginia). She also gathered her 100th career steal (81 as a Quaker) and is four assists away from 200 as a Quaker (254 in her career).
Last Time Out
Long scoring droughts have been a problem all year for Penn, but they were especially prevalent and harmful this weekend. Even with a strong defensive effort, it wasn’t enough for the Quakers to save themselves as they fell to Brown, 54-42, and Yale, 70-38. On Friday, a driving lay up by Caitlin Slover closed the deficit to 30-26. But it didn’t break the Red and Blue out of their offensive funk. Penn suffered its longest drought of the day, going scoreless for the next 5:54. Brown went on an 11-0 run and held a 41-26 edge with 8:19 to go. That’s when Sara Ely hit two free throws, but it would be another minute before Penn made its first field goal in nearly seven minutes. At that point, the double-digit deficit - which grew to as many as 16 - was too much to overcome on this night and Penn was never again within single digits. On Saturday, it was 9-0 before Caroline Nicholson got Penn on the scoreboard with a baseline jumper at the 16:57 mark. It would be nearly eight minutes before Penn scored again. Yale built a 22-2 lead. Penn inched the Bulldogs closer to get the deficit to 15 at the half. The second half didn’t start much better than the first. Yale went on a 17-5 run and the advantage grew to 52-25 with 13:20 to go. But Penn continued to play hard, stepping it up on the defensive end and holding the Bulldogs without a bucet for the next four minutes. During that time, the Red and Blue scored six straight, which included a three from Slover, followed by a steal and fast break lay up for Slover. But Yale closed the game on an 18-7 run and took its largest lead at the final buzzer.
Its the final Ivy League road trip of the season and of the careers of Penn’s three seniors. The Quakers travel to Harvard (Friday) and Dartmouth (Saturday) before the season finale on Tuesday, March 9 at Princeton.
Download: 2-12-10 Cornell, Columbia.pdf