Women's Basketball to Open Season Sunday at Drexel

Game Notes

PHILADELPHIA - It won't be a long trip for the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team as they open the 2009-10 season on the road Sunday at Drexel. The Quakers will take the short two-block trip up 33rd Street to the Daskalakis Athletic Center to take on their city six rival at 1 p.m.

Catching the Game
For those in the local area, the game can be heard on 91.7 FM WKDU. For those unable to get the radio broadcast, DrexelDragons.com will provide a webcast of the game as well as live stats. A full recap and box score can be found on PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the game.

In the Series
Drexel has won 10 of the previous 19 meetings between these West Philadelphia rivals. The Dragons have taken each of the last two games, including the last five at home. Penn last defeated the Dragons in 2006 at The Palestra, 60-57, but have not beaten Drexel on its home floor since a 66-60 win in 1977. This not only marks the first game for head coach Mike McLaughlin against Drexel, but his first at the Division I level. Meanwhile, Drexel Head Coach Denise Dillon is 4-2 against Penn.

About the Dragons
Drexel returns three starters from their NCAA Tournament team from a year ago. This will be the second game of the season for the defending Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) champions as they open the 2009-10 campaign on Friday night with a home game against Penn State. Behind the nation’s third-leading scorer last season, Gabriela Marginean, the Dragons were selected to repeat as CAA champions in the preseason media poll. A John R. Wooden Award Candidate, Marginean won 2009 CAA Player of the Year honors and was also one of the five members on this season’s Preseason All-CAA First Team. Junior sharpshooter Jasmina Rosseel garnered a Second Team nod after setting Drexel’s single-season record for three-pointers and earning a place on the All-CAA Third Team last season.

Last Time Out
In the 2008-09 season finale, Penn kept up with Princeton’s long-range offense, but the three-point shooting Tigers pulled away down the stretch in a 72-55 loss at The Palestra. The Quakers (9-19, 6-8 Ivy) finished in the top half of the Ivy League, winning six of their final 10 League games to place fourth. The Tigers wasted no time before launching and making four threes in the first four minutes to take an early 14-6 lead. Penn, meanwhile, continued to work the ball inside--capped by senior forward Katarina Lackner’s nine first half points--and got to the free throw line six different times. Down 18-11, Penn put five straight points on the board to close to within two, 18-16. After another Princeton three, the Quakers scored nine unanswered, taking a 25-21 lead with 5:28 left in the half before the Tigers broke up the nine-point run with a three-pointer. However, the Quakers would be held to just one Anca Popvici free throw the rest of the way and the Tigers took a 29-26 lead into the half. When Biemer’s hook shot in the lane went down, with exactly 17 minutes remaining, the Princeton lead was 33-28. The advantage grew to 39-30 over the next three minutes, but Penn closed the deficit to 39-34 with 12:28 left. The Tigers responded, scoring nine of the next 11 points and led 48-36. Though Penn managed six straight and were within 48-42, they were unable to shut down the Princeton scoring attack.

Welcome, Coach
After spending 14 seasons at Division II Holy Family in Philadelphia, head coach Mike McLaughlin enters his first season with the Quakers. His first game as a Division I head coach is at Drexel, while he makes his Red and Blue coaching debut in The Palestra on Nov. 21 against Duquesne at 3:30 p.m.

Some New Faces
Penn’s Class of 2013 includes three standout freshmen. Brianna Bradford, a 2008-09 McDonald’s All-America nominee, is a product of Reservoir High School outside of Baltimore in Fulton, Md., while Katie Davis, the reigning District and County Player of the Year at the Academy of the Holy Names, is a native of Tampa, Fla. Rebecca Lau will be making the furthest journey to Philadelphia as she hails from Honolulu, Hawaii where she earned all-state honors on two ocassions.

Some Familar Faces
Returning to the team this season are some familiar faces in Amy Donovan and Kim Adams, as well as Jourdan Banks and Jess Knapp. The four combined to play just one game last year, but all are back for the 2009-10 season. In the case of Banks and Knapp, each missed their freshman campaigns due to season-long injuries. Adams played just one game last season and Donovan did not play in 2008-09.

On the Slate
As the Quakers prepare to open the season against city rival and 2009 NCAA Tournament participant Drexel, the schedule won’t get much easier from there. Penn plays six games against teams that qualified for the 2009 NCAA Tournament as well as teams from the BIG EAST, Big Ten and Atlantic 10.

A Penn Win Would...
... make the Quakers 1-0 for the first time since 2007-08.
... be the first against Drexel since 2006 and the first at Drexel since 1977.
... break a four-game losing streak against non-conference opponents.

A Penn Loss Would...
... make the Quakers 0-1 for the second straight season.
... be the third straight to Drexel and the sixth straight on Drexel’s home court.

Up Next
Penn stays local, heading to the home of Big 5 rival Villanova on Wednesday. The Quakers and Wildcats tipoff at 7 p.m. The home opener for the Red and Blue is set for Saturday, Nov. 21 at 3:30 p.m. against Duquesne.

Download: 3-10-09 Princeton2.pdf