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PHILADELPHIA - It was nearly a 10-year wait since Penn's last postseason appearance and the Quakers (18-12) won't let go now. Second-seeded Penn advanced to the semifinals of the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) with a buzzer beater on Saturday and will now head to Detroit to take on the the top-seeded Titans on Wednesday. Tip off from Calihan Hall is at 7 p.m. The winner will host either McNeese State or South Dakota in the WBI Championship.
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.
Catching the Game
No video will be available but live stats can be found here and twitter updates (@PennWBB) 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.
In the Series vs. Detroit
This will be the first all-time meeting between Detroit and Penn. This will also be Penn’s first-ever game in the state of Michigan. The Quakers are 2-0 all-time against Horizon League opponents, but it has been nearly 14 years since the last meeting. On Dec. 4, 1999 the Quakers topped Loyola-Chicago, 91-78, at the Air Force Classic in Colorado Springs, Colo., and on Dec. 3, 1988, Penn beat Cleveland State, 64-57, at The Palestra.
About the Titans
Detroit is 19-13 this season and finished fourth in the Horizon League with a 9-7 record. The Titans, who lost in the first round of the WNIT last season, beat St. Francis (Pa.) and Charlston to reach the WBI Semis. Detroit has already set a school record for home wins this season with a 14-1 mark at Calihan Hall—their only loss was to No. 20 Green Bay. Detroit boasts one of the nation’s top offenses. The Titans own the 14th-best field goal percentage in the country and leads the Horizon League with 70.1 points per game. Detroit is equaling impressive defensively. The Titans are third in the HL in scoring and field goal defense. In addition, Detroit is the Horizon’s top rebounding team and has the 28th-best assist-to-turnover ration in the country. Shareta Brown’s 20.4 points per game ranks as 15th best in the NCAA. She also leads the team in rebounding (9.2), steals (39) and is second in blocks (22) and assists (75). Senee Shearer is the team’s top three-point shooter with 48 made threes at a 39.3-percent clip.
In 2009-10, Penn won just two games—the fewest wins in program history. Now, just three seasons later, the Quakers have posted the second-most wins in program history. Penn’s nine non-league wins this year matched the school record set in 1999-00. The winning ways were also evident throughout league play where the Quakers won nine games for just the sixth time in school history.
Penn, which is the only Ivy League team (men or women) still playing this year, set a school record with its 30th game of the season on Saturday in the quarterfinals against Fairfield. On Wednesday, the Quakers will match an Ivy League record with their 31st game of the year. The only other Ivy League teams to play 31 games in a season was Dartmouth in 2007-08 and Princeton in 1995-96.
- Penn is the first Ivy team to win two postseason games in the same season since Princeton and Yale did so 35 years ago at the 1978 EAIWA Tournament.
- Alyssa Baron and Kara Bonenberger each started their 30th game of the season on Saturday to break Anca Popvici’s school record from 2007-08.
- Brianna Bradford’s five threes in the first round against Howard set a program postseason record to top the four Mika Austin made against UCONN in the NCAA Tournament in 2004.
- Bonenberger and Courtney Wilson have combined for seven blocks in this tournament. Bonenberger leads the Ivy League with 48 blocks and Wilson is second with 43. They currently rank fourth and sixth, respectively, in the school single-season record book.
- 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 quarterfinal against Fairfield marked the latest into March the Quakers have ever played.
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. In comparison, the Quakers are just 16-63 (.203) 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 35-28 (.556), including nine straight wins.
At least one freshman has been in the starting lineup for the Quakers in 82 of the last 86 games ... Penn is 15-2 when leading at the half this season and 3-10 when trailing ... The Quakers have had fewer turnovers than their opponents in a remarkable 25 of 30 games this season (17-8 in those games) ... The Quakers have outrebounded their opponent just 10 times this year, but are 10-0 in those games ... Penn has used the same starting lineup in 26 of the last 27 games (18-8) ... Alyssa Baron has started 86 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 16 in the first round victory over Howard.
Climbing the Record Books
Junior Alyssa Baron added another 17 points, including her buzzer-beating game-winning three. She has 425 points this season and is now the fourth-best scorer in program history with 1,361 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.
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...
... be the third straight and set a school record with the 10th non-conference win of the year.
... mark just the second 19-win season in Penn history.
... make the Quakers 19-12 overall and advance the Quakers to the WBI Championship game.
A Penn Loss Would...
... conclude the 2012-13 season with a 18-13 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!
|CHARGE FOR A CURE!
Last Time Out
Trailing by two with 7.9 seconds left, junior captain Alyssa Baron took the ball the length of the floor and buried a three before the buzzer to send a jubilant Penn team to the WBI Semifinals. The second-seeded Quakers survived third-seeded Fairfield, 49-48, in a wild quarterfinal matchup at The Palestra Saturday night.
The winner of the Quakers/Titans East Regional final will host the 2013 WBI Championship game. The West Regional winner will be determined when sixth-seeded South Dakota hosts eighth-seeded McNeese State on Thursday.