Women's Hoops in Battle for 33rd Street Saturday

Follow @pennwbb

PHILADELPHIA - Saturday’s matinee matchup with Drexel will mark the 25th Battle for 33rd Street. The campuses of Penn (4-3) and Drexel (4-4) border each other at 33rd Street, which makes this one of the shortest road trips in all of college basketball. The Quakers will walk three blocks to Drexel’s Daskalakis Athletic Center for a 2 p.m. tipoff and neighboorhood bragging rights.

Catching the Game
Fans can watch the Battle of 33rd Street at DrexelDragons.com. Live stats can be found on at
DrexelDragons.com. Live twitter updates (@PennWBB) are also available. A complete recap and box score can be found at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the game.

In the Series vs. Drexel
These Philadelphia neighboors have met every year since 1999 and 24 times overall. The Dragons hold a slight edge in the series, 13-11, but Penn has won two of the last three. Those two wins came by two points apiece—one in overtime—and both came at The Palestra. Penn has a chance to nab its first consecutive wins over Drexel since 1973-76, when it won four straight. However, Penn is just 1-8 all-time at the DAC and hasn’t won at the neighboring gymnasium since the first meeting there on Feb. 24, 1977—a 66-60 overtime victory. The Quakers have lost by double digits in each of the last five meetings at Daskalakis Athletic Center dating back to 2004. Those five losses have come by an average of 25.0 point per game. Head Coach Mike McLaughlin is 2-3 against the City 6 rival with all three losses coming at the DAC.

About the Dragons
- Drexel has won five straight at the DAC and is 3-0 at home this year, which includes a double-digit victory over Saint Joseph’s—the only common opponent for both teams thus far. Penn also beat the Hawks by double digits at home.
- The Dragons boast the second-best defense in the CAA (58.6 ppg), but are ninth among the 10 teams in scoring (54.5 ppg). The Dragons are last in the conference in rebounding margin at an average of minus-7.5 per game, but are tops in the CAA in assist/turnover ratio (+1.1) and third in the league with 45 made threes.
- Sarah Curran leads the Dragons with 13.4 points per game, while Rachel Pearson also averages double digits (11.1 ppg). Pearson is also sixth in the CAA in made threes (20) and three-point percentage (.377). Meghan Creighton led Drexel and was second in the CAA with 5.9 assists per game, but is out for the season. She was also tops in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio.

#Defend
A motto the team has adopted as defending champions that pride themselves on defense. It showed in Penn’s Big 5 opener against La Salle. Shortly after raising the Ivy League championship banner in the home opener against the Explorers, the Quakers held La Salle to 29 total points—the fewest Penn has allowed in a game since a 65-29 win over Temple on Jan. 17, 1995. The Quakers also held La Salle without a three-pointer—the third time the Quakers have shut out an opponent behind the arc under Coach McLaughlin and the first since a win over Cornell on Feb. 22, 2013. On the contrary, Penn has made a three in every game since a home loss to Harvard on Feb. 6, 2010—a span of 132 games.

Getting Defensive
Head Coach Mike McLaughlin has always had strong defensive teams. This year is no different. The Quakers rank second in the Ivy League in scoring defense and three-point percentage defense, and are first in field goal percentage defense and blocks. Of 343 teams the Red and Blue are 24th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.338) and 32nd in scoring defense (55.0). The Quakers are also one of the nation’s more diciplined teams as they lead the Ivies and rank 28th in the country with just 15.1 fouls per game.

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 50-9 (.847) when they score 60 points, including 23-1 over the last two seasons (only loss was to Texas in NCAA Tournament, 79-61). In comparison, the Quakers are just 20-71 (.220) when they’ve scored less than 60 points under Coach McLaughlin. The trend continues defensively. Over the last six seasons, the Red and Blue are 13-48 (.213) when allowing more than 60 points. But when holding opponents under that number, the Quakers hold a healthy winning record of 57-32 (.640).

Penn Trends
Penn is 26-8 (.765) in its last 33 games ... Penn has won eight of the last 11 on the road ... The Quakers have won 17 straight and are 35-1 over the last three seasons when shooting better than 40 percent ... The Red and Blue have won 16 of the last 17 games when their free throw percentage is better than 70 percent ... Penn has won 31 of the last 33 games when outrebounding its opponent ... Penn reached 70 points is 19-1 under Coach McLaughlin when scoring more than 70 points—only loss in double overtime, 88-84, at Harvard in 2011.

Big 5 Milestones
Penn’s Big 5 wins over La Salle (57-29) and Saint Joseph’s (65-51) set several other milestones...
...third-largest margin of victory in a Big 5 game and largest since Jan. 17, 1995 vs. Temple.
...fewest points allowed in Big 5—or any game—since Jan. 17, 1995 vs. Temple (65-29).
...marked the first time Penn has won a Big 5 game in three consecutive seasons since 1999-02.
...first-ever three-game Big 5 winning streak.
...Coach McLaughlin tied a school record with six career Big 5 wins in just his sixth season.
...marked four Big 5 wins in a three-year span for the first time ever (currently at five).
...have won three straight over La Salle for the first time in program history.
...first three-game win streak over any Big 5 opponent since 1980-82 (Temple).
...third straight 1-0 start in Big 5 play (had never done so in two consecutive seasons).
...second 2-0 start in Big 5 play in program history (2004-05).
...second win in 40 all-time meetings with Saint Joseph’s (other was in 2004).
...first-ever win over Saint Joseph’s at The Palestra (1-23).
...tied school record for most Big 5 wins in a single season.
...Two Big 5 wins in back-to-back years for the first time in school history.

Big 5 Double-Doubles
Sophomore Sydney Stipanovich has two double-doubles this season and both came against the Big 5. Her 10 double-doubles last season were the most in a season at Penn since Jennifer Fleischer in 2004-05, and her 12 career double-doubles are tied with Diane DiBonaventuro (1978-82) for 12th-most in program history. Her next one will tie her for 10th all-time at Penn. In those two wins over the Big 5, Stipanovich averaged an impressive 14.0 points per game and 13.0 rebounds per game. She is not the only Penn player with a double-double this season however, as freshman Michelle Nwokedi recorded the first of her career with 17 points and 14 rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench of a win over New Hampshire.

A Penn Win Would...
... mark consecutive wins over Drexel for first time since 1973-76.
... be the first at Drexel since 1977.
... improve Penn to 3-0 against City Six opponents this season.
... be the third in the last four games against the Dragons.
... make the Quakers 5-3 to start the season.

A Penn Loss Would...
... be the ninth straight at Drexel.
... make the Quakers 4-4 this season.
... be less good than a win.

Last Time Out: W, 65-51 vs. Saint Joseph’s
For just the second time in school history, Penn topped Saint Joseph’s and started 2-0 in Big 5 play. A dominant second half led to an impressive 65-51 victory over the Hawks at The Palestra on Tuesday night. Saint Joseph’s led the entire first half, but never by more than six. Penn trailed 22-19 at the half, but scored on its first seven possessions of the second half—a 15-4 run that resulted in a 34-26 lead. The lead was still eight, 38-30, with 12:22 to go, when senior Renee Busch took over. She hit three straight threes for the Quakers to ignite a 13-4 run and give the Red and Blue a 51-36 lead with just 5:29 to play. The Hawks chipped away and eventually got within nine, but there was just 1:11 to play. At that point, Melanie Lockett, Roche and Stipanovich combined to go 8-for-8 from the free throw line to put the game away.

Up Next
Another extended break. The Quakers will be off for the holiday until a home matchup with UMBC on Dec. 29. The Quakers tip off with the Retrievers for the first time since 2003 at 7 p.m. It is a quick turnaround after that as the Red and Blue welcome King’s College (Pa.) for a 1 p.m. tipoff on New Years Eve.

#FightOnPenn

Download: 8 - Drexel.pdf