PHILADELPHIA - Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday break, the University of Pennsylvania women'sbasketball team posted three straight wins in a six-day span. The Quakers will hope to continue that hot streak when they return to action for two more non-conference contests this week. Penn (3-1) is at Lafayette (3-2) on Tuesday and then hosts Hampton (0-4) on Friday. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.
Catching the Games
Fans can watch Penn’s matchup at Lafayette for free atPatriotLeague.tv. And if you can’t make it out to The Palestra on Friday, you can watch the game on the Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN.tv). Live stats can be found on GoLeopards.com and PennAthletics.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 each game.
In the Series vs. Lafayette and Hampton
- A long rivalry resumes after a two-year hiatus. The Quakers and Leopards have met 37 times with Lafayette holding a slight 19-18 edge in the all-time series. Penn won the last two in the series with the most recent meeting on Nov. 30, 2011 at The Palestra (49-39). But the Leopards had won the three previous matchups and the teams have split the last eight games.
- This is the first meeting between the Hampton and Penn women’s basketball programs. The Quakers are 4-3 all-time against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) opponents with a pair of wins last season (Norfolk State, Morgan State). Coach McLaughlin is 3-1 against the conference with the only loss to Norfolk State in the 2012-13 season opener.
Against the Patriot League
Under head coachMike McLaughlin, the Quakers are 7-5 against Patriot League foes with wins in six of the last seven since 2011. That includes the program's first-ever victory at Navy on Nov. 22, and wins over Bucknell and Army last season.
Against the MEAC
Overall, Penn is 4-3 all-time against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) opponents, but has won four in a row. Penn topped Norfolk State (79-49) and Morgan State (85-51) last season, and the year prior, the Red and Blue beat Howard in the First Round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational (65-60) at The Palestra—the program’s first-ever posteason victory.
With a win Tuesday, the Quakers would be off to the best five-game start in program history. Now in its 45th-year as a varsity program, Penn has been 4-1 only once before. The team has already matched the best four-game start in school history and are 3-1 for the first time since 2011-12 and just the second time since the 1982-83 Quakers won three of their first four. The 2011-12 team is also the only team to start 4-1. Penn has never started 5-1 or better.
A motto the team has adopted as defending champions that pride themselves on defense. It has showed during the current three-game winning streak. Penn has not allowed more than 17 points in the first half of any of those games and in the home opener against the Explorers, La Salle’s 29 total points were the fewest Penn has allowed in a game since a 65-29 win over Temple on Jan. 17, 1995.
Magic Number: 60
The statistic that may most indicate a Penn win or loss? 60 points. Since head coachMike McLaughlintook over at Penn, the Quakers are 49-9 (.845) when they score 60 points, including 22-1 over the last two seasons (only loss was to Texas in NCAA Tournament, 79-61). In comparison, the Quakers are just 20-70 (.222) 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 56-31 (.644).
Home Sweet Home
With the most recent win over New Hampshire last Tuesday, Penn has won nine straight home games dating back to Jan. 11 against Princeton. That is Penn’s longest winning streak at The Palestra since a 10-game stretch during the Ivy League championship 2000-01 season. Overall, the Quakers have won 12 of 13 at The Palestra since a 76-54 defeat at the hands of No. 5/6 Notre Dame on Nov. 23, 2013.
Penn is 25-6 (.806) in its last 31 games ... Penn has won eight of the last 10 on the road ... The Quakers have won 16 straight and are 34-1 over the last three seasons when shooting better than 40 percent ... The Red and Blue have won 15 of the last 16 games when their free throw percentage is better than 70 percent ... Penn has won 30 of the last 31 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.
SophomoreSydney Stipanovich’s 10 double-doubles last season were the most in a season at Penn since Jennifer Fleischer in 2004-05. She recorded her 11th career double-double in the home opener on Wednesday night to tie Dionne Anthon for 13th-most in school history. In Penn's next home game, freshman Michelle Nwokedi recorded her first career double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
Sydney Stipanovich picked up where she left off. The sophomore had six blocks in the season opener at No. 4 Tennessee which finished one shy of the opponent record at Thompson-Boling Arena, last set by Brittany Griner. In addition, Stipanovich became just the fourth Penn player to surpass 100 career blocks (reminder, she was playing her first game of her sophomore season). She is now just one block away from tying Penn Athletics and Big 5 Hall of Famer Diana Caramanico for third-place on the school’s all-time career blocks list.
Senior Kara Bonenberger may soon join Stipanovich in Penn’s 100 career blocks club, meaning two of the five Penn players to record 100 career blocks would be playing next to each other. Bonenberger has 96 career blocks and ranks fifth all-time at Penn in that category.
Two Penn Wins Would...
... be the ninth in the last 11 games on the road and 10th straight at home.
... tie the best five-game, and set the best six-game start in school history.
... make the Quakers 5-1 to start the season.
A Penn Win Would...
... tie the best six-game start in school history at 4-2 (accomplished several times).
... be the third straight over Lafayette or the first ever over Hampton.
Two Penn Losses Would...
... snap a nine-game home winning streak.
... snap a four-game winning streak over Patriot League opposition and snap a four-game winning streak against MEAC opponents.
... make the Quakers 3-3 this season.
... be less good than two wins.
Last Time Out: W, 73-49 vs. New Hampshire
Another dominant first half propelled Penn past New Hampshire, 74-39, in The Palestra on Tuesday night. At one point, the Quakers were ahead of the Wildcats by 39 points, 74-35, tying the largest lead by the Red and Blue under McLaughlin. The Quakers had three players in double figures, led byMichelle Nwokedi’s 17. Fellow freshmanBeth Brzozowskiwas second on the team with 14 points. Combined, the pair was 7-for-10 from three-point range.Keiera Raycompleted the trio of Quakers in double figures, scoring 11 points. All three players in double figures came off the bench for the Red and Blue, part of a dominating effort from the bench. The Quakers outscored the Wildcats in bench points, 58-15. New Hampshire led 6-3 after the first four minutes, but Penn finished the half on a 39-8 run and never looked back.
A Big 5 matchup awaits as the Quakers host Saint Joseph's at The Palestra on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the first game of a doubleheader with the men, who are set to tip off at 8 p.m. against Marist. Tickets for the doubleheader start at $14.
Download: 5 - Lafayette, Hampton.pdf