A good night’s rest can make a big difference.
That’s one thing Penn women’s basketball will be hoping for when they step on the court against Lafayette on Wednesday.
Coming off the short holiday break, Penn has the opportunity to gets its season back on track with fresh legs and a re-energized team mentality.
“Getting to go home and see your family is a nice step away from basketball,” senior guard Kasey Chambers said. “We were able to refocus and hopefully tomorrow we can bring our new edge.”
So far this campaign, things have not gone as planned for the defending Ivy League champions. The Red and Blue (1-3) have struggled to find consistency in their past outings, which most recently was a 57-53 loss to Big 5 rivals Saint Joseph’s the Tuesday before the holiday.
But a break, as short as this one was, is not necessarily a good thing. In some cases it can stifle whatever momentum the team was building. In others it can provide the team with a chance to regroup and put poor performances behind it.
While Quakers’ coach Mike McLaughlin believes there were some positives to be taken from the Saint Joe’s contest, he thinks that his players will ultimately benefit from the hiatus as they head to face Lafayette (1-6).
“Sometimes it does [help],” he said. ”They came back with the right frame of mind. We’ve had some good practices leading into today and prepping for tomorrow. I like where we are at.”
“I think we all came back from break refreshed and ready to get the win streak going,” senior center Sydney Stipanovich added.
The Leopards are a familiar set of faces for the Red and Blue. This will mark the 40th meeting between the two Pennsylvanian sides.
In last year’s meeting Penn handedly defeated their opponents, 54-37. If that scoreline serves as any indication of this year’s matchup, then it could be just the outing that this Red and Blue side could use.
The Quakers have relied heavily on their starters in their opening games as they try to find their footing. A strong showing from start to finish might allow McLaughlin to put some new faces into the game while also eliminating some of the monotony for the starters.
“When you’re traveling so much it puts a lot of stress on you,” the eighth-year coach said. ”A lot of things have to go right every play and I’m hoping that we come out, get in a good flow and then we can utilize our bench.
“We have some talented kids that need an opportunity to play.”
But such a luxury might not come if his team falls into the slumps it has seen in past games.
“I want to see us play better basketball,” he continued. “We play good basketball for small stretches, but we have to be more consistent. I’m hoping in the next four games we find that.”
With four games played and four left before this year’s trip to California, now is the time to find that form. That starts against Lafayette, who have not had the best start to the season either.
“We’re looking to go up there and give it all we got,” Stipanovich said.
The giving season has just begun. A win for the Quakers would do a lot.
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