In a thriller, senior guard Anna Ross dictated exactly how the script would end: with the ball in her hands. It was her last-second bucket that proved the difference as Penn eked past Villanova 79-77.
The seasons of both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have been defined by a series of ebbs and flows. The men sit at 4-4, the women at 4-5, and both teams have blown out and been blown out by their competitors.
Of course, braving the sub-zero temperatures and seemingly endless bus rides was not purely for fun. This “vacation” was actually a NCAA-sanctioned international tour, which is allowed once every four years. And, with this being the lucky year, coach Jack Wyant took his squad north for the training retreat.
Call them the "Swaggy Six," or the "Super Sophs", or the "Bars Bunch"; no matter the alias, Penn gymnastics will be tough to beat this year due to a record-breaking crop of sophomores on the bars.
After back injuries during her sophomore year forced senior Emily Shugan to end her career as a gymnast, she has since leaped into a new role on the team: student assistant coach.
It's not that Nwokedi's impact on each game has diminished. Rather, coach Mike McLaughlin and the team have needed her to play a new role this season. And, according to McLaughin, the changes in the past few weeks have been due to her growth in that new role.
Though most programs would hesitate to refer to a two-season title hiatus as a drought, the mentality for Penn gymnastics is clear. It’s “championship-or-bust time” for the Red and Blue, and the 2018 squad is more than ready to do so.
11 years. That's how long it's been since the last time Penn men's basketball defeated Temple in 2007 — which is also the year of the Quakers' last NCAA tournament appearance. Behind the superb play of sophomores Ryan Betley and AJ Brodeur, the Quakers are confident they can take their first win over Temple in a decade.
For the Quakers, the only starter who was not previously a fixture in the starting lineup is junior forward Max Rothschild.
After averaging 13.6 minutes per game and starting three games combined in his first two seasons at Penn, Rothschild has averaged 23.9 minutes per game this season, starting all 17 games. And so far, he has validated coach Steve Donahue’s decision to increase his role.
It is clear that if the team is to reach its full potential and win the Ivy or ECAC Championship, a significant part of the credit should go to the two returning co-captains, and the attitude and togetherness they bring to the program.
After finishing last out of four teams in its first meet of the season, the Lindsey Ferris Invitational, with a relatively low score of 190.375, Penn gymnastics (1-2, 0-1 Ivy) hopes to bounce back this upcoming weekend as it travels to New Haven to take on Yale, both teams' first one-on-one Ivy League matchup in 2018.
A year after opening the 2017 season with an impressive second-place finish at the Lindsey Ferris Invitational, Penn gymnastics struggled to match that effort this time around, finishing in last place with a score of 190.375.
In this week's edition of Is Stat So?, we look at several individual and team records that were broken this weekend, as well as a few key numbers that allowed men's squash and women's basketball to emerge victorious.
Following the sweeps, two stars of the Penn men’s and women’s basketball programs, sophomore forward AJ Brodeur and freshman center Eleah Parker, were named Ivy League Player of the Week for their contributions.
Just a week after freshman Andrew Douglas’ comeback win to beat No. 6 Rochester, Penn needed another ninth game win to beat Yale 5-4. Meanwhile, Penn’s women fell to the Elis by the same score. Against Brown on Sunday, both teams eliminated any chance for a dramatic ending by sweeping the Bears 9-0.
Both Red and Blue squads struggled in their final Ivy League meet of the regular season. The Quakers’ men fell to Harvard, 181-108, while the women fell respectively to Brown and Harvard by scores of 178-119 and 197-100.
Penn fencing had an up and down weekend against some of the top fencing programs in the country.
The Quakers (11-4 for both men and women) had a busy weekend in State College, Pa. The men and women defeated North Carolina and Haverford but fell short to Columbia, Penn State, and Duke.
After Penn women’s basketball lost to arch-rival Princeton last Saturday, the team rebounded spectacularly this weekend, defeating Cornell and Columbia in consecutive weekends behind the stellar play of Eleah Parker.
As great as this 3-0 conference start is, it’s not as if the Red and Blue are playing perfect basketball. Coach Steve Donahue acknowledged after the victory over Columbia that this team is still constantly trying to improve week to week and is learning how to close out basketball games.
Sophomore forward AJ Brodeur filled up the statsheet for the Quakers (12-5, 3-0 Ivy) in Friday’s 69-61 victory against Cornell, only to come back the next night with an even better performance. In the Saturday night matchup versus Columbia, Brodeur led the Red and Blue in a tightly contested 77-71 victory.
The Quakers started off a little slow, but outplayed Columbia for the final 35 minutes of the game en route to a largely comfortable 70-51 win. The night before, The Red and Blue took down Cornell by a score of 68-48 to sweep the New York Ivies. Against the Lions, Penn (8-5, 2-1 Ivy) was led once again by another dominant performance from freshman Eleah Parker who set a new career high with 22 points.
On Friday, Penn men's basketball played its second Ivy League game of the season, defeating rival Cornell, 69-61. The Quakers (11-5, 2-0 Ivy) were paced by AJ Brodeur with 18 points, while guards Ryan Betley and Darnell Foreman joined him in double figures with 13 and 12 points respectively. Overall, it was a strong win for the Red and Blue in the first of back-to-back home games.
Penn women’s basketball put the rest of the Ivy League on notice with Friday’s 68-48 home victory against Cornell. The Quakers, while not playing a perfect game, took a step in the right direction with their first Ivy victory of the young season.
After last week’s monumental victory over Princeton, the Quakers picked up right where they left off in Friday night’s game against Cornell. Behind 18 points, nine rebounds, and six assists from sophomore forward AJ Brodeur, Penn survived a late run from Cornell to win 69-61 in a game that the Red and Blue never trailed.
From the opening tip — which Penn won and led to senior Lauren Whitlatch’s first three — the Quakers dominated Cornell physically all over the court on the way to a 68-48 win.
The absence of the Brown's men's swimming from the meet on Jan. 13 will change the approach that the Quakers plan to take in deciding this weekend’s lineups.
On Thursday, Penn Athletics introduced a new series of game day enhancements, including a limited amount of free student tickets, that will debut at Penn men’s and women’s basketball’s doubleheader with Cornell this Friday at the Palestra. The news comes a day after Penn Athletics announced a new partnership with Uber that will provide Penn students with free uberPOOL rides to and from the Palestra for select men’s basketball games.
Eleah Parker seems to have gotten over the first-year jitters, as she has grown into one of the premier scoring options for the Red and Blue. Over the past seven games, the rookie center leads the team with 13.7 points per game, garnering double digit points in each game and three Ivy Rookie of the Week awards in the process.
To open the season, the gymnastics team is traveling to Washington, D.C. on Saturday, where the Quakers will face Cornell and George Washington in the Lindsey Ferris Invitational. Cornell is an Ivy rival and GW is a top-25 ranked team, but for team captain Kyra Levi, it doesn’t matter who the Quakers are up against.
But with their newly elevated status, the Red and Blue also find themselves facing an even higher level of expectations. That doesn’t seem to bother the team very much heading into back-to-back games at home against Cornell (6-7, 0-0) and Columbia (3-10, 0-0) this weekend.
Welcome to the inaugural edition of Is Stat So?, a compilation of some of the most interesting stats to come out of Penn Athletics from the week. Each week, we'll highlight a few different numbers that go beyond the box score, and give deeper insight behind Penn's biggest wins and losses.
If the Quakers have all of their best athletes on the floor, we think the Red and Blue men will drive home as tournament champions. As for the women, closing the gap with Columbia might be a tall task, not to mention that the women have a harder field because Temple does not have a men’s team. But still, we expect the Quakers to improve on last year’s effort with a second-place finish here.
Penn men’s basketball has me convinced. They are legitimate, serious contenders for an Ivy title this year. If last year’s team could make the tournament at 6-8, this year’s edition should have no problem getting in with two or three losses.
Both the men’s and women’s teams experienced an inconsistent meet, picking up wins against host Dartmouth, 249-104 and 235-118 respectively, but suffering big losses to Yale, 123-230 and 80-273 respectively.
Penn men's basketball sophomore guard Ryan Betley made a lot of those in the Quakers' 76-70 win over Princeton on Saturday. His 21 points on 72 percent shooting garnered him the third Ivy League Player of the Week award of his career.
This iteration of the Quakers is probably the best squad the program has had in a decade. They play with intensity, energy, and athleticism. They've got fluid ball movement, three point sharpshooters, and two big men who pass as well as they score. They've got a great starting five, but they also have a deep and talented bench.
The much anticipated – and once delayed – Ivy League season opener stalled out the gate as neither team seemed able to land a punch: the first points came almost three minutes into the game. Once that was out of the way, the two archrivals treated those in attendance with one of the most exciting regular season games in recent memory: a 76-70 Penn win over defending conference champion Princeton.
In its Ivy opener, Penn women's basketball fell to Princeton, 70-55. The Quakers (6-5, 0-1 Ivy) struggled offensively, while Princeton (11-3, 1-0), behind strong performances from junior Gabrielle Rush, sophomore Bella Alarie, and senior Leslie Robinson, proved too much for the Red and Blue to handle. Here are some takeaways from the game.
On Saturday, Penn women’s basketball fell to Princeton, 70-55 at the Palestra. The Quakers shot just 33 percent from the field, while the Tigers connected on 24 out of 51 of their shots, including 8 of 21 from three.
2017 is over, but at least one thing isn’t changing in the new year. On Monday, Penn women’s basketball freshman center Eleah Parker was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for a third straight week.
The Rockets shot a season high 64.3 percent from beyond the arc, marching to an 85-73 victory over the Quakers. The loss snaps the Quakers (9-5) four-game winning streak, dating back to December 4.
The win captured the NJIT Highlanders Christmas Tournament for the Quakers (6-4), who outscored opponents 159-90 across the two-game competition. Both games set new season records for margin of victory, and Parker earned tournament MVP honors.
NEWARK, N.J. — It was all Quakers, all night long. Dominating from the beginning on both sides of the ball, Penn women’s basketball soundly defeated Virginia Commonwealth, 82-52, on Thursday night in the NJIT Highlanders Christmas tournament.
In Penn’s first home game in 39 days — and first game at all in 18 days — the Red and Blue showed absolutely no signs of rust against non-conference foe Delaware State. Boosted by an incredible 51.9 percent effort from three-point range, the Quakers set the school record for margin of victory against a Division I opponent, blowing out the Hornets, 105-52, for their fourth straight win.
For the second straight week, Penn women's basketball's Eleah Parker was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week. Parker is the first Quaker to earn the award in consecutive weeks since current senior Michelle Nwokedi took home four straight during the 2014-2015 season.
It took them eight games, but they’re finally hitting their stride.
On Friday, Penn women’s basketball began the next phase of its season with a dominant 84-66 victory over Rhode Island at the Palestra just one day after the end of final exams.
Penn women’s basketball might have only had one game this past week, but that one game was all it took for freshman center Eleah Parker to earn recognition as the Ivy League Rookie of the Week.
After playing seven games in just about as much time this past month, Penn women’s basketball will look rebound from a tough early schedule over winter break and look to come out with its heads held high.
Taking a step back from the actual games themselves, 2017 was an exciting year for the Penn Athletics community.
Sometimes, the numbers don't tell everything. With a little more than a month gone in the season, Penn women's basketball currently sits at 3-4. The small number of games played by the Red and Blue has led to a small sample size of stats and observations, but there are several overarching trends from the team as it approaches Ivy play.