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Usually when a team is out of contention for the league title, it is playing simply for pride. That, however, is not the case when the Penn women's basketball team travels to Princeton tonight for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff at Jadwin Gymnasium. The Quakers are playing for more than just pride -- they're hoping to spoil their archrival's chances of making its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Although Princeton won a share of the 1985 title, they lost to Brown in the tiebreaker, sending the Bears to the NCAAs. After winning four Ivy titles in a row from 1975 to 1978, Princeton hasn't won an outright title in 21 years. Up until 1982, when the Ivy League began round robin play in women's basketball, there were only six teams in the league and they played a post-season tournament to determine the Ancient Eight's NCAA representative. Therefore, Princeton's last outright title came before the Ivy regular season winner received an automatic NCAA Tournament bid. "Out of Princeton and Dartmouth, I want Dartmouth to go [to the NCAA tournament]," sophomore forward Diana Caramanico said. "I think [Dartmouth] would do the best job because Dartmouth is a better team." With Dartmouth's win at Harvard last night, a Penn victory would force the Tigers to play a tiebreaker against the Big Green. "I think it's motivation, especially against a team like Princeton," Penn coach Julie Soriero said. "There's an intense rivalry. Knowing we can spoil the party for them makes it very special." A win tonight would give Penn sole possession of third place in the Ivies, whereas a loss would mean a third-place tie with Brown and Harvard. But the Quakers also have the opportunity to avenge a 67-58 overtime loss to Princeton (16-9, 11-2 Ivy League) at the Palestra on January 4. The Quakers controlled a close contest for most of that game. There were a total of 16 lead changes in the game and no team led by more than six points during regulation. Nevertheless, Penn (11-14, 7-6) held a small lead through most of the game, especially in the second half. Over the last seven minutes, the Quakers never trailed but could never pull ahead by more than four. "We had the ball and a chance to go up by six down the stretch but we didn't run the cleanest offense," Soriero said. "I'd like to think at this point in the season we're more confident in our strengths." Princeton sent the game into overtime when junior guard Maggie Langlas, who netted 23 points on the evening, drove to the hoop to tie the game with 6.6 remaining. The Tigers started the extra session with an 11-0 run while their stellar defense kept Penn from mounting a comeback. Giving up a mere 54.4 points per outing, the Tigers' scoring defense is ranked first in the Ivy League by almost eight points per game. Moreover, their scoring defense is ranked third in the nation. Princeton certainly showed its defensive capabilities in its last showdown with the Quakers, holding them to 58 points in 45 minutes of play. The Quakers committed 19 turnovers and were held to a .313 shooting percentage, including 0-of-8 shooting in overtime. "I think we need to execute better on offense than we did last time," Soriero said. "I really believe that if we can score 60 to 65 points we can beat Princeton. Nobody scores that much on them because [the opponent] gets lulled into a lazy game." The "lulling" stems from Princeton's slow-down offensive style, which utilizes the entire shot clock. But Soriero believes the Quakers will be ready for Princeton's system this time. "I think we'll play a little more zone defense than last time to try to take away some of their backdoor cuts and not get lackadaisical on defense," Soriero said. "Maybe if we make some adjustments in our zone, we can come out and challenge their shooters." Since that Princeton showdown, Penn has gone 9-6, including a 4-1 run in its last five games. The Red and Blue are eager to show their long-time rival just how good they have been playing, as they try to split the season series with the Tigers. More importantly, Penn can also ruin Princeton's chance to finally make the Big Dance.

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