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Diana Caramanico, the leading scorer in Penn women's history, will be among those honored in the Palestra's reopening ceremony tonight. (Stefan Miltchev/The Daily Pennsylvanian)

The Penn women's basketball team has yet to win a game this season, but the Quakers' 0-3 record is not a cause for terrible concern. Penn prefers to schedule tough matchups early in the season to better prepare them selves for important Ivy League battles, which won't begin until after the new year. And so far, despite coming up short in all three of its contests, Penn is optimistic heading into tonight's game with La Salle (4-2). "I actually think we're a lot better team than we were at this point last year," Penn coach Kelly Greenberg said. "I feel really good about this team." There is special reason to be excited about tonight's 5:30 p.m. battle against the Explorers; since it will mark the grand re-opening of a freshly refurbished Palestra. About a half hour following the conclusion of the game, the Penn men's basketball team will also take on La Salle as part of a doubleheader extravaganza. The event celebrates both the men's and women's home opener, as well as the renovations made to basketball's most storied arena. "It's a privilege to be a part of that," Greenberg said. "We want people who are coming tomorrow night to see what we're all about." One advantage that the Red and Blue will enjoy tomorrow is a familiarity with their opponent. In last week's Roger L. White Invitational, Penn went up against Northwestern and Northeastern, two teams that the Penn women's basketball program has rarely done battle with. But the Quakers know Big 5 rival La Salle quite well, and they know what they must do to succeed. "I think we need to set the pace of the game," Penn sophomore point guard Tara Twomey said. "We need to really run our plays and get the open looks." A quick tempo could spell trouble for La Salle, which is not a team that particularly likes to run or push the ball up the floor. "They're more of a slower paced team," senior co-captain Erin Ladley said. "They're not as slow as St. Joe's [to whom Penn lost on opening day], but not as fast as us." But what the Explorers may lack in speed, they make up for in grit. Its two top players are both exceptionally hard-nosed and extremely talented. Senior Shannon McDade, a 6'1" forward, is La Salle's dominant inside threat. She is leading the team in scoring with 13.8 points per game. "She's physical and she loves contact," Greenberg said of McDade. "We have to be ready for that and not back down." La Salle's other main force is senior Jen Zenszer, a 5'7" guard who has much in common with McDade. Aside from both being tri-captains, each scored her 1,000th career point in last week's Wells Fargo Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Zenszer's feat is quite remarkable, considering that she missed seven games due to a broken left hand last year. "I think she's the heart and soul of that team," said Ladley, who has been matching up with Zenszer for the past four years. "For us to win, we need to get her a little frustrated." La Salle has had astounding success against the Red and Blue in their history of head-to-head matchups, but the Quakers hope that the tide is turning. The Explorers have won 18 consecutive games against Penn -- including an 82-70 victory last year at Tom Gola Arena -- and are 24-3 lifetime versus the Quakers. The home team will just be thinking about the game at hand, though, rather than getting caught up in a web of history and unfavorable statistics. Twomey insisted that Penn isn't feeling any great anxiety in trying to capture its first win. Rather, the Quakers are confident in its chances tonight. "I don't feel any pressure to get a win," she said. "We know that we can beat this team."

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