For the Penn women's basketball team, this weekend has the potential to be momentous for a number of reasons. For one, senior co-captain Diana Caramanico is just 29 points shy of becoming the Ivy League's all-time leading women scorer. Harvard's Allison Feaster, who starred for the Crimson from 1994-1998, holds the current record with 2,312 points. Feaster took home Ivy League Player of the Year honors three consecutive years. When she graduated in 1998, torch was passed to Caramanico. Penn's forward has been named league Player of the Year each of the last two seasons. Appropriately enough, Caramanico, who seems likely to win her third Ivy League Player of the Year award this year, is on pace to break Feaster's mark in Cambridge on Saturday. "I think it makes it a monumental weekend," Penn coach Kelly Greenberg said. "But only after we win two games." Against Harvard and Dartmouth the first time around this season at the Palestra, Caramanico recorded 21 points in a win over the Crimson before throwing down 26 against the Big Green in an 81-75 Penn victory in overtime. The senior forward and freshly crowned Ivy League Player of the Week, though, downplayed the significance of the achievement. She said that the primary objective for her is winning. "[The record] will happen at some point," Caramanico said. Caramanico's fellow captain, senior Erin Ladley, is also on the verge of making history. Heading into Friday's matchup with Dartmouth, Ladley is just 24 points shy of reaching the 1,000-point plateau in her Penn career. "I try not to think about it, but it's in the back of my mind," Ladley said. * The magic number right now is three. Any combination of Penn victories and Harvard losses adding up to three will give the Quakers their first-ever conference championship. And this means that two Penn wins this weekend against Harvard and Dartmouth would clinch the league title and an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. The Red and Blue (17-5, 9-0 Ivy League) are off to their best Ivy League start in team history, and presently sit three games up on second-place Harvard (9-12, 6-3) with just five games remaining for each club. "It's getting to the point where I can't even concentrate on schoolwork," Caramanico said. "It would just be a relief and a really thrilling thing [to clinch this weekend]." Still, though, the Quakers do not want to get ahead of themselves. Last season, defending Ivy League champion Dartmouth played a spirited contest against Penn up in Hanover, N.H. "Last year when we went up there, they beat us soundly," said Greenberg, who added that winning both games this weekend in two difficult places to play is not absolutely imperative. "I think it's more important to go into Dartmouth and Harvard with poise and confidence and to play well." * When Penn got together with the pair of New England Ivies two weekends ago, not only were the games close and hotly contested, but they became a little chippy at times, particularly against Dartmouth. The Big Green's rugged style may have raised a couple of Quakers player's eyebrows, and Penn will be prepared for another tough fight on Friday. "I think it's going to be the same kind of game," Ladley said. "It's going to be physical." Greenberg, though, is not adverse to playing under these type of conditions. "I think the Dartmouth game is going to be a tough one," she said. "But we want that. I'm hoping the girls really rise to the occasion."Comments powered by Disqus
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