Two months ago, the Penn women's basketball team opened its Ivy League season with a 66-56 loss to archrival Princeton at the Palestra.
In that Jan. 4 contest, Penn shot a dismal 27 percent from the field, its only sub-30 percent effort all season.
"It was our worst game of the year," Penn coach Kelly Greenberg said. "If there was a game I could remove and wish never existed, it would be that one."
However, the third-year coach is quick to note that it was a valuable experience for the Red and Blue.
"From that game, we learned a lot," Greenberg said. "You can't take anything for granted, you have to come out and you have to be hungry."
Tonight, those words will guide Penn (12-14, 8-5 Ivy) as the Quakers meet Princeton (10-16, 4-9) at 7:30 p.m. at Jadwin Gym in the final game of the season.
Although Harvard (22-5, 13-1) has already locked up the 2001-02 Ancient Eight crown, tonight's game can still affect the Ivy standings.
The Quakers have already clinched a two-way tie with Cornell (14-13, 8-6) for second place, but Penn is looking for more.
"We want to be in second place by ourselves, and we can control that [with a win tonight], so let's do it," Greenberg said to her team.
The Penn squad that takes the floor tonight against the Tigers will be considerably different from the one that showed up two months ago.
The old Quakers entered their match against Princeton with a 3-7 record. The new Quakers have won seven of their last nine games, including a last weekend's sweep of the Ancient Eight's New York teams.
"I think we're a hot team right now," Greenberg said. "The girls are feeling good about themselves."
Penn's shooting percentage as of late has also been remarkably better than at the beginning of the season. In the last nine games, the Quakers have shot 43 percent from the floor.
"We've definitely been shooting a lot better," Penn freshman guard Karen Habrukowich said. "In practice, we've done a lot of shooting drills and have gotten a lot more confident."
Aside from shooting well, Penn will need to play better defense than it did at the last meeting.
"We were ready for the threes, but they were just driving constantly and we weren't talking," Habrukowich said.
The Quakers have adopted a new defensive strategy to counter Princeton forwards Lauren Rigney and Kelly Schaeffer, who combined for 34 points on 14 of 23 shooting on Jan. 4.
"We're not going to let them get inside and win at their own game," Penn freshman center Katie Kilker said.
Most importantly, Greenberg is hoping her players will bring the "E and E" -- energy and enthusiasm -- she has been preaching about all season.
If confidence is an indication of that fire and passion, the Quakers should have no problem handling the Tigers tonight.
"We're just going to go in and end with a bang," Kilker said. "A couple of months ago they took it to us, but now it's our turn."Comments powered by Disqus
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