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Women's Hoops v Temple, Penn loses Credit: Megan Falls , Megan Falls

It’s a new season of sorts for the women’s basketball team.

With a 7-7 record in non-conference games, the Quakers have played neither exceedingly well nor poorly. This weekend, the team hopes all of that will change.

Starting this evening, the Quakers will embark on their annual Empire State trip, playing both Columbia and Cornell.

The Quakers (7-8, 0-1 Ivy) will be led by junior Alyssa Baron, the only Penn player averaging double-digits in scoring for the Red and Blue this season. The guard leads the team in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Her all-around dominance has been supplanted by sophomore forwards Kara Bonenberger and Kathleen Roche (who average 8.7 and 5.2 points per contest respectively), and guard Katy Allen (who averages 6.7).

Freshman Keiera Ray has also been a solid contributor at point guard, learning the position and the college tempo simultaneously.

The Quakers first head to Columbia (2-14, 0-2) hoping to reverse their fortunes after a three-game losing streak, including a 77-47 loss in their Ivy League opener at Princeton Jan. 12.

They will have a good opportunity Friday against the Lions, who have already lost two conference games to Cornell (10-6, 2-0) and are in the midst of a six-game losing streak.

Columbia senior Tyler Simpson is the only player on the roster averaging double-digit points at 10 per game, and the Quakers defense will be geared toward shutting her down.

Saturday night, Penn will face stiffer competition against Cornell.

The Big Red come into the weekend on a four-game win streak and currently hold a 10-6 record. They are undefeated in conference play after defeating Columbia on back-to-back weekends.

Cornell junior guard Allyson DiMagno and senior forward Clare Fitzpatrick, who are averaging 13.9 and 13 points respectively, will both pose a major threat to the Red and Blue.

DiMagno, who also averages 11.9 assists per game and leads the team in steals, received Ivy honors this week as co-player of the week.

The guard posted her eighth double-double of the season against Columbia last weekend, pulling down an astonishing 22 boards and netting 13 points against a weak Lions team.

The weekend will be key in moving into the Ancient Eight slate on a positive note, and it will serve as a true barometer for where the Quakers currently stand.

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