Penn women’s basketball may be coming off of a loss in its last game, but there are a couple streaks coach Mike McLaughlin’s squad will be eager to continue when it takes the court against Hampton on Friday night at the Palestra.
The first? Hampton’s opponents are undefeated so far this season. The Pirates will drop anchor in Pennsylvania sporting a 0-5 record.
The second? Penn has yet to drop a game on its home floor, or come anywhere close to doing so — the Red and Blue boast an average margin of victory greater than 30 points at the Palestra.
The Quakers head into the game at 3-2, with one of their losses coming in their season opener on the road against Tennessee that was never winnable. Despite the whopping 97 points Penn allowed in that nationally televised blowout, its defense is tied with Cornell for the second-fewest points per game allowed in the Ivy League, at 55.2.
A Hampton offense scoring under 54 points per game shouldn’t pose too much of a threat for the Penn ‘D,’ and the Pirates’ defense — allowing a disastrous 74.8 points per game — could be just what McLaughlin’s team needs to find its rhythm on offense, where it has been the second-worst team in the Ancient Eight in terms of scoring.
The biggest — and perhaps only — challenge for Penn will be containing sophomore Hampton guard Malia Tate-DeFreitas , who is averaging 20 points per game as she looks to prove that her fantastic freshman campaign was no fluke.
The Quakers will be looking for increased offensive production from sophomore center Sydney Stipanovich and senior forward Kara Bonenberger , both of whom were double-digit scorers last year but have started slowly on the scoring front this season. Reigning Ivy Rookie of the Week Michelle Nwokedi comes in as the league’s most accurate shooter from beyond the arc, but the 6-foot-3 forward hasn’t gotten enough playing time to emerge as a definitive game-changer on offense.
Penn fell, 60-57, at Lafayette on Tuesday and needs a win against Hampton to avoid losing consecutive games, something it rarely did when it won the Ivy title last season.
If their first two games at the Palestra are any indication, the Red and Blue should like their chances of taking care of business on Friday against their lackluster guests.Comments powered by Disqus
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