When Penn women’s basketball coach Mike McLaughlin announced a trip to Hawaii for the upcoming season, he talked about providing an experience for his players during their four years at Penn.
Now he’s added a meaningful experience a little closer to home.
The Red and Blue announced a home-and-home series with Duke for the next two seasons, beginning with a Nov. 13 matchup at the Palestra. The Quakers will head to Durham for a game at Cameron Indoor Stadium — which was modeled after the historic Palestra — during the 2016-17 season.
“This is another exciting addition to our schedule,” McLaughlin said in a press release. “The Palestra and Cameron Indoor Stadium are two of the most historic arenas in college basketball, and this is sure to be an incredible experience for the players, coaches and fans of both teams.”
It has been 31 years since the Quakers and Blue Devils last played head-to-head. In their lone previous matchup, Duke hosted Penn and defeated the Red and Blue, 74-47.
The Quakers have faced top five ranked teams each of the past two seasons in November. Last season, Penn traveled to No. 4 Tennessee to open its season, a year after playing No. 5 Notre Dame at the Palestra in its second game of its banner-raising 2013-14 season.
While the Blue Devils will no doubt be the heavy favorites going into the early season duel, Penn has a little bit of recent history on its side. The Quakers are just 1-11 in its 12 games against current Atlantic Coast Conference teams, but they won their most recent game against an ACC foe, a remarkable 67-66 upset of Miami in Coral Gables on New Year’s Day in 2014.
Duke has never lost to an Ivy League opponent, winning nine games in as many opportunities. The Blue Devils last matchup with an Ivy squad was a victory over Dartmouth in 2006.
Last season, the Quakers won more than 20 games for the second consecutive season and won their first ever game in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. For the 2015-16 season, Penn will return both its leading scorer and leading rebounder in rising junior Sydney Stipanovich and rising sophomore Michelle Nwokedi as the Red and Blue try to bring the program to new heights.Comments powered by Disqus
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