Telling Numbers: Penn women's basketball's opening stretch


Though Penn women's basketball may be just four games into the season (as of Monday night), there's been plenty to talk about and analyze as the team looks to repeat on its Ivy title.

The Quakers' opening loss to No. 4 Tennessee has skewed their numbers somewhat, but nevertheless, there's plenty of crazy trends inside the stats.

Without further ado, some telling numbers from Penn's first four games.

40:  Field goals allowed against the Lady Vols in the team's opener. The past three games combined? 43.

44: Points given up in the first half of their past three games combined, after allowing Tennessee to score 47. That defensive intensity has put the Quakers ahead by an average of 18.7 points at the half in their last three.

25.7%: Shooting percentage of teams other than Tennessee against the Quakers this season.

All right - you get it - the defense has been phenomenal against teams not based in Knoxville.

Coach Mike McLaughlin has always built his team around strong defensive principles and it has certainly been true this year.  In his four prior years at the helm, Penn has never finished worse than 2nd in the Ivy League in scoring defense.

How about the offensive side?

19.5: Points per game scored by the freshman class, most among any year.  Behind guards Beth Brzozowski and Anna Ross and forward Michelle Nwokedi, the Quakers have a loaded class of freshmen.  All three have found key roles in the rotation from game one.  Is there a fifth-straight Big 5 Rookie of the Year in McLaughlin's latest class? Only time will tell.

22.6: Nwokedi's per-minute scoring scaled to Sydney Stipanovich's playing time.  The freshman forward has been wildly efficient in limited minutes, putting up seven points in just three minutes against La Salle before dumping in a double-double (17 pts, 14 reb) in 20 minutes against New Hampshire.  It's clear that Nwokedi will be a key part of the rotation moving forward.

30.8: Points per game from the bench. That's more than the 30.0 put up by the starters, despite the bench players only seeing 44.5% of the overall minutes.  It's an encouraging sign to see continued offensive efficiency when the starters leave the floor.

10.0: Not a single Penn player is averaging double digit points per game, making the Quakers the only team in the Ivy League without a scorer at that level.  The Red and Blue still have work to do on the offensive end to keep up with high-scoring Princeton, but between a healthy Keiera Ray, Stipanovich, Nwokedi and senior captain Kara Bonenberger there are plenty of scoring options.

Other observations: The team's top four per-game scorers (Ray, Stipanovich, Nwokedi and Bonenberger) are all from different recruiting classes.  Every game has had a different leading scorer and a different leading rebounder.  

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