PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team is getting ready for its first full road Ivy weekend of the season as they prepare for visits to Brown on Friday and Yale on Saturday.
The Quakers are 11-5 on the season (2-1 Ivy) and winners of nine of their last ten games.
“We’ve played really well, particularly in the last six weeks,” Penn head coach Mike McLaughlin tells KYW Newsradio. “Now we’re heading into the heart of the conference schedule which is a good way to go in, first true back-to-back road trip for us in our league. Some of our players will be experiencing this for the first time, some have experienced this. It’s a good spot to be, we’re going up to play two good teams on the road and we’re prepping this week really hard and we’re ready to go.”
Freshman Eleah Parker is a big reason why Penn has been so good lately. The center leads the team in scoring (13.3 ppg) and rebounding (8.0 rpg) and she is shooting 51 percent from the field.
“She’s been tremendous,” McLaughlin says. “Her growth has been amazing to watch. She came in as a highly-recruited, talented player. She got off to a slower start than she would’ve hoped. She started right away, so we had a lot of trust and faith in her that she was going to be this player that she’s turned out to be so far. Just the progress that she has made, she’s been close to dominant the last six, seven games and I think the sky’s the limit for her. She’s made everyone around her better, she’s attracting double-teams in the post, she’s making the guards play with better space. She’s been tremendous so far.”
Up first this weekend for the Quakers will be Brown in Providence. Brown is 13-4 but just 1-3 in the Ivy League.
“Brown scores the ball as well as anyone we’ve played so far,” McLaughlin says. “They play a really up-tempo style, they get the ball out of the net and they want to get a shot off very quickly. We’re going to have to contain them.”
Before the Quakers visit New Haven on Saturday, the Bulldogs will host Princeton on Friday. Yale brings a 9-8 record (2-2 Ivy) into the weekend.
Penn and Brown will get underway on Friday at 6 p.m. The Penn/Yale game on Saturday will be a 5 p.m. tip.
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