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December 23, 2013

Women's Basketball Weekly Release - Week 8

Complete Women's Basketball Weekly Release in pdf format

Photo courtesy of Penn Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- For the first time of the 2013-14 season, the three teams at the top of the Ivy League women’s basketball standings remained unchanged from a week ago, as Harvard, Penn and Princeton maintained their spots in first-, second- and third-place, respectively.

Although the Crimson (8-3) stands alone in first, its lead over the Quakers (5-2) and Tigers (7-4) is merely a game. Harvard returned to action after 12 days off to defeat Hofstra, 60-41, behind junior Temi Fagbenle’s 15 points and career-best 15 rebounds, marking her 12th career double-double and League-best fifth of the season.

All Penn had to do to keep pace was come back from 19-points down to defeat Drexel, 46-44, on Alyssa Baron’s jumper with 2.1 seconds remaining. It marked the largest comeback in Quakers history and the biggest by an Ivy team since Harvard overcame a 21-point deficit against Princeton to win, 54-50 on Feb. 20, 2009. Penn is on a five-game winning streak, currently the best in the League. It marks the first non-conference five-game winning streak for the Quakers since 2000-01, when the team won seven-consecutive non-Ivy contests.

The Tigers also kept on winning, as they extended their own streak to four-straight victories with a 65-39 win over Illinois State. Three players scored in double-figures, led by senior Kristen Helmstetter’s game-high 16 points. The Redbirds shot just 20.0 percent from the field (13-of-65), marking the lowest field goal percentage for a Princeton opponent since March 8, 2011, when the Tigers held Penn to 12.9 percent from the field (8-of-62).

Dartmouth (1-9) took a trip to Chicago, taking on DePaul and Loyola (Ill.). The Big Green played hard but ultimately came up short, falling to the Blue Demons, 90-76, and the Ramblers, 56-52. Freshman Fanni Szabo averaged 18.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals in the two losses.

Columbia (2-9) ended a nine-game losing skid in decisive form, defeating Kennesaw State, 78-61. Sophomore Sara Mead set career-bests in points (18), field goals (six) and three-pointers (three) in the win. She also tallied five assists, four rebounds and a steal.

Cornell (5-5) fell at Robert Morris, 76-63, despite 19 points from senior Allyson DiMagno and 14 points from freshman Nia Marshall. The two combined to hold RMU’s Artemis Spanou to eight points and six rebounds, ending her 33-game double-double streak. Yale (5-6), meanwhile, never trailed St. Peter's en route to a 66-35 victory. It marks the Bulldogs' largest margin of victory since an 80-47 win over Baruch on Jan. 8, 2012. Senior Alex Osborn-Jones led the way with 12 points, while fellow classmate Janna Graf added 10 points and is now nine points shy of 1,000 for her career.

Six of the eight teams will be in action this week, including four that will be playing in various tournaments. Princeton will take part in the Cavalier Classic hosted by Virginia, Brown will compete in the Georgia Tech Holiday Tournament, Harvard will face off in the Fordham Holiday Classic and Dartmouth will host its annual Big Sky Classic.

The Ivy League® Digital Network will feature Lehigh at Columbia on Saturday and the first games of Dartmouth’s Big Sky Classic on Sunday. Ivy League women’s basketball will be featured on ESPN3 when Yale plays at Kansas on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

Penn freshman Sydney Stipanovich (St. Louis) posted 10 points and 12 rebounds for her second career double-double in the second half alone to help rally the Quakers from a 19-point deficit against Drexel. But her most important points and rebounds may have come with under two minutes remaining. Down by two with 1:31 to play, Stipanovich missed a jumper, grabbed her own rebound and laid it up to tie the game at 44. She then made sure Drexel didn’t get any second chances of its own, grabbing two defensive rebounds off Dragon misses, which led to senior Alyssa Baron’s gamewinning jumper with 2.1 seconds remaining.

Stipanovich finished the game with a game-high 14 points and a game- and career-high 19 rebounds, along with two blocks. It’s the most rebounds in a single game by an Ivy player this season and the most rebounds by a freshman since Penn’s Diana Caramanico tallied 19 against Princeton on Jan. 3, 1998. It’s also the most rebounds by a Quaker since Jennifer Fleisher recorded 21 against the Lions on Feb. 17, 2006.

Stipanovich is the first Quaker to be named Player and Rookie of the Week at the same time since Baron, who accomplished the feat twice in 2010-11. It’s the second-straight week Stipanovich received an Ivy League honor, as she was named Rookie of the Week on Dec. 16. She is the first Quaker to earn back-to-back Rookie of the Week accolades since Kara Bonenberger went three in a row in 2011-12.

Stipanovich's Statistics for the Week

vs. Drexel

Taylor Brown, Princeton (Fr., G – Woodstock, Ga.)
9 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 50.0 FG%, 60.0 3FG% vs. Illinois State

Allyson DiMagno, Cornell (Sr., F – Fairport, N.Y.)
19 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 62.5 FG%, 90.0 FT% at Robert Morris

Temi Fagbenle, Harvard (Jr., F – London)
15 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block vs. Hofstra

Kristen Helmstetter, Princeton (Sr., F – Bridgewater, N.J.)
16 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 62.5 FG%, 85.7 FT% vs. Illinois State

Nia Marshall, Cornell (Fr., F – Macedonia, Ohio)
14 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 57.1 FG%

Sara Mead, Columbia (So., G – Winchester, Va.)
18 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 66.7 FG%, 75.0 3FG%, 100.0 FT% at Kennesaw St.

Tori Oliver, Columbia (Fr., F – Manassas, Va.)
11 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist 1 steal, 70.0 FT% at Kennesaw St.

Alex Osborn-Jones, Yale (Sr., F – Valhalla, N.Y.)
12 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, 3 blocks, 42.9 FG%, 100.0 FT% vs. St. Peter’s

Fanni Szabo, Dartmouth (Fr., G – Budapest, Hungary)
18 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, 50.0 FG%, 42.9 3FG% at DePaul
19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 42.9 FG% at Loyola (Ill.)

Saturday, December 28
1-Princeton vs. Alabama, 12 pm
Lehigh at Columbia, 2 pm [IVY]

Sunday, December 29
1-Princeton vs. Virginia/Coppin State, TBA
2-Brown vs. Hampton, 12 pm
3-Harvard vs. Tulsa, 1 pm
Yale at Kansas, 3 pm [ESPN3]
4-La Salle at Dartmouth, 7 pm [IVY]

1-Cavalier Classic (Charlottesville, Va.)
2-Georgia Tech Christmas Invitational (Atlanta)
3-Fordham Holiday Classic (Bronx, N.Y.)
4-Blue Sky Classic (Hanover, N.H.)
IVY-Streamed on The Ivy League® Digital Network