Nov. 22, 2013
#5/6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-0 / 0-0 ACC) vs. Penn Quakers (0-1 / 0-0 Ivy League)
DATE: Nov. 23, 2013
TIME: 3:00 p.m. ET
AT: Philadelphia, Pa. - The Palestra (8,722)
SERIES: ND leads 2-0
1ST MTG: ND 62-47 (12/18/81)
LAST MTG: ND 69-38 (12/2/11)
RADIO: Pulse FM (96.9/92.1) / WatchND (live) (Bob Nagle, p-b-p)
LIVE STATS: pennathletics.com
TICKETS: (215) 898-6151
No. 5/6 Fighting Irish To Face Penn Saturday At Legendary Palestra
Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw always has been fiercely proud of her Philadelphia roots, so one can only imagine the pride she will be feeling as she brings No. 5/6 Notre Dame back to her hometown on Saturday for a 3 p.m. (ET) matchup against Penn at the Quakers' historic arena, The Palestra, which opened in 1927.
The Fighting Irish (3-0) come into their road opener this weekend on the heels of a 96-46 win over Valparaiso last Saturday at Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame led from start to finish, scoring the first nine points of the game en route to its 20th consecutive win against an in-state opponent.
Sophomore guard Jewell Loyd continued her torrid start with a game-high 22 points, while freshman guard Lindsay Allen added 15 points and rookie forward Taya Reimer chipped in 13 points, six assists and four blocks.
The Notre Dame-Penn Series
Notre Dame and Penn will be meeting for the third time, and the second in three seasons. The Fighting Irish have won both prior matchups with the Quakers, earning a 62-47 victory on Dec. 18, 1981, at The Palestra in Philadephia, and more recently, claiming a 69-38 win on Dec. 2, 2011, at Purcell Pavilion.
Kayla McBride chipped in with 10 points and nine rebounds for Notre Dame, which jumped out to a 14-3 lead and pressured the Quakers into 23 turnovers, including 15 on steals.
Kara Bonenberger had nine points and seven rebounds to lead Penn. Leading scorer Alyssa Baron, who came in averaging better than 20 points, was held to seven.
Peters scored eight points and Novosel had the other six during Notre Dame's opening 14-3 run, while the Quakers made only one of their first ten shots. The Fighting Irish broke off a 14-0 run later in the first half for a 32-7 lead with 6:32 to go before halftime.
Notre Dame then opened the second half on a 16-8 run to put the game out of reach.
The Last Time Notre Dame and Penn Met At The Palestra
Mary Beth Schueth posted a double-double with game highs of 17 points and 14 rebounds as Notre Dame pulled away in the second half for a 62-47 win at Penn on Dec. 18, 1981, in the opening round of the Penn Holiday Invitational at The Palestra in Philadelphia.
The Fighting Irish also got a boost from the bench, as Carrie Bates (14 points) and Janice Crowe (11 points) scored in double figures, Bates finishing 7-of-9 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds.
Auretha Fleming was the lone Penn player to score in double figures, finishing with 14 points.
Notre Dame held a slim 28-25 lead at halftime, despite .522 from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. The Fighting Irish then clamped down on defense after the break, holding the Quakers to just 22 points on 11-of-29 (.379) shooting to secure the win.
Other Notre Dame-Penn Series Tidbits
Notre Dame vs. The Ivy League
Notre Dame will be playing an Ivy League school for just the fourth time in its 37-year history, with this being the third road game in that time.
Penn was the first Ivy League foe for the Fighting Irish back on Dec. 18, 1981 (a 62-47 Notre Dame win at The Palestra). The Quakers also are the most recent Ivy League team for the Fighting Irish, with their visit to Purcell Pavilion early in the 2011-12 season (a 69-38 Fighting Irish victory).
Between those two matchups with Penn, Notre Dame faced one other Ivy League team on Dec. 5, 1993, rallying from a six-point halftime deficit to earn a 58-54 win at Brown in the championship game of the Brown PowerBar Invitational in Providence, R.I.
Notre Dame vs. The Big Five
Notre Dame is 29-18 (.617) all-time when playing teams that are members of the Big Five, an informal association of college programs in the Philadelphia metro area that was created in 1955. The majority (29) of the 47 Fighting Irish games against the Big Five have come against Villanova, who also was a member of the BIG EAST Conference along with Notre Dame from 1995-2013.
The Fighting Irish are 11-12 (.478) all-time on the road at Big Five schools, again with the majority of those games coming at Villanova (where Notre Dame most recently posted a 59-52 victory on Feb. 5, 2013, giving head coach and West Chester, Pa., native Muffet McGraw her 700th career win).
Notre Dame collected at least 50 rebounds in each of its first two games, nabbing 54 rebounds against UNC Wilmington on Nov. 9, followed by 52 caroms against No. 19/18 Michigan State two nights later.
This marked the first time the Fighting Irish have had consecutive 50-rebound games since Dec. 12 & 22, 2001, when they did so in home wins over Western Michigan (56 rebounds) and Marquette (54 rebounds).
Notre Dame nearly made it three for three on the boards, finishing with 49 caroms in its most recent outing on Nov. 16 against Valparaiso. The last time the Fighting Irish had three consecutive 50-rebound contests was Jan. 15-29, 1992, in wins over Louisville (56) and at Butler (50), followed by a home loss to Detroit (54).
Firing Out Of The Blocks
Sophomore guard Jewell Loyd has stormed out of the gates this season, piling up 63 points in Notre Dame's first three games, wins over UNC Wilmington (19 points), No. 19/18 Michigan State (22 points) and Valparaiso (22 points).
Loyd's point production is the highest for a Fighting Irish player in the opening three contests of a season since 1998-99, when Danielle Green had 66 combined points in wins against No. 6 UCLA at home (23 points), at Butler (23) and No. 6/4 Duke at home (20).
Freshman Lindsay Allen got the call from head coach Muffet McGraw to start at point guard in Notre Dame's season opener against UNC Wilmington on Nov. 9 at Purcell Pavilion. Allen finished with 11 points in her debut game, including the team's first five points of the season.
It was the first time a Fighting Irish rookie point guard started the season opener since Nov. 26, 1994, when Mollie Peirick cracked the lineup and played 38 minutes (two points, five rebounds, three assists) in a 65-60 overtime loss at No. 25 Seton Hall.
November To Remember
Notre Dame's success during the past 19 seasons was aided by its ability to get off to a good start. To wit -- the Fighting Irish are 79-14 (.849) in November games since 1995-96 (when they joined the BIG EAST Conference).
Notre Dame also has won 16 of its last 17 games in the month of November, with the lone exception being a 94-81 loss at top-ranked Baylor on Nov. 20, 2011, in the Preseason WNIT championship game.
Notre Dame has won a school-record 22 consecutive regular season road games and 29 of its last 34 overall, including all 13 contests last year. The Fighting Irish last tasted defeat on the road in the regular season on Nov. 20, 2011, a 94-81 setback at No. 1 Baylor in the Preseason WNIT championship game.
The highlight of this current run came on Jan. 5, 2013, when Notre Dame edged No. 1 Connecticut, 73-72, in Storrs, Conn., earning its fourth all-time win over a top-ranked opponent and first-ever victory on the road.
Prior to the past two years, the school record for consecutive regular season road wins was held by Notre Dame's 2000-01 national championship team that won its first 10 road outings before a 54-53 loss at No. 11/14 Rutgers on Feb. 17, 2001.
The Fighting Irish also have won a school-record 16 consecutive conference regular season road games, with their last loss coming as part of the BIG EAST Conference on Feb. 28, 2011 (a last-second 70-69 loss at No. 12/11 DePaul).
The previous school record for consecutive regular season conference road wins was seven, set numerous times, most recently crossing between the 2001-02 and 2002-03 campaigns.
The previous Notre Dame record for consecutive regular season road victories in any conference was 15, which the Fighting Irish set from Feb. 25, 1989-Feb. 14, 1991 during their time in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (Horizon League).
Next Game: DePaul
Notre Dame returns home Tuesday to take on a familiar foe as former BIG EAST Conference rival (and 25th-ranked) DePaul pays a visit to Purcell Pavilion for a 7 p.m. (ET) non-conference matchup. The game will be streamed live on the official Fighting Irish athletics multimedia platform, WatchND.
-- Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director