By Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)
After a challenging start to its 2022-23 campaign, the Penn women’s basketball team built some momentum in the non-conference before a bounceback season in Ivy League play. Six straight non-conference wins trickled into a 4-0 Ivy League start and an eventual return to the Ivy League Final Four and WNIT for the first time in 2018-19.
Coming off a 17-12 (9-5 Ivy) campaign coach Mike McLaughlin has set up another slate of non-conference foes, which was announced Tuesday, he hopes can propel his squad into an even better finish this season. WIth All-Ivy League first teamer Kayla Padilla now at USC, Jordan Obi will be the one leading the charge for the Quaker when they open up Nov. 11 against Marist in the Palestra.
Penn senior forward Floor Toonders and the Quakers are headed to the West Coast again. (Photo: Owen McCue/CoBL File)
Obi, a second team All-Ivy League second teamer who averaged 12.6 ppg and 7.6 rpg, will be flanked by the likes of sophomore guard Simone Sawyer (6.8 ppg) and senior forward Floor Toonders (6.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg). After that there will be plenty of new faces competing for minutes, including Plymouth Whitemarsh product Abby Sharpe, a freshman guard.
The group will host St. Joe’s on Nov. 14 before a road trip to Siena on Nov. 19 and a trip to California for the second straight season; the Quakers went 0-2 in their visit to the Golden State. The 2023-24 California road slate includes matchups with D-III Chapman (Nov. 22), UC San Diego (Nov. 25) and San Diego State (Nov. 26). San Diego State (23-11) tied for third in the Mountain West Conference last season and exited the WNIT tournament in the first round.
Penn returns home Nov. 29 against La Salle then travels for Big East games at Marquette (Dec. 3) and at Villanova (Dec. 5) — both NCAA Tournament squads a season ago. The road trip continues at Merrimack (Dec. 8) and at Temple (Dec. 10), which will mark the final Big 5 game. Penn went 2-2 in its Big 5 matchups last season, dropping the first two to St. Joe’s (57-50) and Villanova (67-41) before responding with victories over La Salle (72-59) and Temple (62-61).
Following a 20-day layoff, the Quakers’ non-conference game concludes at home prior to the New Year with home games against Maine and D-III Gwynedd Mercy.
2023-24 Penn’s WBB Non-Conference Schedule
All game times TBD; bold games are home. Last year’s record in parenthesis
* = Big 5 Contest
Sat., Nov. 11 vs. Marist (12-18, 8-12 MAAC)
*Tues., Nov. 14 vs. Saint Joseph’s (20-11, 9-7 A-10)
Sun., Nov. 19: @ Siena (19-13, 12-8 MAAC)
Wed., Nov. 22 @ Chapman
Sat., Nov. 25 @ UC San Diego (13-17, 10-10 Big West)
Sun., Nov. 26 @ San Diego State (23-11, 12-6 Mountain West)
*Wed., Nov. 29 vs. La Salle (17-14, 8-7 Ivy)
Sun., Dec. 3 @ Marquette (21-11, 13-7 Big East)
*Tues., Dec. 5 @ Villanova (30-7, 17-3 Big East)
Fri., Dec. 8 @ Merrimack (15-16, 10-6 NEC)
*Sun., Dec. 10 @ Temple (11-18, 6-10 AAC)
Sat., Dec. 30 vs. Maine (16-14, 11-5 America East)
Sun., Dec. 31 vs. Gwynedd Mercy