Penn Announces Non-Conference Schedule and Incoming Freshmen for Women’s Basketball

August 21, 2023 –

The University of Pennsylvania announced their women’s basketball non-conference schedule and the recruits for the upcoming season. Let’s take a brief look at the upcoming season for coach Mike McLaughlin and the Quakers.

Non-Conference Schedule

Penn will play its four Big Five games starting with a November 14 game when they host the Saint Joseph’s Hawks. The other home city series game is on November 29 against the La Salle Explorers. The Big Five road games are at Villanova (December 5) and Temple (December 10).

There is a trip to California for the Quakers. Three players have California roots as forward Jordan Obi was born in Cupertino, CA. Also from the Golden State are guard Isabel Gomes from Newport Beach and center Ella Ray of El Dorado Hills. The three west coast games take place over Thanksgiving week against Chapman (11/22), UC San Diego (11/25), and San Diego State on November 26th.

The Division III game is scheduled for New Year’s Eve as Gwynedd Mercy again visits the Palestra.

Other home dates feature the November 11th season-opener with Marist. Maine visits West Philadelphia on December 30.

Penn takes to the road for games at Siena, Marquette of the Big East, and Merrimack.

The Ivy League schedule starts in 2024 and will be announced at a later date.

The Returnees

The Red and Blue will not have Kayla Padilla and Mandy McGurk on the floor. However, the team will have Jordan Obi returning. The forward was born in California, and went to Choate Rosemary High School in Wallingford, CT. Obi was the second leading scorer on the squad with 12.9 points per game (360 total) and led the team in rebounds with 214 (38 offensive and 176 defensive). Obi also had 55 assists and 27 steals. Forward and front court mate Floor Toonders from the Netherlands returns. The senior averaged 6.3 points per game and pulled down 211 rebounds, just behind Obi. The tandem blocked a total of 48 shots.

At the guard position sophomore Sydnei Caldwell comes back. He had 112 total points, 65 rebounds, and 22 assists. She, too, stole the ball 27 times. Fellow sophomore Simone Sawyer averaged 7.1 points per game, fourth leading on the team, and also, 27 steals. Junior Stina Almqvist pulled down 56 rebounds.

There is much offense needed to replace the numbers from Padilla and McGurk, but the front court looks solid.

Class of 2027

Coming to this Penn team are five freshman recruits.

Mataya Gayle – Guard from Woodstock, GA. wo was the team captain for the 2023 Georgia State Champion River Ridge team, and was a Player of the Year award winner named from six different organizations.

Abby Sharpe – Guard from Lafayette Hills, PA. who is a graduate of Plymouth Whitemarsh High School where she was the team captain and finished with over 1,000 career points. PW was the 2022 State Champion.

Ese Ogbevire – Guard from Katy, TX. who was the team captain on the Fulshear High School team, the 2023 state runner-up. Ogbevire finished with over 1,000 career points.

Tina Njike – Center from Salt Lake City, UT. who was the team MVP and captain for Skyline High School. She was a three-time All-State performer who posted over 1,000 points and 800 rebounds.

Tobi Ademuwagun – Forward from Houston, TX. who was the Jordan High School offensive MVP averaging 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game.

November 11 will get here before we know it.

Written By: Glenn Papazian


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