February Total: 6
Season Total: 31
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Time and again the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team fought its way back into the game. However, a wild scoring affair with 10 lead changes - which all came in a span of 3:28 - was won by Harvard, 66-52, at Lavietes Pavilion Friday night.
The Quakers (8-12, 1-5 Ivy) dug themselves out of several early holes and trailed by just one at the half. The teams then swapped the lead 10 different times in the first 3:28 of the second half, but Harvard (13-8, 5-1 Ivy) fought off Penn the rest of the way.
Harvard was quick out of the gate, and on several occasions in the first half, it looked as if they would run away with the game. Over the first 13 minutes, the Crimson connected on more than 61 percent of their shots.
An early 6-4 Crimson lead quickly turned into a 15-6 advantage for the home team. But sophomores Alyssa Baron and Meghan McCullough each nailed a three and five more points from Baron tied the game at 17-17 with 11:32 left in the first half.
Harvard then scored nine in a row and led 26-17. With 5:33 until the half, the Crimson were up 28-20 with total momentum. But Penn stole it.
Baron, who scored all 18 of her points in the first half, and freshman Kara Bonenberger scored on back-to-back possessions to start a 9-2 run for Penn. It was capped by Baron's buzzer-beating three-pointer that sent the Quakers sprinting into the locker room down by just one, 30-29.
A wild start to the second half ensued. The teams alternated baskets - and a one-point lead - throughout the first four minutes. At one point, the lead changed hands on seven consecutive possessions.
Harvard finished the scoring barrage with the last lead change of the game, 42-41. The Crimson edge was 46-43 when they rattled off six straight to go up nine with 12:43 to go.
The teams shared baskets for the next five minutes, but another quick 6-0 run from Harvard put Penn's deficit at 60-48 with just 5:40 remaining. This final deficit was too much to overcome.
Senior Jess Knapp, who made her first start since tearing her ACL and MCL on Dec. 30, had a team-high five rebounds in addition to four points and two assists. Baron also added five rebounds. Bonenberger finished with 10 points and four rebounds. Freshman Jackie Kates recorded a game-high and career-high five assists, while freshman Katy Allen contributed nine points and two rebounds in her 10th straight start.
Harvard shot 44.1 percent (26-of-59) from the floor, but was just 5-of-19 (26.5%) against the seventh-best three-point defense in the nation. Penn was 21-of-54 (38.9%) from the field and 7-of-20 (35.0%) from beyond the arc. Harvard, which turned it over just 10 times to Penn's 15, had a slight edge in rebounding, 35-32.
In less than 24 hours, the Quakers will tip off with Dartmouth at Leede Arena in Hanover, N.H. Tip is set for 7 p.m.