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November Total: 5
Season Total: 5
West Point, N.Y. - A pair of scoring droughts, one early in the first half and the other late in the second, spelled defeat for Penn on Sunday afternoon at Army's Christl Arena. Despite a career-high 21 points from freshman Keiera Ray, the Black Knights limited the Quakers to 31 percent shooting (18-57) from the floor and downed Penn, 58-53. Alyssa Baron was the other Quaker to reach double figures, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Both teams struggled to find the range in the early going and it was nearly two and a half minutes into the contest before Courtney Wilson put Penn out in front with a baseline jumper to open the scoring. That would prove to be the last Quaker field goal for over seven minutes, in which time the Black Knights had opened up a 10-3 advantage. Kathleen Roche awakened the Red and Blue offense and Keiera Ray followed with a driving bucket to cut it to 10-7 with 9:36 until intermission.
Behind the strong interior play of Olivia Schretzman, Army ran off an 11-3 stretch over the next six minutes, putting the Quakers into a 21-10 hole as the game reached the under-four media timeout. Two free throws out of that break in the action from Alyssa Baron gave her her first points of the afternoon and sparked a 12-2 response that would pull the momentum back in Penn's favor heading into the locker room. Baron scored seven points in the final four minutes of play, including a fallaway bank shot with one second on the game clock to bring the Quakers within a point at halftime, 23-22.
A Roche trey was the first dent in the scoring column in the second half and gave Penn its first lead since 2-1 in the opening minutes. A triple from Ray moments later made the score 28-26 in favor of Mike McLaughlin's crew. Ray's shot began a run of play where both offenses caught fire and the lead swung back and forth on nearly every possession. Another Ray make from deep gave the Quakers what proved to be their final lead of the afternoon at 37-35. The next time down the floor, Army's Liz Benedict answered with a three to give the Black Knights the edge once again at 38-37, and opened an 8-0 run that lasted over four minutes.
The Quakers had one last run in them, slicing what had been a nine-point deficit down to three in the final minute. Five straight points from Ray - a three and a driving layup - were followed by a Kara Bonenberger triple and a free throw from Rayne Connell that made it 54-51. Army broke Penn's press on the next possession and cashed in a wide open layup but Ray rushed up court and was hacked in the lane, knocking in both free throws to once again make it a one possession contest at 56-53.
Army's Kelsey Minato was fouled by Connell on the subsequent inbounds play and went to the charity stripe with less than 17 seconds remaining. The freshman missed the front end of the one-and-one but as Penn pushed the ball upcourt looking to cut the lead to one or tie, Minato trailed the play and poked the ball out of the hands of Ray with nine seconds left on the clock, then grabbed the loose ball and was fouled. Given a second chance at the line, Minato knocked in both and the Quakers couldn't get a good look on the other end.
Behind Ray's 21-point effort, the Red and Blue enjoyed a 26-6 edge in bench points. Army was led by Schretzman, who had 18 points and eight boards.
Penn (0-3) won't take the court again until after Thanksgiving when they meet La Salle in the team's first Big 5 matchup of the season. The Quakers and Explorers will get together at The Palestra on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.
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