PHILADELPHIA - Junior Alyssa Baron earned Big 5 Player of the Week honors as announced by the city conference on Monday night. Last week, Baron scored her 1,000th career point in a big way as the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team topped La Salle in its Big 5 opener.
On Baron's historic night, Penn won its first Big 5 game in nearly two years. The Gulliver Prep product nearly had a double-double with 15 points and a career-high nine assists (La Salle had 10 as a team). Baron also had five rebounds, a steal, a block and just one turnover in 37 minutes of action.
Baron became the third-fastest Quaker to reach the 1,000-point mark (60 games) at an important juncture of Friday's Big 5 contest. The Explorers just completed a long comeback effort to take the lead, 46-44, with 9:03 to play. But on the next possession, Baron sunk her milestone basket with a go-ahead three-pointer that gave the Quakers momentum back. Penn never trailed again. Up 57-51 with 3:21 remaining, Baron blocked a three, was fouled in the race for the loose ball, and sunk two free throws. That all but sealed the game as the Quakers salted away the final few minutes.
Baron has now won four Big 5 Player of the Week awards in her career. She earned the honor twice as a freshman and after Penn's 2-0 start last season.
A pair of games in New York City await the Quakers - the first against St. Francis (N.Y.) on Wednesday at 7 p.m., and the next against LIU-Brooklyn on Sunday at 2 p.m.