CHARGE FOR A CURE - Join Today!
February Total: 1
Season Total: 25
ITHACA, N.Y. - Sophomore Kara Bonenberger and freshman Keiera Ray combined for 30 second-half points to propel the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team to a 65-56 victory at Cornell on Saturday night inside Newman Arena.
With Friday's win at Columbia, the Quakers won both games in the Empire State for the first time since 2005. It marked Penn's second straight Ivy League road sweep dating back to last season's sweep at Brown and Yale. Penn, which also won in Ithaca for the first time in four years, improved to 9-8 overall and 2-1 in Ivy League play.
The Quakers got off to a slow start as Cornell (10-8, 2-2 Ivy) got out to an 11-3 lead over the first five minutes. But Katy Allen, Brianna Bradford and Bonenberger combined for the game's next seven points and had Penn within 11-10 just two minutes later.
Cornell built its lead back to six, 18-12, but a layup from Bradford and four straight points from junior Courtney Wilson tied the game at 18-18. However, the Quakers went more than seven minutes without a field goal until freshman Rayne Connell pulled down a defensive rebound, sprinted the ball past halfcourt and then launched a running three that banked in at the halftime buzzer. With that, Penn trailed by just one, 25-24 at the break.
That's when Ray and Bonenberger took over. The duo had the first 19 points of the half for the Quakers. Over the first eight minutes of the second stanza, that tandem outscored Cornell, 19-6. Including the last five points of the first half, it was a 24-6 run for the Red and Blue - which was capped by a three from Ray for a 43-31 lead with 12:36 to play.
Five straight points from the Big Red chipped the lead down to seven, but sophomore Kathleen Roche hit a pair of free throws, Allen made a tough layup underneath the basket and junior captain Alyssa Baron drained a three for the largest lead of the game, 50-37, with 7:20 to play.
Cornell was briefly within single digits with 2:57 left, but the Quakers were never truly threatend down the stretch.
Bonenberger finished with 22 points - 15 of which came in the second half. She also had five rebounds and matched a career high with four blocks. Ray scored all 15 of her points in the final 20 minutes and added three assists, two blocks and three steals. To put their 30-point second-half performance in perspective, Penn has been held under 30 points in the second half - as a team - six times this year, including in Friday's win in New York City when the Quakers scored 25 second-half points. The duo nearly outscored Cornell by themselves in the half as the Big Red managed 31 points as a team.
Penn's leading scorer, Baron, was held to three points, but added a game-high 10 rebounds and five assists. Roche finished with nine points, five boards and a pair of assists. Allen had four points, six rebounds, three assists and two thefts.
Penn shot just 28 percent in the first half, but was better than 44 percent after the break. The Quakers finished 20-of-56 (35.7%) overall and were an impressive 20-of-24 (83.3%) from the free throw line. Cornell finished 19-of-49 (38.8%) from the field. Both teams had 14 turnovers, but Penn dominated the boards with 17 offensive rebounds and 43 overall in contrast to Cornell's 30 rebounds.
Next, Penn wraps up a five-game road swing to start the Ivy season with a trip through New England to Yale (Feb. 8) and Brown (Feb. 9) before hosting its first Ivy League games of the season in mid-Feburary against Harvard (Feb. 15) and Dartmouth (Feb. 16).