Women's Basketball Takes Down Yale, 61-58
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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - For the second straight night, a young University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team pulled out an Ivy road win in the final minute. The Quakers recorded their first Ivy road weekend sweep in five years with a dramatic 61-58 win over Yale at Lee Amphitheater Saturday night.
Penn's 13 wins this season are the most since 2004-05. The Quakers (13-14, 6-7 Ivy) won for the fourth time in five games and are 5-2 in their last seven. It was Senior Night for Yale (16-12, 8-6 Ivy) and the Bulldogs needed to win to have a chance at the WNIT. But Penn ended Yale's season with its first win at Lee Amphitheater since 2008.
Just 24 hours earlier, the Quakers outlasted Brown in Providence, 72-66. It marked Penn's first Ivy road sweep since defeating Yale and Brown in 2007. But it marked the first time since 1991 that the Quakers swept this version of the Yale-Brown trip (Brown on Friday and Yale on Saturday).
Against Brown, Penn trailed for only 19 seconds. On Saturday, Yale held a 4-3 lead for all of 36 seconds. Penn, who led by as many as 14 in the second half, did not trail again until a 9-0 Yale run gave put the Bulldogs ahead, 58-57, with 3:10 to play.
Everything was going against the Quakers. Yale had complete momentum, Lee Amphitheater was erupting, and two Penn forwards had already fouled out.
Behind three freshmen, a sophomore and senior captain Jess Knapp, the Quakers remained unphased. Yale never scored again.
Sophomore Alyssa Baron drove the line and found the bottom of the net on a floater for a 59-58 advantage with 2:37 left.
After a defensive stop. Freshman Jackie Kates, who had a game-high 13 points, let the shot clock wind down, then beat her defender and had an open lane in front of her. She connected and the Quakers led by three with 1:45 to play.
Penn got two more stops, but the Bulldogs still had one last chance. Their three fell short with three seconds left and Knapp corralled the rebound to seal the game and the sweep.
Down 4-3, the Quakers went on a 12-2 run to open up a 15-6 lead. That stretch was kick-started by a layup from freshman Kara Bonenberger and finished by a Baron bucket at the 13:41 mark of the opening half.
Yale was within 19-15 near the midway point of the half. But the Quakers held the Bulldogs without a basket for more than four minutes. Meanwhile, Baron, senior Jourdan Banks, sophomore Meghan McCullough and junior Brianna Bradford all scored during a 9-2 run to put Penn up 28-17 with 5:16 until the half.
Yale got its deficit down to six, but a late bucket from freshman Katy Allen gave the Red and Blue a 34-26 edge at intermission.
Penn continued to build its lead behind nine different scorers for the second straight night. After a pair of baskets from sophomore Kristen Kody, the lead was 46-32 with 14:03 remaining.
The Bulldogs tried to battle back. But over the next seven minutes, the Quakers kept the lead in double digits. It was a 10-point edge, 55-45, when Yale scored 13 of the next 15 points to take its second lead of the game - which was nearly as brief as the first due to the Red and Blue's late heroics.
Bonenberger fouled out with 4:55 left. She was in foul trouble throughout the game and played just eight minutes. But she was highly effective in that time with eight points and four rebounds. Banks served as her replacement and had six points and five boards in 23 minutes before she too fouled out with 9:25 remaining.
Baron finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals in 37 minutes. Kates scored nine of her 13 in the second half and added two assists. Knapp had seven points, six rebounds and three assists.
The Quakers had 42 points in the paint to Yale's 28. Penn had 13 assists compared to just 11 turnovers. For the weekend, the Quakers had 28 assists and just 23 turnovers.
The Quakers forced 17 Yale turnovers and held the rebounding advantage, 38-33. Penn also tallied 17 second-chance points compared to just four for the home team.
Penn was 24-of-60 (40.0%) from the field. The Quakers took a season-low seven threes and made two. Yale was 22-of-50 (44.0%) overall and 5-of-15 (33.3%) from three.
Just one game remains for the Quakers in the 2011-12 campaign. Penn will visit archrival Princeton at Jadwin Gym on Tuesday night. The game will serve as the first in a doubleheader with the men. Tip off for the women is at 5 p.m., while the men's game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.