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March Total: 4
Season Total: 42
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - At the 18:49 mark of the first half, after trailing for all of 19 seconds, the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team regained the lead and never relinquished it. But it was a complete battle at the Pizzitola Sports Center and the Quakers earned every bit of a tough road win over Brown, 72-66, Friday night.
Penn (12-14, 5-7 Ivy) eclipsed its overall win total from a year ago and matched its Ivy win mark. The Quakers, who won for the third time in four games and are 4-2 in their last six, have improved their record in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2002-03 and 2003-04.
It was a game where neither team deserved to lose. Both teams played well throughout a high-paced affair. But it was the Quakers that made clutch play after clutch play to hold off a determined Brown team in its final homestand.
Penn never led by more than eight in the second half. Brown missed the go-ahead three with 38 seconds left. Sophomore Alyssa Baron then went to the line for a 1-and-1 and calmly hit both free throws.
A layup by the Bears with 12 seconds left closed the gap to 68-66, but senior Jess Knapp also hit both of her free throws. Baron then stole the ensuing inbounds pass and the Quakers left Providence with a victory for the second straight year.
Both teams were at the top of their games. Penn was nearly 50 percent (21-of-44) from the floor, while Brown was almost as good at 20-of-46 (43.5%). At one point, the Bears were 7-of-9 from three-point range and finished 8-of-15 (53.3%). The Quakers were 24-of-28 (85.7%) from the free throw line. Brown was nearly the same at 18-of-22 (81.8%).
Baron finished with a game-high 23 points to mark her fourth straight game with more than 20. Knapp had nine points and led the team in rebounding for the sixth time in the last seven games with six on the night.
It was entertaining from the start. Freshman Katy Allen opened the game with a deuce. Brown hit a three and led 3-2. Allen immediately responded with a three and the home team would never lead again. When freshman Jackie Kates drained a three, it was a 10-7 less than three minutes in.
Brown hit a three to close to within 14-12 at the 12:46 mark. But Penn held the Bears without a field goal for the next eight minutes. In that same time, six different Quakers scored to put Penn up 11.
Freshman Renee Busch hit a three, junior Brianna Bradford hit two free throws, freshman Kara Bonenberger hit a jumper, senior Jourdan Banks made two free throws, Kates sunk another jump shot and Baron finished the run with four straight points for a 30-19 lead.
It was a nine-point game with 90 seconds left in the half, but Brown scored the last three to make it a six-point game at the break, 34-28.
The Bears came out firing in the second half, but the Quakers matched the intensity and maintained their lead. The teams shared buckets nearly every possession until a quick 5-0 run from the Bears tied it at 46-46 with 12:32 to play.
But the Red and Blue responded by scoring on three straight possessions. Baron's layup capped a 7-0 run for a 53-46 advantage at the midway point of the half.
Brown tried to make a run, but Penn answered every bucket. It was a six-point lead, 66-60, with just 1:51 remaining.
A steal and fastbreak layup pulled Brown within two with 53 seconds to play. Penn then turned it over against the full court press and the Bears took a three to take the lead. They missed, but got the offensive rebound.
So the Quakers stopped them again. They forced a turnover and clinched the road win with the clutch free throws.
Bonenberger finished with eight points and a team-best three assists. Nine different Quakers had an assist and Penn had 15 on 21 baskets compared to just 12 turnovers. Meanwhile, the Quakers scored 15 points off of 16 Brown turnovers. Brown did win the battle of the boards, 31-23.
Allen finished with nine points. Baron added five rebounds, two steals and two assists on 6-of-14 shooting. She was also 11-for-12 from the free throw line. Sophomore Meghan McCullough hit two threes and had seven points off the bench. Busch also had seven points as a substitute.
Next up for the Quakers is a rematch with Yale. The Red and Blue make their annual appearance at Lee Amphitheater on Saturday at 7 p.m. Penn led the Bulldogs at the half in the first meeting this season, but Yale pulled out the win at The Palestra.