February Total: 13
Season Total: 49
ITHACA, N.Y. - For the second straight night, the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team dug itself a deep hole in the second half, only to dig its way out and fall in the final minute of play. On its Senior Night, an energized Cornell squad broke a tie with 47 seconds remaining and topped Penn, 57-51, Saturday at Newman Arena.
Sophomore Brianna Bradford capped a dramatic Penn comeback when she drained a three to tie the game with a 1:03 to play, but on the following inbounds, Cornell broke Penn's full-court press and hit the game-winning lay-up.
The Quakers missed a jumper on their next possession and the Big Red drained two free throws to go up four, 55-51, with 29 seconds remaining. The Red and Blue missed again and two more Cornell free throws sealed the game.
It was an ugly start for the Quakers. Nine minutes into the game, Penn (10-15, 4-7 Ivy) had just two points on 1-of-10 shooting and five turnovers.
Cornell (6-20, 3-9 Ivy) started the game with a three on its first possession. Junior Jess Knapp had Penn's first basket at the 17:32 mark, but that would be the last point for the Quakers for the next six minutes.
Bradford mercifully put an end to that stretch with a three near the midway part of the first half. That cut an nine-point Cornell lead to 11-5. The Big Red maintained that advantage throughout the first half with some hot shooting from three-point range where they started 5-for-10.
Five straight points from freshman Alyssa Baron had Penn within 22-19 with 2:02 to play in the opening half, but Cornell had the last five points to take a 27-19 lead into intermission.
Knapp and senior Caroline Nicholson started the second frame with layups and the Quakers were within four, 27-23.
The Red and Blue trailed 35-31 following a Bradford steal and lay-up, but Cornell hit back-to-back threes to start an 8-0 run that eventually gave the Big Red a 43-31 edge with 10:07 remaining.
For the second night in a row, the Quakers clawed their way back. Knapp, who finished with a season-high 15 points, had seven of them during a 9-2 spurt that had the deficit at 45-40 with 6:18 left.
The Big Red got their lead back to seven, 51-44, at the 2:26 mark. But behind a full court press, Penn scored the next seven, leading to the final minute scramble.
Baron finished with a game-high 17 points. Knapp led the Quakers with six rebounds and two blocks. Senior Erin Power had a game-high four assists. Bradford reached double figures for the eighth time this season with 10 points in 18 minutes.
Cornell hit at an 11-for-24 (45.8%) pace in the second half and were 18-for-44 (40.9%) for the game, including 7-for-19 (36.8%) from three. Penn was 20-of-57 (35.1%) from the field and just 3-of-12 (25%) from beyond the arc. The Quakers had just nine turnovers - their fewest in two seasons - compared to Cornell's 20, but the Big Red won the rebounding battle, 41-25.
Penn returns to The Palestra for the final three games of the season. The Quakers host Dartmouth on Friday, second-place Harvard on Saturday and first-place Princeton on Tuesday, March 8.