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March Total: 4
Season Total: 53
PHILADELPHIA - In the season finale against the two-time defending Ivy League champions, the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team got behind by double digits early and NCAA Tournament-bound Princeton cruised from there as the Quakers fell, 78-27, Tuesday afternoon at The Palestra.
Freshman Alyssa Baron had the opening bucket and Princeton was held scoreless for the first 3:20 of the game. But the Tigers dominated after that. They scored 12 points in the next two minutes and were off and running.
Penn went 10:23 between baskets, but Princeton had no such trouble scoring. When senior Caroline Nicholson knocked down a baseline jumper to put a stop to Penn's bucket-less streak, it also put a stop to a 25-1 Princeton run and the Tigers led 25-5 at the 8:21 mark of the opening half.
It only got worse. Baron had Penn's only other basket over the next four minutes and the Quakers trailed 33-8. The deficit was 27 at the half, 40-13. In their last meeting, the two teams were tied, 20-20, at halftime on Jan. 8.
Sophomore Brianna Bradford floated in the first basket of the second half for the Quakers at the 11:10 mark. But prior to that Princeton started the half on a 12-2 run.
Penn made just five field goals in the first half (18.5%) and was 1-for-9 (11.1%) from three. It was even worse in the second half as the Quakers went 3-for-35 (8.8%) from the floor. They finished 8-for-62 (12.9%) for the game, including 1-for-20 from three-point range (5.0%). Princeton was 50 percent from the floor in the game at 28-for-56. The Tigers outrebounded Penn, 56-31.
Princeton's lead grew to as many as 53, 78-25, in the final minute of the game.
Baron had a team-high 12 points and Nicholson led the Quakers with six rebounds. Freshman Meghan McCullough had two of the team's five steals. Bradford had five points off the bench.
Penn concludes the 2010-11 season at 11-17 overall and in sixth place in the Ivy League at 5-9. The nine-win improvement from last season is the largest single-season turnaround in school history. The Quakers also posted their first win over a Big 5 opponent in six years and Alyssa Baron became the first freshman since 1978-79 to win the scoring title.