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January Total: 2
Season Total: 17
PHILADELPHIA - Junior Alyssa Baron had 28 points - the most for any Quaker this season - while sophomore Katy Allen posted her first career double-double and sophomore Kara Bonenberger added 15 points and seven boards in a fast-paced 79-73 home win over Morgan State on Tuesday at The Palestra.
Penn won for the seventh time in the last nine games to improve to 7-5 overall. Morgan State, in its first-ever visit to The Palestra, fell to 4-10 on the year.
A strange twist enabled the Quakers to pull ahead for good in the final minutes. Penn led by one, 69-68, with just under three minutes to play when Morgan State was called for a technical foul with six players on the court. Sophomore Kathleen Roche sunk both free throws, the Quakers got a stop and then Bonenberger hit a pair from the charity stripe for a five-point lead with 1:31 to play.
The Bears briefly got to within three, but Penn made 6-of-8 from the free throw line in the final minute to keep the visitors at bay.
The Quakers, who have won three of the last four at home, got off to a quick start. Freshman Keiera Ray started the game with a three-point play, Baron sunk a two and a three, and Bonenberger had a pair of free throws for a 10-2 lead within the first 3:30.
Morgan State settled in and went on a 13-4 run to gain its first lead of the game, 15-14, at the 12:16 mark of the opening half. The teams exchanged the lead several times - eight in all during the first 20 minutes - with Morgan State holding its biggest lead at 31-27 with 4:57 until the break.
But the Quakers scored 10 of the last 14 in the first frame, capped by a Baron three at the buzzer for a 39-35 edge at intermission.
It was an ugly start to the second half for the Quakers. Three turnovers and no made field goals over the first four minutes and Morgan State took a 41-39 lead.
But Baron took over. She scored 10 of the next 11 points for the Quakers to spark a 16-5 run. Freshman Rayne Connell had three points in that spurt and it was capped by two free throws from senior captain Brianna Bradford for a 55-46 lead with 11:28 to play.
The Bears clawed their way back to within two, 57-55, but the Red and Blue slowly built their lead back to nine and led 69-60 when junior Courtney Wilson sunk a baseline jumper.
Once again, Morgan State came back. An 8-0 run made it a one-point game, 69-68, with 3:16 to go, but the momentum was halted when the Bears were caught with six players on the court after a timeout.
Baron also added a team-best five assists and had six rebounds on 9-of-13 (69.2%) shooting, including 3-of-4 (75%) from three. With her 28 points, she has now reached the top 10 all-time at Penn in scoring with 1,117 career points. Bonenberger had a team-best three blocks. Allen earned her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Ray finished with nine points, four rebounds and three assists.
Penn was 23-of-54 (42.6%) from the floor, while Morgan State was 26-of-67 (37.3%). From three, the Quakers were just 3-of-12 (25%) while the Bears were 12-of-29 (41.4%), led by Bianca Jarrett's eight three's on just 13 attempts (the rest of the team was just 4-of-16 from three). Jarett finished with 32 points.
The Quakers had 18 assists on 23 baskets and just 12 turnovers. Penn also forced 13 Morgan State miscues and won the rebounding battle, 44-38.
Next up, its another doubleheader for the Penn men and women. And its the Ivy opener for both teams. Traditionally the Ivy League’s first game of the season, Penn and Princeton will matchup for a matinee at Jadwin Gym on Saturday. The women will tip off the Ivy season at 3:30 p.m., and the men will tip at 6 p.m.