PHILADELPHIA - Junior Courtney Wilson's turnaround jumper went in-and-out at the end of regulation, but her three-pointer in overtime officially sunk Bucknell as the University of Pennsylvania outlasted the Bison, 58-53, Monday night at The Palestra.
All five of Penn's contests have been decided by single digits. The Quakers (2-3) won their second straight and halted Bucknell's (5-3) five-game winning streak.
Wilson's 10-foot jumper with 1:21 left in regulation broke a 46-46 tie. Bucknell tied the game with 29 seconds left and the Quakers once again turned to Wilson. Her turnaround jumper in the lane went halfway down, but rolled out as time expired.
In the overtime session, the Quakers never trailed. Both teams managed just one field goal over the first four minutes of the extra frame, but freshman Keiera Ray, who had a team-high 13 points, had three free throws to put the Red and Blue in front, 53-50.
A pair of Bucknell free throws cut the lead to one, but that's when Wilson drained a three from the wing to put Penn up, 56-52, with just 45 seconds to play. That all but put the Bison away. The visitors made a free throw to briefly make it a one possession game, but Baron hit two free throws to seal the five-point victory.
It was a defensive battle from the start. Both teams shot just 23 percent in the first half. Penn jumped out to a 6-2 lead after Ray sunk a three at the 16:28 mark. But over the next five minutes, the Quakers only managed a layup from sophomore Katy Allen and Bucknell went up, 9-8.
That Bison lead only lasted 13 seconds as Ray hit home another three to spark an 8-2 run. When Allen sunk a triple from the top of the key, the Red and Blue were on top, 17-11, with 4:36 left in the half.
The Penn advantage grew to seven - the largest lead for either team on the night - when Wilson hit a three to go up 20-13 with 2:50 to go in the opening half. However, Bucknell scored the final four points and Penn's halftime lead was just 20-17.
A quick start to the second half had the Quakers back up by seven again, 26-19, after a pair of free throws from Allen at the 17:28 mark. But Bucknell went on a 9-0 run over the next three minutes to go up 28-26.
Bucknell held its largest lead of the night, 37-33, midway through the second half. But Penn responded with a 9-2 run - sparked by two layups from sophomore Kara Bonenberger and capped by a free throw from Ray for a 42-39 edge with 6:57 to play.
Junior Alyssa Baron, who finished with 12 points, five assists and six rebounds in 42 minutes, hit a jumper in the lane to go up 44-40. However, Penn only managed a pair of Bonenberger free throws over the next five minutes. Bucknell tied it at 46-46 before Wilson's basket gave Penn a brief lead with just over a minute remaining in regulation.
Wilson finished with a career-high six rebounds and four steals in addition to a season-high eight points. Ray added a career-high eight rebounds for the second straight game and had a career-best four assists. Bonenberger was the third Quaker in double figures with 10 points, while Allen had a season-high nine. Busch added three points and four rebounds off the bench.
Penn finished 19-of-66 (28.8%) from the floor, while Bucknell was 20-of-56 (35.7%). The Quakers held the Bison to 2-of-15 (13.3%) shooting from beyond the arc and connected on six of their 20 three-pointers (30.0%). Penn had just 12 turnovers compared to 13 assists, while forcing 21 Bucknell miscues. The Bison won the rebounding battle, 45-41.
The Quakers were 3-1 in an extra session last season and have won now four of their last five overtime games. Penn improved to 2-1 at The Palestra this year with its only loss a three-point defeat to Virginia of the ACC.
A pair of games in New York City await the Quakers - the first against St. Francis
(N.Y.) on Wednesday at 7 p.m., and the next against LIU-Brooklyn on Sunday at 2 p.m.
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