PHILADELPHIA - The Quaker women's basketball team took seven-point lead into the locker room at halftime, but Harvard simply shot lights out in the second half (71.4 percent from the field) to deal Penn its sixth straight defeat, 77-65, Saturday evening at The Palestra.
Penn (3-17, 1-6 Ivy) jumped out to a 19-9 lead in the first eight minutes on the game thanks in part to three treys off the hands of junior Monica Naltner. The Quakers kept a steady lead for most of the first half and claimed an 11-point advantage, their biggest lead of the game, after Joey Rhoads hit a lay-up at the 2:41 mark.
The Crimson (8-12, 4-3 Ivy) cut the deficit to seven points after Christiana Lackner's layup with just four seconds left in the half.
Harvard played like a different team in the second stanza, almost immediately tying the game after three-pointers by Laura Robinson and Shana Franklin and a foul shot by Lindsay Hallion, who would hit another shot on the team's next possession to give the Crimson the lead. A jumper by Robinson made the score 37-33, capping off an 11-0 run in the first four minutes of the half.
Penn was plagued by 12 second half turnovers and found itself trailing by 13 with six minutes remaining in the game. The Quakers cut the deficit down to nine and then to six points after Rhoads nailed a three-pointer with 1:50 left.
But it seemed as if Harvard just couldn't miss down the stretch, as they consistently beat Penn to the basket, racking up most of their points via layups and high-percentage shots. They were also tough from the charity stripe, hitting 9-of-11 free throws to seal the victory.
The Crimson shot an astounding 71.4 percent (15-of-21) from the field and made 16-of-21 foul shots in the second half. Harvard had four players in double figures in scoring for the game, led by Franklin's 16 points.
Senior Jennifer Fleischer had another strong night on the boards for the Quakers, pulling in 15 rebounds while adding six points. Naltner led all scorers with 18 points, including 5-of-8 from three-point range. Rhoads scored 14 points and added five assists for Penn.
The Quakers return to action on Friday, Feb. 17, as they host Ivy foe Columbia at 7 p.m., at The Palestra.