PHILADELPHIA - In front of a season-high crowd of 2,408, the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team couldn't hold off a second half surge by Drexel as the Dragons went on to a 62-52 win at The Palestra on Friday afternoon.
With the loss to its cross-city rival, Penn dropped its first game in nearly three weeks, falling to 2-7. Drexel improved to 4-4 on the year.
Penn led for much of the first half and by as many as eight points in the closing minutes of the first. It took the Quakers some time to shake off the rust of a 12-day break, but when sophomore Erin Power started the scoring for the Quakers three minutes in, Penn rattled off 10 of the game's next 12 points. Capped by another Power layup, the Quakers led 10-6 at the 13:53 mark.
Behind senior Carrie Biemer, who scored in double digits for the 22nd straight game, Penn did not trail again for the rest of the half. Biemer had 13 of her game-high 22 points in the first half as the Red and Blue shot over 54 percent from the floor in the first half. Biemer was 5-of-8, and junior Sarah Bucar was 4-of-6, while Power made good on both of her attempts.
Penn had a season-high 32 first half points - with 10 assists on 13 baskets - and took a 32-28 lead into the locker room.
However, it wasthe defensive pressure that kept the Quakers in the game in the second half as the offense fell into an extended drought. Bucar's three-pointer from the top of the key was the first basket of the half for the Quakers with 9:58 left in the game. During that time, Drexel was able to take over the lead and with the 21-1 run, they held a 45-33 advantage.
Bucar's threewas squeezed between two Biemer free throws and a layup by freshman Tyler Cumbo. Cumbo's basket came after Power and the full court press forced a steal and got the Quakers back to within five at 45-40 with 9:36 to go.
Unfazed, Drexel scored six straight and led by 11 with just over five minutes remaining. Though the Quakers chipped the lead down to six and had a chance to make it a one-possession game with 1:30 left in the game, the Dragons held on.The nation's leading scorer, Gabriela Marginean made seven of her eight free throw attempts to put the game out of reach. Prior to the late-game free throws, Penn held Marginean nearly 15 points under her season average.
In the end, theQuakers dropped their first game in regulation this month and fell for just the first time at home since Nov. 25.
The Quakers have an another 12-day break before its next game when they travel to New York, N.Y. on New Years Eve to take on St. Francis (N.Y.) at 7 p.m.
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