Penn Battles Buckeyes to the End; Falls to No. 6 Ohio State, 70-57

Box Score

Philadelphia - The Quakers took the No. 6-ranked team in the country to the limit in a 70-57 loss to The Ohio State University at The Palestra on Monday afternoon. Karen Habrukowich led the Red and Blue with 19 points as she and Jennifer Fleischer both finished in double figures for Penn. The Quakers outscored the Buckeyes, 37-32, in the second half as Penn trimmed an18-point halftime deficit to eight before falling by 13 points.

Penn (3-6) began the game by taking a 9-4 lead at the 14:36 mark of the first half. Habrukowich scored seven of her team-high 19 points during the three and a half-minute spurt. Ohio State (9-1) regrouped and went on a 22-5, which lasted 12 minutes, six seconds, to take a 36-14 lead with 1:52 remaining before the break. The Buckeyes used their presence down low to build their lead as Jessica Davenport scored 10 of her 18 points in the opening frame. Ohio State outscored Penn, 20-8 in the first half. Brandie Hoskins led all scorers with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor.

The Quakers ended the first half and began the second on a 10-2 run to cut the Buckeye's lead to 38-24 after 1:07 had ticked off the clock in the second half. Ohio State hit its first field of the half on a Marscilla Packer three pointer. Ohio State's lead ballooned to 19, 59-40, on a Tamarah Riley lay up with 5:28 remaining in regulation and that is when the Quakers heated up.

Penn embarked on an 11-0 run on four free throws and a jumper from Joey Rhoads, two free throws from Lauren Pears and a trey from Habrukowich. Rhoads finished with eight points to lead Penn off the bench. The Red and Blue cut the lead to 59-51 with 4:03 left on the clock and would knock the deficit down under 10 points again at 62-53 on a Katie Kilker lay up but would get no closer.

Fleischer led Penn on the boards with nine rebounds, while also scoring 14. Penn outscored the Buckeyes by five in the second half and had the opportunity to score with the clock stopped as the Quakers went to the free-throw line 17 more times than Ohio State (31-14). The Red and Blue gave up 94 points in their last meeting with the Big Ten powerhouse andlowered the Buckeyes'offensive production by 25.5 percent.

Penn faces Drexel in the final game of the 2004 calendar year. The Dragons come intoThe Palestra on Dec. 23 with tip off at 1 p.m.