Philadelphia - Penn women's basketball mounted an 18-point lead in the second and half and withstood yet another Cornell charge to defeat the Big Red, 65-54, at The Palestra on Friday night. Karen Habrukowich scored 22 points and Jennifer Fleischer recorded her 10th double-double of the season to aid the Quakers totheir14th winof the season.
Penn (14-10, 7-4 Ivy) built a nine-point halftime lead to 16 points, 41-25, on a Habrukowich field goal at the 16:59 mark. The lead would balloon to 18 points, 44-26, when Fleischer nailed one of twofree throws at the 16:29 mark. Cornell (2-22, 0-11 Ivy) knocked the Red and Blue's lead down to 12 when Megan Hughes hit a pair of free throws. Gretchen Gregg sparked therun withthreeof her team leading 14 points during the burst. She also finished with boards for a double-double.
Penn forced the lead back to 18, 57-39, on a Lauren Pears steal and lay up but it would be the last field goal the Quakers would hit for the next five minutes, 17 seconds. Gregg nailed a three-pointer at the 6:14 mark to pull Cornell within nine, 57-48. It was the first time the Cornell had been within 10 points since Penn led 32-25 early in the second half. Fleischer stopped the scoring drought with a put back at 3:39 to put the finishing touches on her 15-point, 16-rebound night. Lindsay Krasna put Cornell five down with 2:14 remaining but it would be the closest her team would get as Penn hit 6-of-7 free throws during the final 1:20 of the game. Joey Rhoads, who also finished in double figures with 11 points off the bench, hit both free throws to start the parade to the free-throw line.
Amanda Kammes paced Penn to a 32-23 halftime lead, hitting 4-of-5 shots for eight points. She scored Penn's first six points of the game, canning three-straight jumpers.
Penn and the Class of 2005 close out the home season in The Palestra against Columbia tomorrow night at 7 p.m. A ceremony honoring the seniors will take place prior to tip off.
Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications