Penn Drops Big 5 Game at Villanova

Box Score

VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Quakers were outmatched on the road Sunday afternoon by a sharp-shooting Villanova squad that drained 12 three-pointers to hand Pennits fifth-straight loss, 85-51, in a Big 5 match-up at the Pavilion.

The Wildcats (5-1, 1-0 Big 5) raced out to a 15-5 lead after senior standout Liad Suez-Karni nailed four treys in consecutive possessions in the first five minutes, sending the Quakers (1-5, 0-2 Big 5) into an earlydouble-digitdeficit for the fourth straight game.

Villanova never let its lead slip below nine points for the remainder of the half and held a 16-point advantage at the midpoint.

Penn showed a bit more fire at the start of the second half, chipping away at the lead on three-pointers by freshman Kelly Scott and junior Lauren Pears. Scott hit two free throws at the 15:53 mark to cut the deficit to seven.

But the Wildcats proved to be too much for the Quakers down the stretch, shooting 60.9 percent from the field and hitting 5-of-9 shots from beyond the arc in the second half to pull away with the victory.

Junior Ashley Gray led Penn with 11 points and five rebounds while Monica Naltner chipped in with 10 points and three boards in the loss.

Suez-Karni led all scorers with 20 points (6-10 on three-pointers) while Jenna Viani added 14 points and four assists for Villanova.

At halftime of the game, the Big 5 honored its top-25 players of all-time, as compiled by long-time Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Mel Greenberg,to commemorate the 25th anniversary of women's basketball in the Big 5. The team included two former Quakers - Penn all-time leading scorer Diana Caramanico (1998-2001); and fellow Big 5 Hall-of-Famer Kirsten Brendel (1988-91).

Penn returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 7, for another Big 5 game with crosstown rival Saint Joseph's at The Palestra. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.