Penn Hunts Down Bears; Beats Brown, 47-43

Box Score

Providence, R.I. -
Jennifer Fleischer's lay up with 22 seconds and Monica Naltner's two free throws with four ticks on the clock sealed Penn women's basketball's 47-43 victory over Brown at the Pizzitola Center on Saturday. Fleischer finished with 13 points and 16rebounds as the Quakers held the Bears to 29.1 percent shooting and without a field goal in the final 4:43.

Penn (9-6, 2-0 Ivy) built a seven-point lead, the largest of the game, in the second half when Karen Habrukowich scored a runner in the lane, was fouled and converted the three-point play to put the Quakers up, 36-29, at the 11:26 mark. Habrukowich finished as the game’s high scorer with 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the floor.

Brown (11-6, 3-1 Ivy) used a 9-2 run from that point to cut the lead to one point, 38-37, at the 8:17 mark. A wide-open Cat Makarewich lay up put the Red and Blue back up by three and the Quakers extended their lead back to six on a trey from Habrukowich at the 6:22 mark. It would be the final field goal Penn would hit before Fleischer’s lay up in the final minute. The Bears did not fare much better in the waning moments. Despite pulling even at 43, Brown had not scored a field goal since Holly Robertson, who led her team with 15 points (6-of-16), scored a lay up at the 4:43 mark. It would be the last time a member of the Brown team would score anything but a free throw.

Robertson tied the score at 43 with a pair of free throws with 1:39 remaining. Four possessions and one minute, 17 seconds later, Fleischer hit the lay in off glass for the lead. The junior center scored 13 points to go along with 16 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Sarah Hayes, also finishing in double figures with 10 points despite shooting 3-of-16 from the floor, missed a point-blank attempt from the paint with nine seconds left on the clock. Monica Naltner, who finished with six points, corralled the loose ball and was quickly fouled. With four seconds on the Pizzitola Sports Center clock, Naltner calmly hit both free throws to ice the victory, extend Penn’s winning streak to six and stop Brown’s at five.

Neither team could do much in the first half has Penn opened the game on a 7-2 run. Brown tied the game at the 13:14 mark. The Quakers again grabbed a five-point lead to begin the second half when Joey Rhoads stole the ball at half court and went over two defenders for the lay up to make the score 32-27 with 13:27 to go in the game.

The Quakers’ defense has clamped down on its opponents this season and the Red and Blue have stepped it up in Ivy League play, allowing just 41.5 points in two contests and holding Brown 20.5 points below its season average.

Penn will close its 42-day road trip at Jadwin Gymnasium when it takes on Princeton on Feb. 1. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be heard live on www.pennathletics.com and XPN – 88.5 FM.

Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications