PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Long scoring droughts have been a problem all year for the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team, but they were especially prevalent and harmful Friday night at the Pizzitola Sports Center. Even with a strong defensive effort, it wasn't enough for the Quakers to save themselves as they fell to Brown, 54-42.
Penn (1-21, 0-8 Ivy) tied a season-low, shooting just 24.5 percent (13-of-53) from the floor. Brown (7-16, 4-5 Ivy) was held to just 54 points as the Quakers held the Bears under 40 percent from the field and under 20 percent from beyond the arc. Penn also forced 20 Bears turnovers, but it wasn't enough to counteract an unproductive night on the offensive end.
The game got off to a sloppy start for both teams. Penn turned the ball over on its first two possessions and Brown had three turnovers in its first four trips.
But the teams settled in. Brown scored first only to see sophomore Caroline Nicholson hit two threes in just over the span of a minute for a 6-2 Penn lead at the first media timeout. Despite a five-minute scoring drought that was broken up by a Kim Adams three-pointer, the Quakers maintained their lead for the next eight minutes.
Brown capitalized on Penn's next scoring slump. A free throw by Adams at the 9:32 mark gave Penn a 12-10 advantage, but the Quakers then went five minutes without a point and Brown took a 17-12 lead. It was 19-14 a short while later, but senior Amy Donovan drained a three and on the next possession, junior Jerin Smith bullied her way under the basket for a lay up to tie the game. However, Brown scored six straight for its largest advantage of the half, 25-19 with 20 seconds left until intermission. On Penn's final possession, Adams hit a baseline jumper to send the Quakers into the locker room down four.
Nearly six minutes into the second half, the Quakers had made just one basket from the field. The defense kept them in it. Despite that streak, Penn trailed just 30-24.
Slover finally got Penn back on the board with a driving lay up to close the deficit to 30-26. But it didn't break the Red and Blue out of their offensive funk. In fact, it got worse. Penn suffered its longest drought of the day, going scoreless for the next 5:54. Brown went on an 11-0 run and held a 41-26 edge with 8:19 to go. That's when sophomore Sara Ely hit two free throws, but it would be another minute before Penn made its first field goal in nearly seven minutes. At that point, the double-digit deficit - which grew to as many as 16 - was too much to overcome on this night and Penn was never again within single digits.
Adams led the team with 14 points and had five rebounds, an assist and a block. Donovan was second on the team with seven points and had a team-high and career-high seven rebounds in just 13 minutes of play. Nicholson also finished with seven points and grabbed two boards. Sophomore Jess Knapp and Smith each added five rebounds and Bucar led the team with three assists.
Six of Penn's 13 baskets were from three. The Quakers were outrebounded 46-35 and turned the ball over 23 times. One offensive positive from the game was Penn's 10-of-13 shooting from the free throw line, marking the third-straight game the Red and Blue have shot better than 75 percent from the charity stripe.
Penn plays at Yale tomorrow night. The teams tip off at 7 p.m. in New Haven.