Philadelphia - Karma would not allow the Class of 2005 to finish its career at The Palestra on a sour note as senior guard Karen Habrukowich scored seven of Penn's final 11 points to push the Quakers past Columbia, 58-52, on Saturday night.
Having not led the entire game, the Red and Blue's (15-10, 8-4 Ivy) final 1:10 against the Lions (11-14, 4-8 Ivy) was something to be remembered. Trailing 52-48, Habrukowich hit her fourth three-pointer of the night to pull Penn to within one at 52-51. On the subsequent inbound pass, Habrukowich and fellow senior Cat Makarewich trapped Columbia's Lisa Copeland inthe backcourt, forcing a jump ball with the possession arrow pointing in Penn's favor. Habrukowich took little time giving Penn its first lead of the night, draining a mid-range jumper from the rightside elbow to put the Quakers on top, 53-52. The Lions were hit with a shot clock violation, forcing them to foul Habrukowich. The Newtown, Pa. native calmly hit both free throws to putPenn up 55-52 with :28 seconds remaining. Monica Naltner, who finished with seven points and seven rebounds, secured a defensive board and also hit both her free throws to put Penn up by four. Jennifer Fleischer made good on two shots from the charity stripe to givethe Quakers their winning margin.
Columbia dominated throughout the game, leading by 15 points, 26-11, at one point of thefirst half. The Lions took a 30-20 lead into the break on the strength of eight points by Megan Griffith. Griffithfinished with 10 points to join Adia Revell (11) and Susan Kern (14) in double figures forColumbia. The visiting Lionsheld a double-digit lead for thefinal time at 44-34 when Kern hit a jumper with 9:37 left in the second half. From there, Penn widdled away at the lead before finally overtaking its opponent in the final moments.
Fleischer joined Habrukowich as the junior center scored 12 points to go along with seven rebounds. Habrukowich led all scorers with 20 points on the night, shooting 4-for-8 from beyond the arc and a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. Her second trey of the game passed Mary LaMacchia of Cornell for fifth on the Ivy League all-time three-point fielg goals list.
Prior to the game the five members of '05 were honored at center court. Moments later they were able to experience something they had never been able to before tonight. All five seniors started tonight's game, marking the first time the quintet had ever shared the floor simultaneously as one unit. They played three minutes, 23 seconds together before the first substitution was called.
Penn takes its final road trip on March 4-5 when the Quakers take on Dartmouth and Harvard to close out the 2004-05 season.
Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications