PHILADELPHIA - Junior Sarah Bucar hit some big shots down the stretch, including the game-winner, to push the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team to a 61-58 win over Navy Friday afternoon from The Palestra. After suffering three losses in the final minute earlier this season, Penn earned its first win of the season, improving to 1-6, while the Midshipmen dropped to 4-6.
With the sun shining into the historic arena during the matinee matchup, Navy nearly ran away with the game early on, but it was Bucar and the Quakers who struck the final blows.
Penn led by as many as nine and held a55-49 advantage at the final media timeout, but Navy chipped away at the lead and tiedthe game at 58-58 in the final minute.
Bucar took control from there, going coast-to-coast for the go-ahead and eventual game-winning layup with 21 seconds left in the game. Navy's chance to tie ended when Bucar dove on the floor for the rebound with four seconds left.
Early on, the Midshipmen were in control, scoring 10 of the game's first 11 points. They held a 16-6 advantage at the 8:36 mark before Penn made its run. The Quakers outscored Navy 16-5 the rest of the half. Senior Carrie Biemer and freshman Sara Ely each had threes during that stretch to bring the Quakers back within striking distance.
Down three with just under two minutes remaining in the first, senior forward Katarina Lackner made two consecutive buckets - the second of which danced around the rim as the buzzer sounded. When it finally dropped, Penn had the one-point edge going into the half, 22-21.
The lead changed hands for much of the early part of the second half, but with Penn leading by one with 9:01 left, senior Carrie Biemer hit a three and two baskets from Bucar capped an 8-0 run that gave Penn a 48-39 lead at the seven minute mark. The lead was slowly trimmed, but the Quakers - having experienced those last-minute defeats earlier this season - overcame the adversity to hold on for the win.
Bucar scored all 16 of her points in the second half, including three three-pointers. Biemer, who made all three of her three-point attempts in the game, added 16 of her 23 points in the final half. It was the second straight game in which Biemer eclipsed the 20-point mark.
In all, Penn was 8-for-15 (53.3%) from beyond the arc. Ely, who played a season-high 22 minutes, knocked down two of her four three-point attempts and Bucar was 3-for-4 from distance.
Senior Kelly Scott had a team-high seven rebounds to go along with her four points, while Bucar and sophomore Erin Power each topped the Quakers with three assists. Penn held the Midshipmen to just 32.7 percent shooting as Navy made just 17 of its 52 shot attempts.
Penn continues its stretch of three games in five days with its final matchup in that span coming at Colgate on Sunday afternoon. The team's will meet at center court at 2 p.m.
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