Women's Basketball Posts 61-55 Win over Cornell for Weekend Sweep

Penn vs. Cornell Box Score (PDF)

ITHACA, N.Y. –
The University of Pennsylvania (14-6, 7-0) finished the weekend sweep with a 61-55 victory over Cornell (12-9, 3-5) on Saturday night in Ithaca, N.Y. With the win, the Quakers moved to 7-0 in the Ancient Eight and boosted their conference win streak to 11 games.

The matchup marked the halfway point in the conference season and Penn holds a two-game advantage over their nearest competitors for second place.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Quakers were superb on the defensive end for the second straight night and outrebounded their opponents by a 40-25 margin. Penn also held a 43.4% (23-of-53) advantage from the field compared to the 39.2% shooting (20-of-51) of their opponents.

Anna Ross, in a game in front of her hometown crowd, led the Red and Blue with 15 points, three assists and three steals while Sydney Stipanovich tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Princess Aghayere was also in double-digits for the second straight evening with 12 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The hosts jumped out to a 5-0 lead to start the contest, but the Quakers countered with a 10-2 run to put themselves ahead 10-7 by the first media timeout with 4:47 on the clock. Despite the lead, Cornell kept themselves in the contest with hot shooting and made the most of the Quaker turnovers. By the end of the frame, the Big Red built a 15-14 edge led by Megan LeDuc’s six points.

Cornell picked up the pace in the second and pushed the transition game. Penn kept up with the speed and coupled with post play from Aghayere and outside shooting from Ross the Quakers were within striking distance. With 3:23 on the clock, a Phoebe Sterba lay-up and a jumper from Aghayere tied the game at 26-all, but the back-and-forth affair featured two additional tie scores at 28-28 and 30-30 before Penn took a 34-30 lead at intermission.

The Quakers pulled ahead 38-30 by the 8:07 tick in the third quarter as the teams broke from the locker rooms, but a 10-4 run by Cornell cut the advantage down to just four at 44-40 with less than two minutes to play in the stanza. A Ross trey and frontcourt additions from Michelle Nwokedi, Aghayere and Stipanovich turned the momentum back in favor of Penn as the Quakers took a 51-42 lead into the final frame.

Penn never trailed the remainder of the contest and pulled ahead by 11--their biggest lead of the game-- at 53-42 with just over six minutes left. A nearly five minute scoring drought hampered the Red and Blue late, and Cornell’s LeDuc gave the Big Red life with 47 seconds left to make it a two possession game. The run wouldn’t be enough to overcome the Quaker lead and strong defense by Kasey Chambers in the final minutes forced a Cornell turnover to seal the Penn victory.

UP NEXT
The Quakers continue their Ivy League schedule with another away weekend on tap, traveling to Brown and Yale on Friday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, Feb. 18.

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