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February Total: 10
Season Total: 32
PHILADELPHIA - For the second straight game, the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team dominated an Ivy opponent at The Palestra. Penn posted its largest victory over Cornell since 1981 and improved its winning streak to four with a 67-40 win over the Big Red on Friday night.
With their first season sweep of Cornell since 2009, the Quakers (13-9, 6-2 Ivy) matched last year's overall and Ivy win totals. Penn remained unbeaten at home against the Ivy League (3-0) and has now won six of its last seven games.
The Quakers are winning with dominance. To start this four-game win streak, Penn posted its second-largest win in the all-time series against Brown and then registered the program's most lopsided win over Dartmouth of all-time last Saturday. Tonight, Penn's 27-point win over the Big Red was its largest since defeating Cornell, 74-26, on Jan. 31, 1981.
Penn led from wire-to-wire. Junior Alyssa Baron started the scoring with a three and the Quakers built an early 11-4 lead over the first five minutes.
Both defenses dominated the next few minutes. Each team managed just one basket and Penn led 14-6 after a three from sophomore Renee Busch at the midway point of the half.
Cornell (11-11, 3-5 Ivy) was within 16-11, but Penn's bench provided a spark. Senior captain Brianna Bradford, junior Courtney Wilson and Busch - who hit her second three of the half - combined for a quick 7-0 run and a 23-11 lead with 3:57 until the break.
The lead grew to as many as 14, 27-13, on a jumper from sophomore Kathleen Roche and the Quakers held a 30-17 advantage at the intermission.
The Big Red scored the first four of the second half and were quickly back within single digits.
But Penn struck back. Leading by 10, 35-25, Penn scored 12 of the next 14 points. Sophomore Kara Bonenberger had three straight buckets and freshman Keiera Ray capped the run with a pair of free throws for a commanding 47-27 lead with 12:24 to play.
The Quakers never looked back. In fact, the lead grew. A layup from Bradford made it a 25-point game, 58-33, at the 6:28 mark. When Wilson knocked down a jumper with 3:51 left, Penn held its largest lead of the season, 64-35.
Senior captain Katie Davis added her first three points of the year to cap Penn's largest Ivy League victory under head coach Mike McLaughlin.
Baron led the Quakers with 11 points and Bonenberger was in double digits for the 11th time this year with 10 points. Baron had another complete night with eight rebounds and six assists. Bonenberger added six rebounds. Ray and Bradford each finished with nine points, while sophomore Katy Allen and Roche had six apiece. Wilson had seven points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals in 17 minutes of the bench.
Penn was 26-of-57 (45.6%) from the field, while the Big Red were 14-of-52 (26.9%), including 0-for-10 from three. Penn was 8-of-21 (38.1%) from beyond the arc. Penn won the rebounding battle, 39-32 and forced 17 turnovers. The Quakers had 20 assists which was the most since hitting that number in a win over Dartmouth on Feb. 24, 2012. Penn's bench outscored the Big Red's substitutes, 25-7.
Penn wraps up a four-game homestand Saturday night against Columbia. Tip off from The Palestra is set for 7 p.m. Prior to the game, Penn will welcome back a number of former Quakers for the annual Red vs. Blue Alumni game.