PHILADELPHIA - Senior Renee Busch came off the bench and matched a career-high with five made threes to lead all scorers and guide the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team to a 63-46 win over Dartmouth at The Palestra on Saturday night.
Penn has won five in a row and eight of the last nine to improve to 16-7 on the year and 7-2 in the Ivy League. The win also marked Penn's first season sweep of Dartmouth and Harvard since 2001, and a school record third-straight home sweep of those Ivy rivals.
How it Happened
The lead changed hands five times in the first seven minutes. Neither team led by more than two until Buschtook over. The senior captain came off the bench and scored seven straight points to give the Quakers a 17-13 advantage at the 12:49 mark.
Dartmouth scored next to get within two, but then went more than seven minutes without a basket. Four different players scored for Penn in a 9-0 run. Sophomore Sade Gibbons started it with a putback, Busch hit a three, Sydney Stipanovich scored inside and freshman Anna Ross capped it with a steal and fastbreak layup for a 26-15 lead with 6:08 left in the half.
The lead grew to 14, 34-20, when Ross hit a three with just over two minutes remaining. But Dartmouth scored seven of the last eight to close to within 35-27 at the break.
The Big Green (11-13, 2-8 Ivy) extended that run with the first four points of the second half and were quickly within 35-31. However, the Quakers responded well on their home court, where they have won nine of the last 10 against Ivy opponents.
Penn went on a 12-2 run. Once again, it was spread across four scorers. Stipanovich had the last four points to put Penn up 47-33 with 11:43 to play.
Dartmouth was within 50-38 at the 8:30 mark, but that was as close as it got. Another Penn spurt -- this time a 9-2 stretch behind five points from senior captain Katy Allen -- gave the Red and Blue an insurmountable 59-40 advantage with 2:19 to go.
Inside the Numbers
Busch finished with 17 points in 22 minutes, and added a game-high three steals. Her previous season-high was 11 points, which she matched midway through the first half. The only other time she made five threes in a game was as a freshman against Lafayette on Nov. 30, 2011.
Allen played 21 minutes off the bench and added eight points on two threes and a pair of assists. Stipanovich and freshman Michelle Nwokedi each had nine points. Stipanovich moved into third place on Penn's single-season blocks list with her 64th of the season. She holds the school record with 99 last season.
Ross finished with a career-high eight assists and added seven points.
The Quakers had 18 assists on 21 made field goals as they shot better than 50 percent in the first half and finished 21-of-49 (42.9%) for the game, including 9-of-18 from three. Dartmouth shot 34 percent (20-of-59) for the contest and was 4-of-20 (20.0%) from beyond the arc.
Penn forced 18 Dartmouth turnovers and finished with a season-high 15 steals. The Red and Blue finished with a 25-6 advantage on points off turnovers and Penn's bench outscored the Big Green reserves, 31-7.
More Fun Facts
Penn has won five straight home games over the Big Green for the first time in school history ... Penn's 16 wins ties for sixth-most in a season at Penn (third-most under head coach Mike McLaughlin) ... Penn won its 31st straight regular season game when scoring more than 60 points ... The Quakers are 40-2 over the last three seasons when shooting better than 40 percent.
Penn remains in Philadelphia for two more home games next weekend. The Quakers host Brown (Feb. 27) and Yale (Feb. 28) at The Palestra. The game against Yale will also mark Senior Day for four Penn seniors.