Women's Basketball Dissects Dartmouth on Senior Night, 60-49

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PHILADELPHIA - On Senior Night at The Palestra, senior Caroline Nicholson notched her first career double-double as the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team kept Dartmouth at bay throughout the second half in a 60-49 win over the Big Green Saturday night.

Four Quakers scored in double digits as Nicholson finished with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. The Quakers, who knocked off the Big Green for the second time in three meetings, improved to 4-2 against the Ivy League at home this season. Penn is now 11-16 overall and 5-8 in league play. Dartmouth dropped to 7-20 on the year and 3-10 in Ivy play.

Freshman Meghan McCullough started the scoring with a three on Penn's first possession. Dartmouth scored the next six before McCullough sunk another three to tie the game three minutes into the contest.

That sparked an 11-2 Penn run. Freshman Alyssa Baron had nine points in that span - the last of which gave the Red and Blue a 17-8 lead with 13:43 remaining in the half.

The Big Green responded with a 13-4 run and tied the game at 21-21 with 6:48 left until the break. The teams alternated baskets until intermission where the Quakers held a one-point advantage, 29-28.

The first nine points of the second half went to the Quakers - seven of them from junior captain Jess Knapp, who scored in double digits for the third straight game.

Penn maintained its lead for the remainder of the contest. The Quakers never allowed the Big Green closer than seven points.

The Quakers had an answer for every Dartmouth run. The lead was down to 40-33, but Baron sunk a three. With Dartmouth within 46-39, Baron hit another three. The Big Green got their deficit to 49-42, and McCullough drained a three. Penn was 7-of-16 (43.8%) from three-point range in the game.

Baron finished with a game-high 19 points. With that effort on Senior Night, the rookie clinched the Ivy League scoring title. McCullough had 11 points and Knapp added 13. The Ivy League's leading rebounder, senior Erin Power, had seven boards. Power, McCullough and Knapp all had four assists. Seniors Jerin Smith and Power combined for five points - all from the free throw line, where Penn finished 9-for-11. Knapp tied a season-high with all four Penn blocks.

Penn outrebounded the Big Green, 41-31, which included a plethora of offensive rebounds in the final minutes as the Quakers salted the clock away. For the game, the Quakers were 22-of-61 (36.1%) from the floor, while Dartmouth went 18-for-48 (37.5%). Penn had just four second-half turnovers and held Faziah Steen to just seven points on 2-of-10 shooting in 39 minutes. Steen had 28 points and seven made threes in their last meeting. As a team, Dartmouth was 3-of-13 from three on Saturday (23.1%).

Nicholson, Power and Smith were all honored prior to the game and each started. Nicholson has now started 51 games in the last two seasons, Smith has played 90 career games in a Red and Blue uniform and Power has logged nearly 2,000 minutes as a Quaker. Together, the three seniors combined for nearly 1,000 points and 850 rebounds for the Red and Blue over the last four seasons. With a win over La Salle on Jan. 19, they claimed the program’s first Big 5 win in six years and with 10 wins this season—the most since the 2006-07 season—they are a part of the largest single-season turnaround in school history.

Penn has one game remaining in the 2010-11 campaign. The Quakers play host to Princeton, who clinched its second straight Ivy League title on Saturday night, in the first of a doubleheader with the Penn men. The women tip at 4;30 p.m., and those with a ticket to the men's game later that night receive free admission. The Penn-Princeton men will then tip at 7 p.m.

Download: 27-Dartmouth.pdf