PHILADELPHIA – Fueled by a 27-point second quarter, the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team defeated La Salle on Monday night by a score of 78-68 at Tom Gola Arena. The Quakers extend their season-best winning streak to six games, and have now won at least 10 non-conference games for the third-consecutive year (program record).
Inside the Numbers
Kasey Chambers and Sydney Stipanovich led the way offensively for the Quakers, with Chambers pouring in a career-high 18 points. The junior point guard also pulled in eight rebounds and dished out six assists. Stipanovich was also all over the floor, tallying 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 blocks. It is her fifth double-double of the the season, and 21st for her career.
Anna Ross also reached double figures with 11 points, to go along with six assists. Lauren Whitlatch chipped in with a trio of three-pointers, while Beth Brzozowski and Michelle Nwokedi each added seven points. Nwokedi hauled in nine rebounds as well, and blocked six shots.
The Red and Blue put together their best free-throw shooting performance of the season, making 18-of-21 from the charity stripe.
How it Happened
It was a slow beginning for Penn, as the Quakers made just one of their first 11 shots from the field. The cold start resulted in an 8-4 lead for La Salle, before Chambers knocked down a three-pointer to temporarily snap Penn out of it at the 4:25 mark. That would be the final made field goal for Penn in the opening quarter, as they trailed the Explorers, 14-9.
It was a much different story in the second quarter, as Penn opened the frame with four-consecutive buckets. Freshman Ashley Russell provided a spark off the bench, making a three-pointer and finishing off a lay-up in traffic. Whitlatch drilled a pair of long balls, the second of which opened up 32-20 edge for Penn with 3:08 left in the half. Chambers and Brozozowski capped off the onslaught for Penn, each making lay-ups in the final two minutes. Penn scored a then season-best 27 points in the second quarter, making 12-of-20 (60 percent) from the field. The Quakers took a 36-26 lead into halftime.
It was more of the same for the Red and Blue to begin the second half. A Nwokedi jumper, followed by back-to-back baskets from Stipanovich lifted the Quakers to a their biggest lead of the game at 14. From there, La Salle began to battle back. Adreana Miller hit a jumper to cut the lead to seven mid-way through the third, and then after a 10-4 run, the Penn edge was just five with 40 seconds left in the third. Nwokedi halted the run with a lay-in to give Penn a seven-point lead after three.
La Salle continued to battle in the fourth, but it was the Penn offense that once again took over. After having already scored a season-best 27 points in the second quarter, the Quakers upped that in the fourth with 30 more. Stipanovich and Chambers were especially impressive, combining for 16 points. With the lead cut to just four, Chambers came up with a tough offensive rebound, followed by pair of free throws to extend the lead back to 55-49 with 6:51 remaining.
With the Explorers still clinging to life down by five, Ross drilled a three-pointer from the corner to extend the Quakers’ lead back to eight with a little over a minute left. The Quakers sealed the deal from there, making the necessary defensive stops, and clinching free throws.
The Quakers will continue their Big 5 road swing with a visit to Temple on Thursday night. Tip between Penn and the Owls is set for 7 p.m.
Download: Penn-LaSalle Box.pdf