PHILADELPHIA--The University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team mounted a second half comeback Sunday at The Palestra, but fell short despite holding their Big 5 rival Villanova to just nine points (all fromfree throws in the last minute)in the final 11:22 of the game. Penn’s record dropped to 2-3 while the Wildcats evened their record to 4-4.
Senior Joey Rhoads led all scorers with 21 points followed by teammate Monica Naltner who marked her third career double-double with 20 points and 12 boards. Villanova’s Lisa Karcic led her team and also inked a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards.
Penn took an early 12-7 lead with 10 from Rhoads. The teams traded baskets until 7:33 when Villanova pulled away from the 17-17 tie and closed the half with an eight-point lead.
The Quakers came out flying in the second half, dominating the paint. The Red and Blue outscored the Wildcats 18-2 from close range in the second and 26-8 in the game.
The Penn defense locked in on Villanova holding the opposition scoreless for more than 10 minutes. Jackie Adamshick hit the Wildcats’ last field goal of the game at 11:22 to extend their lead to 14 (their largest of the day).
From there Penn started to creep back and pulled within two points. Unfortunately, despite shutting down Villanova’s scoring, the Quakers were unable to find enough points of their own and resorted to fouls to stop the clock. Villanova sunk nine of 10 from the line in the last 58 seconds to ice the game.
Penn hits the road Thursday to meet Lafayette in Easton, Pa. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.