PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team won its fourth game in a row, edging Colorado State University on Tuesday night at The Palestra, 49-48. The Quakers improve to 4-1 on the season, while the Rams suffer their first defeat of the season (3-1).
Countdown to 500
Tonight's win was No. 498 for Penn Head Coach Mike McLaughlin, who boasts a 498-149 mark as a collegiate head coach (including a 91-88 record at Penn).
*Michelle Nwokedi finished with 25 points -- scoring 10 in the final 7:52 -- and also had eight rebounds on the night as well as three assists and four blocked shots.
*Sydney Stipanovich had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and also had four blocks.
How It Happened
The first quarter ended with Penn up, 17-15, before Colorado State knocked down a trio of treys to take a 24-17 lead early in the second. The Rams were content to jack up the threes in the opening period; 19 of their 41 shots came from beyond the arc. When they missed them, CSU crashed the boards to the tune of 13 offensive rebounds. It was 30-25 at halftime.
Colorado State came out hot again to start the third quarter, scoring nine of the first 11 points in the period to go up, 39-27. However, Sydney Stipanovich scored four straight points, and then a three-pointer by Beth Brzozowski got Penn within five at 39-34. CSU’s Jamie Patrick closed out the scoring in the period, hitting all three free throws after being fouled on a trey attempt. That made it 42-34 heading into the final quarter.
Penn opened the fourth quarter with seven-straight points, as Princess Aghayere and Michelle Nwokedi sandwiched a pair of old-fashioned three-point plays around a free throw by Nwokedi. The Quakers then had a chance to take the lead, but a pass was stolen and taken the other way for an easy layup to put CSU up 44-41. At that point, the Rams took a timeout.
Penn wasn’t finished. Nwokedi hit buckets from the right block on consecutive possessions to give the Quakers their first lead since the start of the second quarter. On its next possession. CSU missed two shots but got the board both times, and ultimately Ellen Nystrom hit a turnaround jumper in the lane to put the Rams in front, 46-45, with 2:51 to play.
Both teams had empty possessions, and then Anna Ross found Stipanovich under the basket for a layup to put Penn back in front with less than two minutes to play. After another step, Penn expanded its lead when Nwokedi rebounded a Stipanovich miss and was fouled on the putback. She hit both free throws to make it 49-46 Quakers with 56.5 seconds left.
Keyora Wharry quickly scored for Colorado State, and then forced a turnover at the other end with just 13.4 seconds left. However, Nystrom missed a jumper just off the foul line, and Brzozowski came down with the rebound as the buzzer sounded.
Junior Sydney Stipanovich became the program’s all-time leader in blocked shots; she had four in the game, giving her 195 for her career. Stipanovich surpassed Katarina Poulsen, who had been the leader for nearly 20 years with 194 from 1991-94.
Penn is off until December 5, when the Quakers will host Navy at The Palestra.
Download: Penn-CSU Box.pdf