PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women's basketball team led by as much as 16 points in Friday night's game against Cornell, but was defeated 67-58 at The Palestra. The Quakers fell to 4-9 on the season and 0-2 in Ivy League play. Cornell improved to 5-9 and 1-0 in Ivy action.
Penn came out fast in the first with a balanced game, scoring 22 points in the first 10 minutes while holding Cornell to a stingy six points. The first-half scoring was spread evenly between Monica Naltner, Joey Rhoads, Lauren Pears and Anca Popovici, while Pears also pulled down three defensive rebounds.
TheQuakers shot an impressive 59.1 percent in the opening frame, besting Cornell's 38.5 percent. The Quakers let the Big Red back into the game(allowing them a7-0 run in the last two minutes of the half), but held a34-27 lead going to the locker room.
In the second half Cornell picked up where it left off, taking the lead by threewith 13:42 left in the game. Penn tied the game at 49-49 with just over six minutes to play. Penn pulled within one on two other occasions after that, but could not regain the lead before time expired.
Rhoads led her team andtied for game-high honorswith 17 points in the game, and moved ahead of Katarina Poulsen on Penn's all-time scoring list with 1,036 career points.
Penn also got double-digit scoring from Nalter (12), Pears (11) and Popovici (11). It was the first game this season that Penn has had four players score in double digits, and for Popovici it was a career nightas shebested her previous high of eight points (set just two games agoat Xavier).
Naltner led on the glass, ripping six boards, followed by Pears with five.
Cornell was led by Kayleen Fitzsimmons with 17 points while two others scored in double figures for the Big Red.
Penn will return to The Palestra Saturday night to face Columbia. The Lions were defeated in their Ivy opener Friday night at Princeton, 79-73. Columbia is now 3-11 on the season (0-1 Ivy).