Philadelphia - The last Ivy Leaguesquad to beat the Penn women's basketball team in 2003-04 was the first Ancient team to achieve that feat in 2004-05 as Harvard defeated the Quakers, 54-51, in another heart-stopper at The Palestra on Friday night. Monica Naltner led all scorers with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting fromthe field.Jennifer Fleischer rebounded fromearlier this week with nine points and 16 boards.
In the second half, Penn (10-7, 3-1 Ivy) used one minute and 57 seconds of clock time to build a 48-41 lead, its largest of the game, at the 7:55 mark. Cat Makarewich hit her only three-pointer of the game to spark the run and Naltner added a jumper sandwiched between a Joey Rhoads field goal and trey. Rhoads also finished in double figures for the Quakers with 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting.
From that point the Crimson (11-6, 3-1 Ivy) chipped away at the lead, holding Penn to just three points over the final eight minutes to close the game on a 13-3 run. Reka Cserny and Jessica Holsey sparked the run, each scoring in double figures, Cserny with 15 (7-of-13) and Holsey with 13 (5-of-16), but it was Cserny's strip of the ball and knocking it out of bounds off Naltner with 2.8 seconds remaining that sealed the Quakers' fate. On the inbound, Holsey was fouled, hit both free throws and Habrukowich's three-point attempt fell short as time expired.
Penn's downfall in the first half was allowing the Crimson 15 offensive rebounds, which led to 11 second-chance points. Despite this, the Red and Blue found themselves down only four points, 26-22, on the strength of Naltner's 10 first-half points (4-of-5).
The Quakers look to bounce back on Feb. 5 against Dartmouth, knowing a win at The Palestra, tip off at 7 p.m., could earn them at least a share of the Ancient Eight lead heading into next week. Tomorrow night's game can be heard live on www.pennathletics.com with Brian Seltzer delivering the play-by-play and former Quaker, Mikaelyn Austin (C'04) with analysis.
Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications