HONOLULU, Hawaii – The University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team improved to 9-2 on the season with a 64-54 victory over the University of Hawaii on Sunday morning. The Quakers have now won four contests in a row, their second winning streak of at least four games this season.
Inside the Numbers
As she did earlier this week against BYU-Hawaii, Michelle Nwokedi led the way offensively for the Quakers. The sophomore forward poured in 20 points (17 in the second half), snatched 15 rebounds, and dished out a pair of assists. It is the sixth double-double this season for Nwokedi, and her fourth 20-point effort. She has grabbed at least 15 rebounds in three of her last four games.
Fellow sophomore Beth Brzozowski was also impressive, scoring a career-high 15 points off the bench. Brzozowski was especially lethal from the free-throw line, making all six of her attempts. Classmate Anna Ross also recorded 15 points, to go along with three steals.
Defensively, it was a block party for junior Sydney Stipanovich, who racked up a season-high seven swatted shots. Nwokedi joined the action with three blocks of her own. As a team, the Quakers allowed the Rainbow Wahine to shoot just 35 percent (21-of-60) from the floor, and 21 percent (3-of-14) from beyond the arc.
How it Happened
It was a slow start for both Penn and Hawaii in the opening quarter, as both teams combined for just five made baskets in the first nine minutes of the game. The Quakers started to seize momentum toward the end of the frame, with Brzozowski, Ross and Princess Aghayere all knocking down jumpers in the final minute. The Quakers ended the first quarter on an 8-2 run, and led 12-6.
Kasey Chambers drilled the Quakers’ first three-pointer of game, lifting Penn to a 19-10 lead with 7:43 left in the half. Following a quick 5-0 run by Hawaii, Brzozowski knocked down a three ball of her own, as Penn built a 22-15 lead with 5:28 left in the second quarter. The Quakers’ third long ball of the quarter, this time from Ross, provided the Red and Blue with a 27-15 advantage. Brzozowski capped off the scoring in first half, sinking a jumper with 22 seconds left to give Penn a 33-15 halftime edge.
The second half began much like the first for Penn, with the Quakers missing their first seven shots from the field. Nwokedi finally put them on the board nearly four minutes into the frame with a lay-in. Penn led 35-24. Nwokedi would go on to lead the way in the third, scoring seven more points in the frame, including a three-pointer with 52 seconds left to give Penn a 16-point lead (48-32).
The Rainbow Wahine would not go quietly in the fourth quarter, cutting Penn’s lead to just three points with 2:03 remaining. Nwokedi would score eight more points in the fourth, but it would be the Quakers’ foul shooting that allowed them to ice the victory. The Red and Blue went 12-of-14 from the charity stripe in the final frame, including 8-for-8 in the final 1:15 of the game.
The Quakers come back to the friendly confines of The Palestra on January 9 to begin Ivy-League action. Penn will take on arch-rival Princeton, as part of a men’s and women’s doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.