PHILADELPHIA - Sophomore Sydney Stipanovich's career night led the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team to a 69-63 victory over UMBC on Monday night at The Palestra.
Stipanovich finished with a career-high 29 points and pulled down 14 rebounds as Penn (5-4) won for the 10th time in its last 11 games at The Cathedral of College Basketball.
How it Happened
Senior captain Renee Busch opened the scoring with a three -- always a good sign for the Quakers, who are now 16-5 (.762) all-time when she makes a three. But the Retrievers (5-5) scored seven of the next nine to go up 7-5 after four minutes.
Penn answered with a 10-1 run. Freshman Anna Ross and senior captain Kathleen Roche each contributed an old fashioned three-point play in that stretch for a 15-8 advantage at the 13:11 mark.
A few minutes later, Stipanovich, who had recorded her 13th career double-double by halftime, had five points in a 7-0 run that gave the Red and Blue a 22-12 lead. UMBC chipped away from that deficit over the final nine minutes to get within 30-26 at the break.
Stipanovich continued her career night in the second half. After senior captain Kara Bonenbergerstarted the second-half scoring with a three-point play, Stipanovich had nine straight points to carry a 16-4 run.
Bonenberger, who nearly had a double-double of her own with eight rebounds and a season-high 14 points, capped that run with a layup at the 12:15 mark for a 46-30 lead.
Five minutes later, Penn led 51-38, but the Retrievers chipped away again and slowly closed to within six, 60-54, with 3:06 to play. In the final minute, UMBC had closed its deficit to just four, 65-61.
Freshman Anna Ross calmly hit two free throws with 36 seconds left to extend the Penn advantage, and then Stipanovich and Roche each sunk one to keep UMBC at bay.
Inside the Numbers
Stipanovich's 29 points were the most for a Penn player since Keiera Ray had 31 in a five-point win over Harvard at The Palestra on Feb. 15, 2013. Her 13th double-double (third of the season) ties her for 10th on Penn's all-time career list.
Ross led the Quakers with four assists and had five points. Freshman Michelle Nwokedi came off the bench to contribute a team-high two blocks as well as seven rebounds and three points in 11 minutes. Senior captain Katy Allen added four points, including a key three-pointer late in the second half. Busch finished with eight points in her third straight start.
Penn was 25-of-65 (38.5%) from the field, but just 3-of-12 (25.0%) from three and 16-of-27 (59.3%) from the free throw line. UMBC shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the floor and was 7-of-13 (53.8%) from the three-point arc. The Quakers held a commanding advantage on the boards at 50-33.
Penn will play host to King's College for a New Years Eve matinee at The Palestra. Tip off is set for 1 p.m.