Women's Basketball Holds On to Top Army, 70-60

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Box Score

PHILADELPHIA - Three Quakers scored in double figures as the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team rallied from 10 down in the first half and held on down the stretch to top Army, 70-60, at The Palestra Saturday night. Penn is off to the best seven-game start in program history.

The Quakers improved to 5-2 on the year to continue the best start in school history. The Red and Blue are also 4-0 at home for the first time since the 2003-04 Ivy championship season. Army fell to 6-5.

Freshman Kara Bonenberger had a game-high and career-high 21 points, sophomore Alyssa Baron added 20 and senior Jess Knapp finished one rebound shy of her fourth career double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.

Army scored the first four. But Knapp hit a three, Baron had a steal and layup, and senior Jourdan Banks converted a fastbreak layup for a 7-6 lead at the 16:23 mark.

The Black Knights were in control for about the next 12 minutes and methodically build a 10-point lead.

But Penn fought back. The Quakers outplayed the Black Knights over the last four minutes of the half and outscored them, 13-5 in that span. Bonenberger had the last four points and it was just a two-point game at intermission, 31-29.

The momentum continued into the second stanza. Penn scored the first five points and nine of the first 11 in the second half. Sophomore Meghan McCullough buried a three from the top of the key to give the Quakers a 34-31 edge.

It was a two-point lead, 42-40, at the 14-minute mark, but Penn held Army without a field goal for nearly eight minutes and went on a 13-2 run. Baron had seven points and freshman Jackie Kates swished home a three as the shot clock expired during that stretch.

Between the four-minute mark of the first half and 6:26-mark of the second half, the Quakers outscored Army, 39-16, for a 55-42 advantage.

But the Black Knights didn't go away. The lead was 62-50 with just 3:32 remaining, but Army's full court press helped whittle that to 64-58 with 1:42 left. Then just 24 seconds later, it was a four-point game.

A young group of Quakers remained poised. Two freshmen, Kates and Bonenberger, each calmly sank a pair of free throws and the lead was back to eight with 1:01 left. After a defensive stop, the Quakers had sealed their fifth win in seven games.

Nine different Quakers found the scoring column. Kates had six points and a career-high three assists and three steals off the bench. Bonenberger added seven rebounds and was 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Baron had six rebounds as she and freshman Katy Allen added a team-high two blocks apiece. Bonenberger and freshman Renee Busch, who ahd four points and four rebounds, each had a team-best four assists.

Penn had 16 assists on its 23 baskets in comparison to just 12 turnovers. The Quakers were 23-of-45 (43.4%) from the floor. Army was better than 41 percent from the field in the first half, but shot just 28.1 percent (9-of-32) in the second half to finish just under 34 percent on the night. The Black Knights had 17 turnovers, nine of which were steals by the Quakers, and held the rebounding edge, 40-34.

With finals week coming up at Penn, the Quakers won't play again until Thursday, Dec. 22. It will be a Palestra matinee with a noon start against 33rd Street rival Drexel.

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