PHILADELPHIA - Junior Sydney Stipanovich poured in a game-high 19 points to lead the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball to a decisive 57-34 victory over Lafayette at The Palestra on Tuesday night.
Penn improved to 2-1 this season with its second straight win by double-digits after a narrow defeat to No. 14/12 Duke in the season opener. It also marked head coach Mike McLaughlin's 496th career victory.
How it Happened
Penn's defense -- a trademark Coach McLaughlin-- flustered the Leopards from the start. Lafayette made just five of its first 22 shots, and had more turnovers (8) than made field goals (6) at the half.
Penn's offense was also effective with 10 assists on 11 first-half field goals. An early 7-0 run put the Quakers up 9-5 and that carried into a 13-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Lafayette scored first in the second stanza, but Penn responded with eight in a row, including back-to-back threes from Kasey Chambers and Beth Brzozowski for a 21-9 advantage with 5:24 left in the half.
Lafayette (0-2) briefly closed to within three at the 4:07 mark, but sophomore Michelle Nwokedi answered with four straight as Penn scored eight of the last 10 points of the half for a 29-14 lead at the break.
The Leopards made a strong push to start the second half. A quick 8-2 run closed the deficit to single digits, 31-22. However, Penn responded with a 9-1 run and the lead was back to 16, 40-24, with 3:33 remaining in the third. That edge held steady through the quarter and Penn entered the fourth with a 45-31 advantage.
Four quick points pulled the Leopards within 10 at the start of the fourth quarter. But that was as close as it got.
Inside the Numbers
Stipanovich led all scorers with a season-high 19 points and finished one rebound shy of a double-double. Nwokedi recorded her second straight double-double (10th of career) with 12 points and 10 rebounds to go along with two steals, and two blocks.
Chambers added nine points, five rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes, while sophomore Anna Ross contributed eight points, five rebounds and three assists. Brzozowski finished with six points and two assists off the bench.
Penn held Lafayette to 15 baskets and forced 17 turnovers. The Quakers outrebounded the Leopards, 38-26. Penn shot 40.4 percent (21-of-52) from the field and held the Leopards to 31.9 percent.
A long road trip awaits the Quakers. Penn travels to New Hampshire for a 1 p.m. tip off on Sunday, Nov. 22. The Red and Blue then return home to face Colorado State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. to close out the first month of the season.