Women's Basketball Lets Harvard Slip By, 56-48

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PHILADELPHIA - For the third consecutive meeting, the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team let a late lead slip against Harvard. The Quakers led the entire game, but Harvard took the lead with 3:50 to go and finished the game on a 15-3 run Friday night at The Palestra.

The Quakers (10-16, 4-8 Ivy) were scorching hot at the start as they sunk six of their first eight shots. The Red and Blue scored the game's first seven points and 12 of the first 14. Senior Erin Power hit a lay-up, junior Jess Knapp made a mid-range jumper and freshman Meghan McCullough drained a three from the top of the key. Following Harvard's first basket, freshman Alyssa Baron hit a three, senior Caroline Nicholson knocked down a baseline jumper and Knapp made a corner three for a 15-4 lead less than five minutes into the contest.

Eleven minutes into the contest, the Quakers had held the highest scoring team in the Ivy League to just 10 points and remained in front by 11. At one point, Harvard made just one field goal over an 11-minute span.

Harvard (17-9, 9-3 Ivy) was never closer than eight, and that was the halftime margin after a Crimson three in the final minute brought the Penn advantage down to 30-22 at the break.

The second half was a credit to the Crimson defense. Ranked last in the league, they held the Red and Blue to just 18 points in the final 20 minutes.

The first five points of the second half went to the visitors and the lead was down to three, 30-27.

A Baron three extended the edge to 36-29, but Harvard scored five quick points and its deficit was just two, 36-34, six minutes into the final half. At the midway point, the Penn lead had evaporated, 39-39.

But on the ensuing possession, sophomore Brianna Bradford banked in a three. Penn maintained the lead until the Crimson tied it again, 45-45, at the 4:50 mark.

A minute later, the Crimson took their first lead of the game, 47-46. Harvard never trailed again as it scored the next six points and maintained its lead from the free throw line for the eight-point win.

Penn shot just 15 percent in the second half as they made just four baskets. For the game, the Quakers were 16-of-50 (32.0%). Harvard shot just 29.2 percent in the first half, but finished 17-for-50 (34.0%). The Quakers outrebounded Harvard, 37-31, but their 20 turnovers (13 in the second half) were five more than the Crimson.

Baron led the way with a game-high 19 points. Knapp was also in double-digits as she added 12. Power led the way with a game-high nine rebounds and four different Quakers had two assists. Bradford and senior Jerin Smith had Penn's only points off the bench with five apiece.

Its Senior Night on Saturday against Dartmouth. Power, Nicholson and Smith will be honored prior to the 7 p.m. tip.

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