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ANNAPOLIS, Md. – History was made in Alumni Hall but not for the home team. It was the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team that made the mark, recording the program’s first road win over Navy. The Quakers defeated the Midshipmen, 60-51, Saturday evening.
Penn’s win over the Patriot League opponent was also the largest margin of victory in program history. In 1989, the Quakers defeated Navy, 73-67; in 2008, they won 61-58.
It was a slow start, as ten minutes went by and the scoreboard read 11-4, in favor of the Red and Blue.
But with 9:09 on the clock, freshman Michelle Nwokedi hit a three pointer and provided Penn with a spark. Just 38 seconds later, she hit another three to put the Quakers ahead by 11, 17-6. By the end of the half, the Red and Blue held the Midshipmen to less than 20 points, with a 29-17 lead. Junior Keiera Ray, Nwokedi, and senior Kara Bonenberger led the team with six points each. The most any single player on Navy’s team had was three.
Penn extended their lead to as large as 22 points, after Bonenberger made a layup for a 43-21 lead with 9:29 to go in the second half. But Navy wasn’t quite ready to give up, hitting 50% of its three-point shots (8-16), draining one with 16 seconds to go in the second half to cut the Quakers’ lead to only seven points, 58-51. But with a foul, senior Kathleen Roche went to the line and gave the Red and Blue a 60-51 lead with just nine seconds left.
Inside the Numbers
Penn kept Navy to a shooting percentage of 29.5% (18-of-61), including 20.0% (7-of-35) in the first half. The Quakers were 19-for-54 (35.2%) and hit 11-of-24 (45.8%) in the first half. The Red and Blue were also 16-for-20 from the free throw line, due in large part to junior Keiera Ray hitting 11-of-14. Penn outrebounded the Midshipmen, 46-37, and forced 16 Navy turnovers.
In addition to her 11 points from the free throw line, Ray, coming off the bench, added another 11 points to her total and went 3-for-5 behind the three-point arc. She was responsible for half the team’s score in the second half with 16.
Before Thanksgiving, the Quakers will return to The Palestra on Tuesday, Nov. 25 for a contest with New Hampshire at 7 p.m. After the holiday, the Red and Blue will return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 2 at Lafayette for a 7 p.m. tip off. Penn will come back home later that week with a matchup against Hampton on Friday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.