January Total: 12
Season Total: 33
McCullough Scores at Halftime Buzzer
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Freshman Alyssa Baron scored 12 of her game-high 16 points in the second half to keep the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team in the game until the final minutes Friday night, but it wasn't enough as first-place Yale pulled away to knock off the Quakers, 53-44, at Lee Amphitheater.
Behind a plethora of threes, Yale remained unbeaten in league play to improve to 7-10 overall and 3-0 in Ivy play. In a building in which Penn lost by 32 points a year ago, the Quakers never trailed by more than 10, but fell to 6-10 on the season and 0-2 in the Ivy League.
Yale jumped out to a 4-0 lead on its first two possessions. But a driving layup from junior Jess Knapp at the 18:03 mark sparked an 11-3 run over the next 3:30 - capped by Erin Power's three-point play off a steal and fastbreak.
The Quakers maintained a small lead until the Bulldogs went on an 11-2 run that included three straight threes. Penn went more than seven minutes without a field goal as they managed only two free throws from freshman Kristen Kody over that span.
Sophomore Brianna Bradford broke the drought with a three from the top of the key and Penn trailed just 21-18 with 4:29 to play in the first half.
With Penn trailing 25-22 in the final seconds of the half, freshman Meghan McCullough drove to the basket and floated one through to pull the Quakers within one as the halftime buzzer sounded.
Baron briefly gave the Red and Blue the lead, 26-25, with a layup to start the second half. But two more Yale threes made it 31-26 at the 18:19 mark.
Over the next five minutes, the two teams managed just one basket apiece. Yale eventually extended its lead to eight, but Baron scored four straight to pull Penn within 40-36 with just over seven minutes to play.
However, Yale scored the next five and led by nine. The Quakers were never closer than five the rest of the way.
Baron had 12 of Penn's 20 second-half points. She also finished with five rebounds and a team-high four assists in 35 minutes. In addition to six points, Knapp had a career-high four blocks as Penn finished with eight as a team. McCullough and senior Caroline Nicholson also had six points apiece, while Power led the team with eight rebounds in a team-high 36 minutes.
Eight of Yale's 20 baskets were three-pointers as the Bulldogs outrebounded Penn, 44-37. The Quakers were 19-of-60 from the floor (31.7%) for the game, while Yale went 19-of-53 (35.8%). The Bulldogs were impressive from beyond the arc all night as they shot at a 40 percent clip from that range (the Quakers were 2-of-10 from three). Penn forced 20 turnovers, but had 18 itself.
Penn is back in action tomorrow night at Brown. Tip off from the Pizzitola Sports Center is at 7 p.m.