CHARGE FOR A CURE - Join Today!
December Total: 1
Season Total: 17
WEST POINT, N.Y. - An early 12-point deficit was too much to overcome for the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team Saturday afternoon as a second-half comeback fell short in a 53-44 loss to Army at Christl Arena.
A stereotypically disciplined Army defense held the Quakers in check throughout the first half. Penn had just 15 points and surrendered nine turnovers in the opening 20 minutes as they dug the early hole to fall to 2-4 on the season. Army improved to 3-5 on the year.
A sign of things to come, it was a slow start offensively for the Quakers as they took nearly four minutes to get on the scoreboard. Baron hit a jumper in the lane for Penn's first points and Army led just 5-2. However, it was nearly another seven minutes before Penn scored again.
Ten minutes into the contest, Penn had five turnovers and just two points. Down 14-2, senior Jerin Smith got the Quakers back in the scoring column with Penn's next six points. The Quakers then got to within single digits, 20-12, with layups by Erin Power and Smith.
Army scored on its next possession to go up 10 with 4:25 left in the half and neither team scored until each tallied points in the final four seconds. Army hit a pair of free throws, and on the ensuing inbounds sophomore Brianna Bradford took the ball the length of the court and stopped just past the men's three-point line. The shot left her hands just before the buzzer and sent Penn into the locker room trailing by only nine, 24-15, in a half in which they shot just 23 percent (6-of-23).
Then, on the first possession of the second half, Baron drained a three and the Quakers were down just six. Army scored the next four, but a effective full court press led to a 6-0 Penn run. Army turned the ball over five times in the first four minutes and when Knapp hit a layup with 15:53 to play, the Quakers were within 28-24.
Army began to flex its muscle on the glass (they outrebounded the Red and Blue, 41-36) and the Quakers shooting woes began again as well. Penn went on another drought and were without a basket for five more minutes. Army scored seven of the next eight and led 35-25 at the 10:16 mark.
Bradford hit two free throws and Baron hit a mid-range jumper off an inbounds pass to pull the deficit to 35-29 with 9:23 remaining.
Three minutes later, Army gave itself some cushion with five straight points for a 44-33 advantage with 5:28 to go. The lead grew to as many as 13 and Penn never got closer than nine for the remainder of the contest.
Baron and Smith each finished in double digits for the Quakers with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Knapp had a team-high eight rebounds and two blocks to go along with eight points. Freshman Meghan McCullough led the team with two of Penn's seven steals.
Penn finished the game 15-of-54 from the floor (25.9%), but held Army to just 1-of-12 (8.4%) shooting from beyond the arc and 18-of-49 (36.7%) overall. Penn outscored the Black Knights bench, 19-11, but Army had the advantage with 20 points off turnovers to Penn's 10. Both teams shot well from the free throw line - Army was 16-for-20 (80%) and Penn went 14-for-18 (77.8%).
Penn plays its final two games before the holiday break in the friendly confines of The Palestra. The Quakers host Saint Joseph's on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Maine on Friday at the same time.