PHILADELPHIA - Despite holding Duquesne 22 points below its scoring average, an early lead slipped away and a late surge was not enough as the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team fell to the Dukes 65-58 Saturday at The Palestra. Penn fell to 0-3 on the year as Duquesne won its fourth straight game.
The Quakers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead following a free throw by junior Kim Adams and a layup by junior Caroline Nicholson. Penn held the advantage until the midway point in the half when the Dukes' Kelly Britcher laid one in for the 11-10 lead. Immediately following a timeout, senior Sarah Bucar knocked down a three to put Penn back up. Britcher and junior Jerin Smith traded baskets to give Penn its last lead of the game, 15-13 at the eight minute mark.
From there, Duquesne went on a 10-0 run, forcing the Quakers to turn the ball over five consecutive possessions. The Dukes took a nine point advantage, their largest lead of the half, at the 2:17 mark on a three by Alex Gensler. Penn answered back with two free throws and a layup by Adams and a layup by senior Caitlin Slover to cut the deficit to five. However, a jumper by Duquesne's Keri Pryor put the Dukes up 30-23 at the break.
Fresh from the halftime pep talk, sophomore Jess Knapp scored a layup on Penn's first possession. The teams traded baskets back and forth until the Quakers, sparked by Smith's back-to-back buckets, put the Red and Blue within three.Down 39-36 at the 15:49 mark, Penn got the closest they would get for the remainder of the game.
The Dukes led by as much as 14 following a layup by Britcher with three and a half minutes remaining. However, Penn did not call it quits. Led by their always tenacious defense, Penn threatened in the final minute. The Quakers' strategy to intentionally foul the Dukes to gain possession paid off as Duquesne missed three straight free throws and Bucar hit two threes to cut the deficit to four points. However, the final sunken free throws by Duquesne's Rachel Frederick and Britcher sealed the win for the Dukes.
The Quakers had their most successful offensive game of the season, with five scoring in double figures. Bucar tallied a team high 12 points with four three pointers, along with three steals, while Slover and Smith contributed 11 points apiece. Knapp added ten and Adams narrowly earned a double-double with ten points and eight rebounds.
The Quakers return to action next Friday when they partake in the 26th Annual Mildred and Roger L. White Invitational in Evanston, Ill. They face Iowa State Friday at 4 p.m. and Northwestern at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Download: Rave Report.pdf