NEW HAVEN, Conn. - When you thought things couldn’t get worse offensively, the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team had its worst start of the season in a 70-38 loss to Yale on Saturday night at Lee Amphitheater
In front of a Pink Zone crowd of 974, the Quakers (1-22, 0-9 Ivy), coming off their worst shooting performance of the season last night at Brown, had an even harder time finding the basket. They shot a season-worst 22.2 percent (12-of-54). Yale (11-13, 5-5 Ivy) was much better in all phases, shooting better than 45 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc.
It took more than three minutes for Penn to even hit the rim (two blocks and an air ball on the first three attempts), and it was 9-0 before junior Caroline Nicholson got Penn on the scoreboard with a baseline jumper at the 16:57 mark.
It would be nearly eight minutes before Penn scored again as the Quakers missed 14 of their first 15 from the field. Yale built a 22-2 lead in the meantime. Though Penn outscored the Bulldogs for the remainder of the half and had 18 points in the final nine minutes, the damage was done.
Penn inched the Bulldogs closer to get the deficit to 15 at the half. Junior Jerin Smith had back-to-back baskets and senior Caitlin Slover hit two free throws to send the Quakers into the locker room down 35-20.
The second half didn’t start much better than the first. Yale went on a 17-5 run as sophomore Jourdan Banks and senior Sarah Bucar had Penn’s only baskets seven minutes into the half.
Yale’s advantage grew to 52-25 with 13:20 to go. But Penn continued to play hard, stepping it up on the defensive end and holding the Bulldogs without a bucet for the next four minutes. During that time, the Red and Blue scored six straight, which included a three from Slover, followed by a steal and fast break lay up for Slover. But Yale closed the game on an 18-7 run and took its largest lead at the final buzzer.
Slover's 12 points led the way for Penn as did her eight rebounds. Smith was second on the team with seven points in addition to her four rebounds. Bucar had six points, five rebounds, four steals and two assists, while freshman Katie Davis had the first points of her career with a free throw with 53 seconds left. Sophomore Jess Knapp finished with five points and seven rebounds.
The Quakers were just 1-of-11 (9.1%) from three-point range in the first half and 2-of-15 (13.3%) for the game. Though the Red and Blue outrebounded the Bulldogs, 41-37, they turned the ball over more than 20 times for the second night in a row (21). Penn once again shot well from the free throw line, going 12-for-16 to hit the 75-percent mark for the fourth straight contest.
After a four-game road trip, the Quakers return home for their final two games at The Palestra this season. On Friday, Columbia visits for Penn’s Pink Zone game, while Cornell comes to Philadelphia on Saturday for Senior Day.