PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team went back to its winning ways on Friday night, defeating Yale by a score of 68-49 at The Palestra. The Quakers, now 13-3 overall, improve to 2-0 in the Ivy League for the first time since 2005.
Milestone (s) Reached
With the win tonight, Head Coach Mike McLaughlin becomes just the second coach in Penn history to record 100 victories as the leader of the Quakers. Lois Ashley is the other, and she currently owns the most wins at Penn with 128 (12 seasons).
Sydney Stipanovich also achieved a pair of milestones, as she eclipsed 900 points for her career and moved into second in Ivy League history with 232 career blocks.
Inside the Numbers
Speaking of Stipanovich, the junior registered her sixth double-double of the season with 16 points and 16 rebounds. In addition, she swatted away four shots and dished out a trio of assists. Sophomore Anna Ross also poured in 16 points, to go along with six assists and six rebounds. Michelle Nwokedi was the final Quaker to reach double figures with 14 points. She also hauled in eight rebounds.
The Quakers were once again stout defensively, as Yale made just 20-of-62 shots from the field (35.7 percent) and 3-of-19 from beyond the arc. Penn outrebounded the Bulldogs, 68-49, and forced 16 turnovers.
How it Happened
It wasn’t a pretty start for either team offensively. The Quakers had trouble finding rhythm, and also didn’t help themselves from the free-throw stripe. Penn had three turnovers, and four missed free throws prior to the first media timeout. Stipanovich was one bright spot for Penn in the first, hitting a pair of jumpers. Beth Brzozowski followed with a three-pointer, and Penn and Yale were even at 10 apiece after the first quarter.
The Quakers continued the high energy on the defense in the second quarter. Following a Chambers steal, Lauren Whitlatch put in a fast-break lay-in to give Penn a 15-10 lead. Penn’s shots started to fall from there, as Whitlatch and Brzozowski hit back-to-back three-pointers to provide the Quakers a 25-14 edge. Brzozowski hit another jumper at the 1:04 mark, and Nwokedi capped off the half’s scoring with a pair of free throws. Penn led by seven at the break.
The Quakers switched to another gear in the third, starting the second half on an 11-5 run. A three-pointer from Ross yielded a 42-31 lead for Penn, while back-to-back lay-ups from Kasey Chambers and Stipanovich had the Quakers up 48-35. Nwokedi once again finished the quarter by sinking a pair from the charity stripe. The Quakers opened up a 52-37 lead after three.
The Red and Blue’s momentum carried into the fourth quarter. A 10-4 stretch to begin the frame put an end to any comeback attempt from Yale. Ross knocked down her fourth long ball of the game to give the Quakers a 61-41 lead. She followed that up on the next possession, with a nice move to the rim and lay-up. Princess Aghayere hit a jumper to achieve the Quakers’ largest lead of the game (67-43) at the 1:29 mark.
The Quakers are back in action tomorrow night, welcoming Brown to The Palestra for a 7 p.m. tip.