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November Total: 12
Season Total: 12
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - For the first time since the 1982-83 season, the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team is off to a 3-1 start. With a strong defensive effort and a game-high 23 points from sophomore Alyssa Baron, the Quakers led by double-digits throughout the second half and cruised to a 55-41 win over Niagara at the Gallagher Center Sunday afternoon.
It took a few minutes for the Penn offense to get going, but with the defensive pressure bothering the Purple Eagles, the Quakers trailed by just two when Baron opened their scoring with a three at the 16:50 mark.
Trailing 9-5 just six minutes into the game, Penn held Niagara without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes and went on a 14-0 run. Freshman Kara Bonenberger, who finished with a career high 11 points, completed a three-point play to give Penn its first lead, 10-9 at the 12:02 mark. The Quakers never trailed again.
Freshman Kristen Kody, sophomore Brianna Bradford and freshman Katy Allen hit back-to-back-to-back baskets to complete the run and give the Red and Blue a 19-9 edge with 6:50 to play until the half.
The Quakers led 27-19 at the half and just a minute into the second, a Baron free throw and a lay up from senior Jess Knapp gave Penn a double-digit lead it would not relinquish.
Niagara closed its deficit to 36-26 with 14:11 left, but a quick 7-1 run gave the Red and Blue complete control, 43-27, with 10:38 to play.
The lead grew to as many as 20 when Baron, who leads the Ivy League in scoring, drained another jumper with 5:38 left.
Both teams traded buckets down the stretch until Niagara scored the last four points to close the final gap to 14.
Penn shot 41.7 percent (20-of-48) from the floor and held the Purple Eagles to just 13 baskets on 42 attempts (31.0%). Both teams had 20 turnovers and the Quakers outrebounded Niagara, 37-28. Penn outscored the home team, 26-12, in the paint.
Knapp had four points and seven rebounds to go along with two steals. Freshmen Renee Busch and Jackie Kates each had a game-high three assists. Bonenberger also added a game-high eight rebounds and was 5-of-7 from the floor. Baron was 8-for-14 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
A busy week ensues. After the long road trip home to Philadelphia, Penn plays at The Palestra on Wednesday against Lafayette at 7 p.m. The Quakers then fly to Chicago on Thursday and play at No. 3/4 Notre Dame in South Bend on Friday.