PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team finished the first half on a 9-0 run and never looked back, defeating Navy on Saturday afternoon by a score of 57-43. The Quakers (5-1) have now won five games in a row, with their only loss this season coming on opening night to No. 15 Duke.
One Step Closer
Head Coach Mike McLaughlin now has 499 career wins, and sits one shy of being one of just 30 active head coaches with at least 500 victories.
How it Happened
It took a while for the Quakers to get going offensively, going the first six minutes of the game without a point. Junior Sydney Stipanovich finally put the Quakers on the board with an old-fashioned three-point play. Penn inched closer from there, and soon took a 12-11 lead on a Michelle Nwokedi layup to begin the second quarter.
After Navy jumped back out to a 17-14 lead, the Quakers finally started to click offensively. Stipanovich kick-started the run, converting her second and-one of the contest to tie the score at 17. Lauren Whitlatch followed with a three-pointer, and back-to-back buckets from Anna Ross gave Penn a 24-19 lead with 41 seconds left in the half. A pair of Kasey Chambers capped off the score for the Red and Blue in the first, as the Quakers went into halftime with a 26-19 edge.
It was the Beth Brzozowski show in the third quarter, as the Quakers stretched out their lead to double digits. The junior poured in nine points in a three-minute span, drilling three jumpers and a three-pointer. Chambers also knocked in a three-pointer in the quarter, as Penn took a 42-26 lead into the fourth.
Stipanovich went to work in the fourth, scoring six of her 16 points in the final quarter, to help Penn close out the Midshipmen. She began the frame with a layup to put the Quakers up 44-29 with 9:16 remaining. She then knocked in back-to-back buckets to put Penn ahead 48-33. Navy would cut the lead to nine points with 2:41 remaining, but that would be as close as the Mids would get. Ross stroked a three-pointer, and a final free throw from Nwokedi was all she wrote for Navy.
Inside the Numbers
It was a balanced attack for the Quakers, as five different players poured in at least nine points. Stipanovich led the way, racking up her 18th career double-double with 16 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. She also chipped in three blocks.
Nwokedi followed in double digits, scoring 11 points, to go along with nine rebounds. Ross and Brzozowski each notched nine points to round out the Quaker attack.
Defensively the Quakers held Navy to under 30 percent shooting (18-of-61) and didn’t allow the Mids to shoot a single free throw.
The Quakers are back in action on Tuesday night, as Coach McLaughlin goes for win No. 500 against St. Joseph’s at 5 p.m.