NEW YORK, N.Y. -Another suffocating defensive effort led the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team to its eighth straight win, 50-36, over Columbia on Friday night at Levien Gymnasium.
Penn's 19 wins are third-most in school history as the Quakers tied the program's third-longest win streak. Penn (19-7, 10-2) has now won 10 Ivy League games for the second straight season andfifth time in school history.
How it Happened
Much like the first the first matchup between these teams this season, it was a back-and-forth affair at the start. There were several lead changes in the first 10 minutes and neither team led by more than a possession until after the midway point.
That's when the Quakers found a brief spark and went on a 10-0 streak. Four different players scored Penn's four buckets in the run, capped by a three and a free throw from freshman Michelle Nwokedi, who gave the Quakers a 17-8 lead at the 7:15 mark.
Columbia ended a near nine-minute scoring drought and scored five of the next seven to get within 19-13 with 4:04 remaining in the half. But Nwokedi hit another three before the half and Penn led 22-15 at the break.
Penn's defense continued to dominate in the second half. The Lions scored just one field goal in the first 11 minutes and the Red and Blue built a 12-point lead. Ross had four early points and a pair of free throws from Beth Brzozowski gave the Quakers a 35-22 advantage with 11:33 remaining.
A small run got the Lions within single digits and it was 39-30 with 6:13 to go, but Penn regained control with six straight points. Senior Katy Allen had a putback, senior Kathleen Roche sunk two big free throws on a 1-and-1, and sophomore Sydney Stipanovich scored inside for a 45-30 lead with just 3:43 to go.
The Quakers never allowed the Lions within single digits again en route to their 11th win in the last 12 games and sixth straight road win. It also marked the seventh time this year they held an opponent under 40 points.
Inside the Numbers
Stipanovich moved into 10th-place on the Ivy League's career blocks list. She now has 172 for her career and passed Ancient Eight legend Gail Koziara, who had 171 for Dartmouth from 1978-82. She led the Quakers with 12 points and added seven rebounds and three blocks.
Ross also had 12 points as she reached double figures for the third time this season. Nwokedi contributed nine points and nine rebounds.
Penn's senior class improved upon their school record with their 72nd career win. They are the first class in program history to go 8-0 against Columbia and win all four games at Levien.
The Quakers forced 19 turnovers and allowed just 11 field goals. Penn also had nine blocks on the night and held a slight rebounding edge, 34-32.
Neither team shot well on the night. Penn was 18-of-62 (29%) overall, but held the Lions to 22-of-43 (25.6%) shooting, including 1-of-11 (9.1%) from three-point range.
Penn, which drove up to New York City this afternoon, continues a long day of travel with a trip to Ithaca, N.Y., for Saturday's regular season road finale -- a 6 p.m. tip off against Cornell.