Women's Basketball Shuts Down Columbia, 52-40

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Box Score

NEW YORK, N.Y. - An astounding second-half defensive effort propelled the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team to a 52-40 win at Columbia on Friday night. The Quakers allowed just nine points, two baskets and forced 11 turnovers in the final 20 minutes at Levien Gym.

Penn, which held Columbia to one basket over the first 18 minutes of the second half, has now won four of its last five Ivy League road games. It marked the third straight double-digit win over Columbia and moved Penn to 8-8 overall and 1-1 in the Ivy League.

The Lions (2-15, 0-3 Ivy) finished the second stanza 2-of-20 (10.0%) from the floor. Penn had trailed 31-27 at the break, but then outscored Columbia 25-9 the rest of the way.

What made the second half defensive performance even more impressive was Columbia's efficiency in the first half. The Lions shot nearly 50 percent (13-of-28) in the first 20 minutes and were 2-of-4 from three. In contrast, Penn struggled at 6-of-26 (30.3%).

Other than the opening minutes, Columbia led throughout the first half. The Quakers stayed in the game by getting to the line. Penn had half of its points from the charity stripe on 13-of-19 (68.4%) shooting.

Seven minutes into the second half, Penn trailed 35-32, but ended the game on a 20-5 run. It had a similar feel to last season when the Quakers used a 21-0 run to win by 20 at Levien. Junior captain Alyssa Baron had 13 of her game-high 14 points during that final run.

Baron made her first two field goals of the game to start a string of 11 straight Penn points. Her second bucket gave the Quakers a 36-35 lead at the 11:18 mark.

Then sophomore Katy Allen hit a corner three, sophomore Kara Bonenberger converted a post-up layup off a nice entry pass from Baron, and Baron capped the run with another lay-in to go up 43-35 with 8:37 to play.

Columbia hit a pair of free throws, but after that, Baron had a fastbreak layup, fed junior Courtney Wilson for a layup and then sunk a three for a 50-37 lead with just 3:22 remaining.

The Quakers salted the game away from there. They finished 16-of-54 (29.6%) from the field, including 5-of-21 (71.4%) from three. Columbia was 15-of-48 (31.3%) overall and 3-of-10 (30.0%) from beyond the arc. Penn won the rebounding battle, 41-33.

Baron also added five rebounds, two blocks, two steals and had six of the team's nine assists. Allen matched a career high with a game-high 11 rebounds in addition to eight points and two steals. Sophomore Kathleen Roche hit three three-pointers and finished with nine points. Freshman Keiera Ray scored all seven of her points in the first half to keep the Quakers close during that time. Senior Brianna Bradford had five points in 24 minutes off the bench.

Penn boarded the bus to Ithaca, N.Y. immediatley following the game and will take on Cornell (10-7, 2-1 Ivy) at 7 p.m. Saturday inside Newman Arena.

Download: 16-Columbia.pdf