January Total: 3
Season Total: 24
PHILADELPHIA - Looking for some confidence heading into Ivy League play, the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball may have found it with some impressive individual performances on Saturday at McGonigle Hall. But Temple pulled away in the second half to win the Big 5 matchup, 72-47.
In the Big 5 finale for the Quakers, the Red and Blue lost for the sixth straight time to fall to 7-8 overall and 0-4 in the Big 5. Penn has been without senior captain Jess Knapp throughout that streak. Temple improved to 10-8 overall and 2-0 in Big 5 play.
The Quakers, who have played two Atlantic-10 teams and a Big East opponent in the last eight days, have struggled on offense lately. Sophmore Alyssa Baron, the Ivy League's leading scorer, was blanketed again, but freshman Jackie Kates and sophomore Kristen Kody provided career days to boost the Red and Blue. Their efforts will certainly serve to provide some confidence for the Quakers heading into the first Ivy League weekend of the year.
Temple took a 7-2 lead during the first four minutes of play. Head Coach Mike McLaughlin went to his bench, which had 31 of Penn's 47 points, and placed four freshmen and Baron on the floor.
The underclassmen rallied to tie the game at 11-11 at the 11:56 mark after back-to-back buckets from Baron.
But Temple put on full court pressure. The young Quakers have struggled to break the press throughout most the season and that continued in North Philadelphia. The Owls went on a 10-0 run and led 21-11 with 7:19 to play in the opening half.
That's when Kody and Kates took over. The two combined for the last 16 points of the half for Penn and pulled the Quakers within a bucket.
Kates hit a runner before Kody, who's previous career high was nine, scored 11 straight points for the Quakers. During that stretch, Penn trailed, 27-18, but Kody hit a free throw, sunk a fastbreak three and knocked down a mid-range jumper in succession. Kates then drained a three to cap a 9-2 run and pull Penn within 29-27 at the 3:05 mark.
Temple scored the last six points of the half and led, 35-27 at intermission. The Owls then scored the first four of the second half and led by double digits throughout the rest of the game.
The Quakers had the deficit down to 11 on multiple occasions, but the Owls maintained their edge. They controlled the last 16 minutes of the game and led by as many as 25.
Kody and Kates each entered the game with two career made threes. Kody equaled that total in the first half and finished with a career-high 12 points. Kates had three three-pointers in the second half and four overall to finish with a team-high 17 points.
Baron had eight points and led the team in rebounding for the second straight game. Sophomore Courtney Wilson had a career-high three blocks and added three rebounds in seven minutes.
Temple shot 41.3 percent (26-of-63) from the floor. Penn was 15-of-49 (30.6%), including a season high eight threes on 23 attempts (34.8%). The Quakers turned it over 20 times compared to just 10 Temple miscues. The Owls won the rebounding battle, 38-31. Temple oversized the Quakers in the paint, 34-6.
Now its time for Ivy season. Six straight Ivy weekends and the mid-week season finale with Princeton will round out the 2011-12 season for the Quakers. Penn will spend the first two weekends inside The Palestra. First up, Cornell on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m., and Columbia on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m.