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February Total: 5
Season Total: 41
PHILADELPHIA - A balanced scoring attack (10 different scorers) and a smothering defense (which allowed just 12 baskets) led to a runaway, 51-33, victory for the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team over Cornell Friday night at The Palestra.
In their first Ivy home game of the season, the Quakers improved to 8-12 overall and 2-4 in Ivy play. Every single member of the Red and Blue played, and each one either scored or recorded a rebound. Cornell, which scored its fewest points against Penn since 1981, remained winless on the road this year and dropped to 5-15 overall, 2-5 in the Ivy League.
Junior Jess Knapp and freshman Alyssa Baron had the game's first two buckets. Cornell got on the board at the 16:29 mark, but was held to just one basket over the next seven minutes of action.
Meanwhile, five different Quakers accouted for the team's five baskets during an 11-2 spurt. Senior Jerin Smith's lay-in with 10:15 left in the first half gave Penn a 15-4 advantage.
The lead grew to 21-7 following a three-point play from Knapp with 7:03 left in the half. But the Quakers were then held without a basket until sophomore Brianna Bradford banked in a three four minutes later. During that stretch, Penn's defense held the Big Red at bay as Bradford's basket gave the Quakers another double-digit lead, 24-14.
Baron dished to Smith for an open fastbreak lay-up to close the half with Penn in the lead, 28-16.
The Quakers held Cornell without a point for the first six minutes of the second half. That catalized an 11-2 Penn run over the half's first 10 minutes. Baron finished the run with back-to-back baskets to give Penn a 39-18 lead.
Following a three-point play to drop the Penn lead to 39-21 with 9:14 to play, the Big Red went five more minutes before scoring again.
The Quakers regained their 21-point lead, 42-21, before the Big Red finally started to find the bottom of the basket with 12 points in the final 4:30. But Penn allowed them no closer than 15. Sophomore Katie Davis made a jumper, freshman Lauren Kraemer hit a free throw and freshman Courtney Wilson hit another two free throws to maintain Penn's comfortable lead.
Knapp, who finished with 10 points for her first double figure scoring game in Ivy play this season, joined Baron as the team's leading scorers. Knapp also had a team-high six rebounds along with senior Caroline Nicholson. Freshman Meghan McCullough tied a career-high with a game-high four steals. Senior Erin Power set a season high with six assists. Freshman Kristen Kody played nine minutes and had two rebounds, while junior Jourdan Banks added two points to go along with five rebounds.
Penn held the Big Red to 26.7-percent shooting (12-for-45) from the field and 15.4-percent (2-for-13) from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, the Quakers were 19-of-52 (36.5%) from the floor. Penn also forced 21 Big Red turnovers and outscored Cornell, 26-12, in the paint.
In Penn's first home Ivy win under head coach Mike McLaughlin, the Quakers held their opponent to 40 points or fewer for the fourth time this year. In their last three Ivy wins, the Red and Blue have held their league opponent to 33 points or less (44-31 at Dartmouth and 52-32 at Brown).
Penn returns to The Palestra floor Saturday night for a 7 p.m. tip with the Columbia Lions. The matchup marks Penn's annual Pink Zone game. All proceeds from ticket sales, raffles, and t-shirt sales will be donated to Penn's Rena Rowan Breast Center at the Abramson Cancer Center. Click here for complete information on the Pink Zone game festivities.