PHILADELPHIA – Entering Friday night, the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team hadn’t lost a game at home in 90 days. That streak continued on Friday night, as the Quakers knocked off Columbia by a score of 71-51 at The Palestra. The red-hot Quakers improve to 6-0 in the Ivy League, and 17-3 overall this season.
Inside the Numbers
For the first time this season, the Quakers had two 20-point scorers. Sophomores Michelle Nwokedi (24 points) and Lauren Whitlatch (20 points) were the two culprits, accounting for over 61 percent of the Quakers’ offense. Nwokedi also added nine rebounds and four blocks, while Whitlatch collected four boards and a pair of steals.
Like Nwokedi, Sydney Stipanovich also had nine rebounds and four blocks – to go along with eight points. Anna Ross led the way in the assists’ category, dishing out a team-high five helpers.
The Quakers forced 16 Columbia turnovers, and racked up 10 steals. Penn made 9-of-19 from behind the three-point line, five of which came from Whitlatch.
How it Happened
The game’s tone was set early on, as Whitlatch drilled a three-pointer just five seconds into the game. It was then, after Columbia went up 6-3 that the Quakers began to really catch fire. Nwokedi and Whitlatch combined to go on a personal 14-0 run, while Ross capped off a 17-2 Penn run with a three-pointer to give the Quakers a 20-8 edge. The Red and Blue ended the first quarter with a 22-6 stretch, which was finished off by a Whitlatch long ball and a Stipanovich layup.
The Quakers kept the pressure on in the second quarter, ballooning the lead out to 15 at 29-14 (7:51, 2Q) and then again at 33-18 with 4:34 remaining. The Lions climbed back a bit from there, and after a 10-2 run to end the half, cut the Quakers’ lead to just seven at the break.
Penn exploded once again after halftime, as Whitlatch scored eight points in a span of two minutes and eight seconds to lead the Quakers back to a 44-30 lead. The Quakers stayed in control from there, seizing at least a 12-point cushion the rest of the way. Nwokedi made back-to-back nice moves to the rim to extend the edge to 52-39 with 2:03 left in the third.
A 13-5 run in the fourth quarter would be all she wrote for Columbia, with Penn’s lead elongating to 67-47, with 2:38 left. Nwokedi and Kasey Chambers each made three-pointers during the stretch, and Brzozowski capped things off with a pair of makes from the free-throw line.
The Quakers are back at home tomorrow night, welcoming Cornell to The Palestra at 7 p.m.