PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team used a stifling defensive effort to defeat Princeton on Saturday afternoon, 50-48, at The Palestra. The Quakers have now won five games in a row, and improve to 10-2 overall and 1-0 in the Ivy League.
Inside the Numbers
The Red and Blue held Princeton to a season-low 27 percent (17-of-62) from the floor, including just two makes from beyond the arc. The Quakers limited the Tigers to just five points in the second quarter, and turned Princeton over 17 times.
Offensively, Sydney Stipanovich recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Michelle Nwokedi scored six of her seven points in the second half, to go along with seven rebounds.
Sophomore Beth Brzozowski and freshman Ashley Russell provided a nice spark off the bench, combining for 13 points.
How it Happened
It was a defensive battle to begin the game, as both squads combined for six turnovers over the first 5:06 of the first quarter. Sophomore Lauren Whitlatch provided the first spark for Penn, banking home a three-pointer to give the Quakers an early 5-0 lead. It was back and forth from there, as Penn grabbed an 11-10 lead after the first frame. Brzozowski put in back-to-back buckets to end the first quarter.
Penn was especially stout defensively in the second quarter, as Princeton was able to score just five points in the frame. Freshman Ashley Russell scored her first career points in The Palestra with a three-pointer that yielded a 16-10 lead for the Quakers. A jumper from Stipanovich, followed by three free throws, produced a 21-15 lead for the Quakers at half.
The Red and Blue grabbed its largest lead of the game in the third, as Whitlatch knocked in her second three of the game to give Penn a 26-16 lead with 7:44 left. Princeton erupted from there, rattling off the next 13 points to grab a three-point lead. Kasey Chambers halted the Tigers’ run with a pair of baskets to cut the Princeton lead to one, 31-30, with 2:57 left in the third. The Quakers jumped back ahead after Russell drilled her second long ball of the game with 1:14 left in the third.
A one-point game to begin the fourth quarter, the final frame did not disappoint in terms of excitement. A Nwokedi three-pointer put Penn ahead 39-36, while an elbow jumper from Stipanovich gave the Quakers a 47-44 lead with 2:24 left. It was the Quakers' defense that took over from there, as Princeton only made a single field goal over the final 4:16 of the contest. After a pair of free throws cut the Quakers' lead to just one, 49-48, the Quakers put together four stops on defense to end the game, including two in the final eight seconds.
Notes: The victory for the Quakers marked the first home win over Princeton since 2008. Penn now owns the last two Ivy losses for Princeton, the first coming in the season finale of the 2013-14 season.