LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - Senior Carrie Biemer had a career-best 32 points and sophomore Erin Power added a career-high 12 rebounds, but the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team couldn't overcome a 14-point halftime deficit in coming up short to Rider, 76-63 Tuesday night in Alumni Gymnasium.
Rider (4-12) led by as many as 14 in the first half, but behind Biemer's 20 second half points, Penn (3-11) battled back to within six on several occasions before the Broncs pulled away for good.
Penn trailed 14-11 at the 10 minute mark after Biemer hit one of her five threes on the day and they were down just 19-15 after back-to-back buckets from Power with 5:18 left. However, the Broncs capitalized on a cold stretch from the Quakers and Rider went on a 13-3 run to end the half.
Overall, the Quakers shot just 24 percent (7-of-29) from the floor in the first half and had made just two of their seven three-point attempts.
Trailing 32-18 coming out of the locker room, Penn rallied quickly with its best offensive half of the season. The Quakers shot exactly 50 percent from the floor (16-of-32) and from three-point range (4-of-8). They were 9-of-11 (83%) from the free throw line and had just two turnovers.
Before five minutes had passed, Penn found itself down just six, 36-30, when sophomore Caroline Nicholson knocked down a turnaround jumper. Both teams struggled to gain control for the next several minutes. Rider couldn't extend its lead to double-digits, but Penn got no closer than six on several occassions.
Then, with eight minutes remaining, the Broncs got hot. They shot an astounding 60 percent in the second half and made all three of their shots from beyond the arc. A quick 11-4 run gave Rider a commanding 63-50 lead with 5:15 to go.
Penn continued to put the ball in the basket, scoring a season-high 45 points in the second half. But Rider was even hotter, and matched the Quakers basket for basket the rest of the way.
Just a day after being named the co-Big 5 Player of the Week, Biemer eclipsed her previous scoring best of 28 set against Columbia last season. Senior Kelly Scott was second behind Biemer in scoring with nine points. Biemer also had seven boards as Power's rebounding numbers were the highest for any Penn player in over two seasons.Senior Anca Popovici added four assists to go along with her four points.
Penn will have a 13-day break before embarking upon its final non-conference game of the season. The Quakers will welcome the Big East's Seton Hall Pirates to The Palestra on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m.