Women's Basketball Trumps Bryant, 70-59

Today: 3
November Total: 3
Season Total: 3

Box Score

PHILADELPHIA - Senior Jess Knapp put up a double-double and freshman Alyssa Baron scored 20 points in her first career game to lead the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team to a 70-59 win over Bryant in the season opener at The Palestra Friday night.

The win marked the first in a season opening game for Penn (1-0) since a 2007-08 win at Elon and the first in a home opener since a 76-73 overtime victory over Lehigh in 2006. Bryant, who was picked to finish eighth in the 12-team Northeast Conference, fell to 0-1.

Knapp and Baron combined to score 10 of the game's first 13 points as Penn took an early 10-3 lead. Bryant closed to within three at 10-7 with 15:14 to go in the half and it was 17-13 at the eight-minute mark. But then the Quakers pushed the lead into double digits.

Penn scored 12 straight. Freshman Kristen Kody hit a jumper, senior Jerin Smith hit two free throws, freshman Meghan McCullough hit another mid-range jumper and two free throws, and Baron capped the run with a pair of baskets for a 29-13 edge.

Bryant responded with six straight to get the Penn advantage down to 10 and even closed to within eight with a three with 56 seconds to play in the half. But a layup by McCullough and a baseline jumper by Knapp gave the Quakers a 37-25 halftime lead.

Following two Knapp free throws to start the half, the Bulldogs brought out the full court press and closed the deficit to single digits. Smith ended a 6-0 Bryant run with a pair of free throws, but the stuggling for a basket, the Penn lead was down to 44-38 at the 15:01 mark.

Brianna Bradford finally hit Penn's first field goal of the second half with 13:27 remaining to stretch the advantage back to eight, 46-38. At 49-41, Penn scored eight of the next nine as the lead ballooned to 57-43 with 9:26 left in the game. The Quakers maintained that edge over the next five minutes.

Bryant got within 65-55 with just under five minutes left, but Penn kept the lead above 10 with a defensive effort that held the Bulldogs without a basket for the next three minutes. A Bryant three with 2:09 to play brought the score to 69-59, but that would be the final field goal of the day.

Penn's 37 first-half points were more than the Quakers scored in the opening 20 minutes in any game last season. The team's70 points accomplished the same feat asPenn topped 60 points just once last season, scoring aseason-high61 against Columbia on Feb. 26.

There was a total of 43 fouls in the game as Penn attempted a whopping 39 free throws and made 30 of them (76.9%). The Red and Blue were 13-of-27 from the field in the first half and finished at a 39-percent clip, which included 4-for-11 (36.4%) from three-point range. Bryant on the other hand, was held to 17-of-65 (26.2%) shooting, but did force the Quakers into 21 turnovers.

Knapp finished with 14 points and a team-high 11 rebounds for her second career double-double and second in two games as she accomplished the feat in the 2009-10 season finale. Baron scored 17 of her 20 points in the first half, while McCullough had 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Senior Erin Power added four points, six rebounds, four assists and a team-high three steals in a game-high 37 minutes.

Up next for the Quakers is their first road game of the 2010-11 season. Penn heads down 33rd street to take on University City rival Drexel at 7 p.m. Friday at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.

Download: 1-Bryant.pdf