BALTIMORE, Md. - Sophomore Michelle Nwokedi poured in a career-high 23 points and earned her ninth career double-double to lead the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team to a decisive 81-46 victory at UMBC on Sunday night.
Penn (1-1) earned its first victory of the season just two days after losing a late lead in the opener to No. 14/12 Duke. It also marked the 495th career victory for head coach Mike McLaughlin. UMBC fell to 0-2 after an overtime loss in its opener to Columbia on Friday.
How it Happened
In their first road game of the season, the Quakers fell behind 5-0 and trailed 7-4 after the first three minutes. But five different scorers combined for a 12-2 run to end the opening quarter with a 16-9 lead. The Quakers held UMBC without a point over the final 6:03.
The teams shared baskets over the first several minutes of the second quarter and Penn led 22-17 at the 6:57 mark. Sophomore Lauren Whitlatch scored five straight to spark a 13-0 run that was capped by back-to-back threes from Anna Ross and Kasey Chambers. Penn maintained that 18-point lead and led 39-21 at the break.
Penn extended that advantage with a 13-2 run midway through the third quarter. Junior Sydney Stipanovich gave the Quakers a 30-point lead, 55-25, with a free throw at the 3:49 mark, and the Red and Blue led 59-29 after three.
That lead was 33 after a three-point play from Nwokedi put Penn up 64-31 with 7:13 to play, and grew to as many as 39 after back-to-back threes from sophomore Beth Brzozowskimade it 74-35 with 3:58 to go.
Freshmen Deja Jackson and Kristen Daley each recorded their first collegiate points to cap the scoring for Penn.
Inside the Numbers
Nwokedi also had four assists and two blocks in 31 minutes. Brzozowski added 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Freshman Princess Aghayere contributed seven points and six rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
Chambers and Whitlatch each added 10 points, while Ross finished with five points, three rebounds, four assists and four steals. Stipanovich hauled in nine rebounds.
Penn was an impressive 47 percent (31-of-66) from the field and had 20 assists on those 31 baskets. The Quakers outrebounded the Retrievers, 47-42, and had just six turnovers compared to UMBC's 13.
The Quakers did not allow any UMBC player to score more than seven points, and held the Retrievers to 20-of-65 (30.8%) shooting, including 4-of-17 (23.5%) from beyond the arc.
Another quick two-day turnaround. Penn wraps up a string of three games in five days with a home matchup with Lafayette. Tip off on Tuesday is set for 7 p.m., and the game can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.