PHILADELPHIA - Seniors Kelly Scott and Carrie Biemer scored in double figuresas the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team won its third straight game, outlasting Yale, 62-46, at The Palestra Saturday night. Behind Biemer's 17 points and Scott's 11, it was a team effort in Penn's "Pink Zone" game as every Quaker that played scored.
Penn (6-15, 3-4 Ivy) swept an Ivy weekend at home for the first time since Feb. 2-3, 2007, when they defeated both Brown and Yale. The victory also marks the first three-game winning streak for the Quakers since Feb. 24-March 3 of that same season.
Yale (10-12, 3-5 Ivy) made just 13 baskets in the game, but eight were from three-point range. The Bulldogs feasted on the long distance baskets as they were 8-for-13 (62 percent) from downtown midway through the second half. However, as soon as the Bulldogs went cold - they missed their last six three-point attempts - Penn pulled away.
It was a defensive struggle in the first half. The two teams played to a 19-18 halftime score as the game went back and forth. In the first 20 minutes the lead switched hands four times and the game was tied on five other occassions.
Neither team led by more than four points in the half as Yale hit back-to-back threes to turn an 8-6 deficit into a 12-8 lead at the 8:31 mark. The lead wouldn't last for long though, senior Kelly Scott buried a three to spark an 8-0 run. After two Biemer free throws capped the run, Penn led 16-12 with six minutes left in the half.
When Yale hit yet another three to tie the game at 16-16 with 5:07 to go, the defenses took over. Neither team hit a field goal for the remainder of the half as the Quakers outscored the Bulldogs 3-2 from the free throw line for its one-point halftime edge.
The offenses picked up in the final 20 minutes. With the score tied 21-21, the Red and Blue scored the game's next six points. Biemer, junior Sarah Bucar and Scott hit successive jumpers to give the Quakers a 27-21 lead.
Two minutes later, with Penn up 32-27, Yale made a run of its own. The Bulldogs scored seven straight and led 34-32 with 12:28 remaining. On Penn's next possession though, junior Caitlin Slover completed a three-point play to give the Quakers the lead back, 35-34. Yale responded with a three, of course, and held a 37-35 advantage with 11:35 to go in the game.
However, Penn's defense took over from there. Yale went more than 10 minutes without a field goal. Penn scored nine straight in the first three minutes of the drought and when Scott sifted through the lane, creating an easy layup, Penn had its largest lead of the game to that point, 44-37 with seven minutes to play.
After a few Bulldogs free throws, it was 46-40, but Biemer knocked down a three for a nine-point edge with 4:56 left. Over the next three-plus minutes, Slover and Bucar each hit two free throws and sophomore Jerin Smith had a layup to stretch the lead to 55-43.
By the time Yale finally made another field goal with 1:28 to go in the contest, Penn only had to hit a few free throws to keep the Bulldogs at bay. It was their second straight 16-point win and their second straight game holding the opponent under 50 points.
Sophomore Erin Power had her third straight game with at least 11 rebounds, adding seven points to her 11 boards. Power filled the box score with a team-leading five assists, three blocks and five steals. Bucar finished the game with seven rebounds, six points and four assists. Smith had six points, Slover had nine for the second consecutive game, senior Katarina Lackner contributed four points and senior Anca Popovici made her only shot attempt in finishing with two points.
One day after going to the free throw line 22 times and making 81 percent of those attempts, the Quakers made 19-of-24 attempts for a 79 percent clip. Also, for the second game in a row, Penn's opponent was held under 30 percent shooting.
The Quakers hit the road next weekend. It will be the longest trip of the season with games in Hanover, N.H., against first-place Dartmouth on Friday at 7 p.m. and in Cambridge, Mass. against second-place Harvard on Saturday at 6 p.m.
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