PHILADELPHIA, Pa. 2/4/12 – The University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team showed more signs of growing as a team, but could not capitalize on their opportunities as thet lose both ends of the Ivy weekend games at the Palestra. Friday night the Quakers lost Yale Bulldogs 72 – 60. The following night the Red and Blue took the Brown Bears into overtime, but fell 59 – 55. The team gets on the bus for the next weekend round of games as Penn visits Harvard and Dartmouth. The recap of last weekends action is below.
Yale 72 Penn 60
Penn put forth a great defensive and rebounding effort in the first half. The Quakers took a 27 – 25 lead into halftime. To that point in the game Penn outrebounded Yale 30 – 17, and had a 14 – 5 edge on the offensive glass. The defense held the high powered Yale offense to 32.3% shooting (10-31). However, the second half was not as kind to the Red and Blue. Yale battled them on the boards and made 15 of 29 shots. Yale outscored Penn 47 – 33 in the latter half.
“That was our best defensive effort all year,” said Sophomore guard Alyssa Baron. “Those first twenty minutes we took it to them. We weren’t able to do it the whole game.”
Yale held Penn scoreless for over four and a half minutes early in the second half. The 13 – 0 run gave the Bulldogs a 40 – 30 lead with 13:54 to play. Penn would get no closer than 6 after the run, and that deficit came with 1:06 to play on a three by Freshman guard Jackie Kates. Penn did not score for the remainder of the game.
“I think we let up our intensity defensively and they took advantage of that and knocked down shots in the second half,” said Baron. “We weren’t as intense offensively in the second half either which didn’t help. Everything resolves around our defense. When that drops off, that’s what happened.”
“The score got up in the 70’s and we were not going to be able to win those types of games the way we are constructed now,” said Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin.
The Red and Blue had three double-figure scorers. Baron scored 11 points, grabbed 13 rebounds (5 offensvie), and handed out 7 assists. Kates and Freshman forward Katy Allen each scored 10. For yale guard Megan Vasquez led all scorers with 19 and she added 8 rebounds. 17 of the 19 points by Vasquez came in the second hald. Guard Sarah Halejian scored
14 points, 10 in the latter half. Guard Janna Graf scpred 11 points while adding 7 rebounds, while guard Allie Messimer put in 12.
Yale left the Palestra with a 4 – 1 Ivy League record.
Brown 59 Penn 55 OT
The Saturday night game against Brown was an opposite. Penn started the game slowly much to the displesure of Coach McLaughlin. The Quakers made 8 of 30 field goal attempts. Luckily Brown was not better makeing 7 of 29. The Bears did own the board in the half pulling down 29 rebounds, 9 on the offensive glass. Fittingly, the teams went into the locker room tied at 23.
In the second half the teams would stay close. Brown had the advantage, but Penn would threaten never getting far out of contention. The Red and Blue tied the game at 44 with 2:10 to play on a Katie Allen three-pointer. Free throws by Baron tied the game at 46. After a jumper by Brown forward Lindsay Nickel, Baron had the chance to tie the game. She made one of two. Penn got a stop, and in the next trip Freshamn forward Kara Bonenberger went to the line. However, she converted one of two to tie the game. Penn forced a turnover as Sophomore guard Meghan McCullough stole the ball with 5 seconds to play. Penn called a timeout, and Coach McLaughlin set up the play. Penn got the ball into Baron who streaked down the center of the court, but her last second shot was short sending the game into overtime.
“We made a huge steal, we had a side out of bounds, we executed perfectly, and we got the shot we wanted.” said McLaughlin. “We just didn’t make it.”
Penn took a led in the extra period on a basket by Bonenbeerger, but Brown answered with three, a layup, and two free throws by guard Hannah Passafuime to move in front 55 – 50 with 2:53 to play. Again, the Quakers mounted a charge, but could not get the shot that would put them ahead. Brown held on as two free throws by Nickel with 2 seconds to go ended the game as Brown earned a 59 – 55 win.
“We want to win every game,” said Allen. “We keep saying we are getting close, but we’ve got to get one of these. Once we get one, it will keep going.”
Baron led Penn in scoring with 16 points, and Allen added 12. Each player took down 8 rebounds. Bonenberger contributed 9 points and 9 rebounds. Passafuime scored a game-high 19 points. Daniels added 15 points. Guard Sheila Dixon scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Nickel scored 7 points and aslo took down 10 rebounds.
Brown is 3 – 3 in the league. Penn is now 1- 4 in the Ivies, and 8 – 11 overall and travels to New England next weekend.
“We’re looking forward to that,” Allen said. “It will be an experience for those of us who never had a road weekend. It should be fun. Hopefully, we will play well.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian