PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/30/2016 – The University of Pennsylvania improves its record to 3 – 0 in the Ivy League winning 66 – 49 over the Brown Bears at The Palestra. Penn got 19 points and 14 rebounds from junior center Sydney Stipanovich, her seventh double-double of the season. But credit this one to the Penn defense holding Brown to just 30.4% shooting (17 of 56). Defense is a part of the game where Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin wants his team to excel.
“In a controllable situation, we want to be the best,” McLaughlin said. “How you play and your effort on the defensive end you can control. That’s all we worry about. The uncontrollables we don’t spend a lot of time talking about.”
“We locked down on defense and it showed,” said Stipanovich.
The Red and Blue took control early in the game holding the Bears to 4 second quarter points. More importantly Brown was held without a point from the 2:28 mark of the opening quarter to just under 4 minutes into the second quarter. The next Brown field goal came at the 4:29 mark, both buckets by Jordin Alexander who had a team-high 19 points and 8 rebounds. That would be their last points until 4:13 elapsed after halftime. At that point in time Penn held a 43 – 14 lead, their largest of the game.
Meanwhile the Quakers were scoring inside as the duo of Stipanovich and Michelle Nwokedi were hard to stop. Nwokedi scored 12 points and added 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Stipanovich also contributed 3 blocks. The defense allowed the team to play more relaxed on offense.
“If we get a lot of stops on defense it transfers over to offense,” Stipanovich said. “It gives us more confidence and keeps to momentum going.”
The guards contributed as Anna Ross scored 10 points and dished out 5 assists. Lauren Whitlatch had 9 points all from beyond the arc.
The Red and Blue take a trip to New England next weekend meeting Harvard in Boston before travelling to New Hampshire to play Dartmouth.
“We have great momentum right now,” said Stipanovich. “We are really playing well as a team.”
Penn gets my vote in the New Hampshire primary.
Written By: Glenn Papazian