PHILADELPHIA, PA. 3/12/2017 – The University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team won the Ivy League regular season title. They added the Tournament championship with an 57 – 48 victory over the Princeton Tigers in the final. Penn will represent the Ivy League in the NCAA Tournament. Forward Michelle Nwokedi led Penn with another double-double, her eighth in the last nine games, with 15 points and 11 rebounds and was named the Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
“It has been a tremendous ride with this team,” said Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin. “It’s a celebration they will remember forever. We ere fortunate to win three of the last four championships, but this one was special, on our court, something we will cherish forever.”
It was a matter of making more shots for the Red and Blue. Penn made 22 of 55 (40%) and were 8 of 25 from distance (32%). Princeton made 18 of 64 from the floor, and 5 of 17 from beyond the arc.
The game had some ending drama as the Tigers closed the deficit to 9 points with just under 3 minutes to play. The Quakers maintained control, but the opponent still chipped away getting to within 55 – 48 with 20 seconds left.
The Quakers established their defense in the second quarter holding the Tigers to 4 points, those came in the last 1:13 of the quarter. The lead was 29 – 18 at intermission.
“It is what we do every day and the most important as it is a controllable part of the game,” Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin said about the defensive effort. “On defense we we narrowed in on what we had to do.”
With the defense established, the offense went to work for Penn as Nwokedi and Anna Ross lead an 11 – 3 run in the the first three and a quarter minutes of the third quarter to take their largest lead at 40 – 21.
Anna Ross scored a team-high 17 points and dished out 4 assists. Kasey Chambers contributed 13 points, a season-high, and a game-high 5 assists. Sydney Stipanovich closed out her Palestra experience with 8 rebounds. The senior has been a part in three Ancient Eight titles in her career.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Stipanovich said. “The last four years have been amazing. I wish I could be here for another four years. It was amazing for my senior year to be on the Palestra floor with a win.”
Bella Alarie led Princeton with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Leslie Robinson scored 9 and handed out a team-best 3 assists.
The Quakers will see who they will play in the tournament and where on Selection Monday. The team will be ready.
“We can compete with any team,” said Nwokedi. “Last year, Washington, we went in the game not thinking we were underdogs, but equal with them. This year it will be the same type of thing.”
The All-Tournament Team selections were; Erika Steeves and Shayna Mehta of Brown, Bella Alarie and Leslie Robinson of Princeton, and Michelle Nwokedi and Anna Ross of Penn.
Written By: Glenn Papazian
Be the first to comment