PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/10/2018 – It is tight at the top end of the Ivy League women’s basketball standings. The University of Pennsylvania and Princeton are tied at the top. Right behind them are Dartmouth and Harvard, this weekend’s visitor. It is a chance to make a statement. And the Quakers did quickly winning 69 – 49 over the Harvard Crimson on Play for Kay Night at the Palestra.
And the statement was made by senior forward Michelle Nwokedi who rewrote her record book. Nwokedi set new career-high marks in points with 30. She scored 27 of her points in the first half and made 9 of 14 from the floor, a new best for made baskets. The last time a Penn players scored 30 or more points was 31 by Keiera Ray in 2013. The Missouri City, Texas native converted 4 of 8 three-pointers, another career-mark for made three’s. Harvard did not have an answer for Nwokedi.
“I feel it more so, now,” said Nwokedi about her offensive performance. “Today I said I am on so keep putting it up. It was a good day.”
“On any given day it could be anyone of us, and today was my day.”
Penn raced out to a 25 – 10 lead after one quarter, and went into the locker room with a 45 – 21 halftime advantage.
“It was very important,” Nwokedi said about getting off to a good start. “We wanted to defend our home court. We knew they were going to come in here ready to play. That first fifteen minutes we played at the top level we can play.”
Harvard was limited to 18 of 58 shooting (31%). The Crimson turned the ball over 22 times which gave the Red and Blue a 26 – 9 edge in points off turnovers.
“Defensively we were good and got them unsettled,” said Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin.
In addition to Nwokedi, forward Princess Aghayere took down 8 rebounds. Guards Anna Ross and Beth Brzozowski each handed out 5 assists, an all-time best for Brzozowski.
The battle for the top spot in the Ancient Eight will be conducted on Tuesday when Penn travels to Princeton.
“I want them to enjoy this tonight,” McLaughlin said. “They should. I want them to not fast forward. Monday, we come in and get ready for Princeton. they got us good here the first time, but we are better than we were then. That should help us.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian