PROVIDENCE, RI 3/9/2019 – The University of Pennsylvania won a game against the Brown Bears in Providence. That win earns the Quakers a share of the 2018-19 Ivy League women’s basketball crown with a 12 – 2 record. The co-titlists are the Princeton Tigers.
“It means everything especially this year,” said Ashley Russell. “We are just a whole new team and am proud to see this group get a championship. I am a senior and can’t ask for a better way to send my senior year.”
This is the 6th overall championship for Penn and their fist since 2016-17. Penn gets the presentation this season as Princeton got it last year.
Princeton staked their claim to the title with a win over Yale. The automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament will be decided next week in New Haven at the Ivy League Championships. The Quakers will be awarded the second seed as the Tigers won the tiebreakers. The Harvard Crimson will be the third seed, and Penn’s opponent in the opening round. The Big Red of Cornell won the fourth seed and will face Princeton in the opener.
After breaking an early tie at 5 the Red and Blue ended the first quarter outscoring the Bears 16 – 5 to lead 21 – 11 at the end of the first 10 minutes. Penn held Brown to 9 second quarter points to lead by 15 at intermission. The Quakers broke it wide open in the third quarter and were never threatened winning 75 – 53.
“We were down four in the fourth quarter against Yale and we played awesome,” said Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin. “We were locked in, the grit and grind we talk about was huge.”
Eleah Parker led the Red and Blue in scoring with 26 points. Phoebe Sterba scored 23 points and made 7 of 11 from beyond the arc. Princess Aghayere had 16 points. Ashley Russell scored 6 points, and had a game-high 9 rebounds and 6 assists.
Shayna Mehta was the high scorer for Brown getting 16. Erika Steeves had 11 points. Both Steeves and Mehta pulled down a team-best 7 rebounds. Will Taylor added 10.
It was Senior Night at the Pizzitola Sports Center. Along with the Brown seniors, the Quaker seniors; Ashley Russell, Princess Aghayere, Deja Jackson, and Kristen Daley were acknowledged.
The Ivy Tournament is up next, and Penn knows what is on the line. That is coming, now the Red and Blue will enjoy this one shining moment.
“We are looking forward to next weekend, but right now we are going to celebrate this,” Russell said.
“We will be ready,” McLaughlin said. “This is a great league, a challenging league. We will put a stop to that and just savor the moment.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian