PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/7/2020 – The University of Pennsylvania had a 16-game winning streak over Columbia. The streak now is 17 for the Quakers who had to earn it winning 86 – 84 in overtime at the Palestra. Penn is 2 – 2 in the Ivy League and is in a fourth place tie in the Ancient Eight Women’s Basketball standings.
In a game that was statistically even, and turned in the direction of the Red and Blue with inside play. Forward Eleah Parker recorded a season-high 28 points, one shy of her career-high, and Tori Crawford added 13 as Penn had an advantage in points in the paint and second chance points. The duo made 17 of 35 shots. The Penn big players did not over complicate it.
“Tori and Eleah got deep and kept it simple,” said Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin. “Instead of making multiple moves around the basket they just powered the ball up, and when they got doubled, they got the ball out. Break it down to simple basketball.”
It was the second twenty-point game for Parker this season who recognized that the game would rest on close to the basket play.
“Our coaches encouraged our team to get the ball inside, Parker said. “We wanted to play in there.”
Parker scored the last seven points in regulation for the Red and Blue, but Columbia got the last five to send the game into an extra five minutes. In the overtime freshman Kayla Padilla took over the scoring as she accounted for 8 of the Quakers 11 points in the extra period and 22 for the game.
“From the jump Coach McLaughlin emphasized a sense of urgency,” Padilla said. “In overtime it is an automatic sense of urgency. It is my role to score, so I need to do what I can.”
A last shot by Columbia went off the back rim and rolled away.
At the 7:31 mark of the third quarter Parker made a layup to give her a career 1,000 points, the 23rd player in program history to reach that milestone. She now has a total of 1,013 points.
“It’s amazing,” said Parker. “I feel honored to be part of the group that reached that milestone.”
She also recorded her 3rd double-double of the season and 21st career by pulling down 13 rebounds in the game.
Columbia got a career-high 28 points from freshman guard Abbey Hsu who connected on 6 of 9 three-point shots. Fellow freshman Kaitlyn Davis had 10 points. Sienna Dunn got 16 for the Lions.
Columbia did not go away. Penn needed to be resilient and met the the challenge
“Our team is built for these kind of moments,” Padilla said. “We went through a lot of adversity in January. We learned a lot of lessons and that carried over into this game. We had to keep fighting and not let up.”
In the Ivy League it is always a quick turnaround. Cornell comes to visit on Saturday night.
Written By: Glenn Papazian