PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/8/2020 – The University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team was coming off a draining overtime victory over Columbia the night before. The team wanted to avoid a sluggish start, and did so defeating the Big Red of Cornell 63 – 41.
We wanted to get up and down the floor,” said Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin. “That is our best offense. I told them they had to push themselves to the limit physically after last night. I wanted them to go as hard as they could in short runs. It was an excellent weekend for us.”
The Quakers started fast and built a 24 – 10 lead after one quarter and were never threatened. Guard Phoebe Sterba got things going in the proper direction hitting her first two three-point shots. She scored a season-high 22 points and drained a season-best six from beyond the arc. Sterba saw her shooting as part of an overall team effort.
“It feels good to get the first one and it helps to open the floor for other teammates and make it better,” said Sterba. “Eleah (Parker) can get deeper in the paint, Kayla (Padilla) has more room. It helps because we have really good scorers on our team.”
Eleah Parker and Tori Crawford scored on the inside with Parker getting 13 points and Crawford scoring 10 points. Off the boards Crawford pulled down a game-high 9 rebounds and Parker got 8. Sterba gathered in 7 caroms.
McLaughlin credited his point guard Kendall Grasela for piloting the offense to the beginning surge by doing all the things needed to be done.
“Kendall was the key,” McLaughlin said. “She got the ball in the middle of the floor, attacked them early, got the wings open. Kendall did a great job of getting us started. That was one of her best performances on both ends of the floor.”
Each team had 13 turnovers. The Red and Blue made the Big Red pay for their miscues with a 15 – 4 advantage in points off turnovers.
Cornell had two players score in double-digits. Both Laura Bagwell-Katalinich and Halley Miklos posted 10 points.
The Quakers are 3 – 2 in the Ivy League and sits in fourth place. Penn travels to Brown and Yale for the next Ivy Weekend.
Written By: Glenn Papazian