PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/28/2020 – It was bounce back time for the University of Pennsylvania. The Quakers were coming off a loss at Princeton. But it was not to be for Penn as they lost their second Ancient Eight game in succession falling to the Yale Bulldogs 71 – 54 at the Palestra. It was the first time the Red and Blue dropped an Ivy game at home to a team other than Princeton since February 6, 2015 when Cornell emerged victorious.
The Quakers struggled on both offense and defense in this game dropping back-to-back Ivy games for the second time this season.
“It was both ends of the floor,” said Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin. “I don’t think we created anything off our defense. We were stuck in the half court. We weren’t efficient offensively. We didn’t generate anything.”
Penn had the lead only in the first quarter and for a total of just over two minutes. Still, the Red and Blue stayed in contention trailing 29 – 23 at halftime. Yale dominated the third quarter outscoring Penn 27 – 16. During the first six-plus minutes the Bulldogs converted eight consecutive baskets while the Quakers made one of seven during that time. The Eli ballooned the lead to 49 – 29 with just over three minutes remaining. It was the turning point of the game.
“I thought we were fortunate to get to halftime down six,” McLaughlin said. “At the start of the second half we had a good look early and missed it and it opened up from there. Then we had to change who we are and how we play. It was an uphill struggle. I give them credit. They came on our court and outplayed us.”
Penn did not have an answer for Yale guard Roxy Barahman who scored a game-high 29 points making 10 of 21 from the floor and an impressive 4 of 7 from beyond the arc. Barahman converted 5 of 6 from the free throw line, handed out a game-best 5 assists and added 5 steals. Camilla Emsbo added 10 points. Yale made 27 of 61 attempts for 44.3%.
No Penn player scored in double figures as the team shot 21 of 72 (29.2%). Phoebe Sterba and Michae Jones led the team with 9 points. Eleah Parker totaled 4 points. Kayla Padilla was held to a career-low 3 points. For the game Parker and Padilla shot a combined 3 for 24. Tori Crawford grabbed 9 rebounds before leaving the game with a lower leg injury in the second quarter. Kennedy Suttle also pulled down 9 caroms, 7 off the offensive glass for a season-high.
Princeton clinched the Ivy League regular season championship defeating Brown. Penn, Yale, and Columbia are tied for second place with 7 – 4 league records. Harvard is in fifth place at 5 – 6 with three games to play. The main focus for the Penn team is to win. Step one on that journey starts Saturday against Brown.
“Our backs are against the wall a little bit,” said McLaughlin. “We’re trying to get a bid to the Ivy Playoffs. What I was saying in there was let’s respond tomorrow. It’s all about the response tomorrow.
Written By: Glenn Papazian