PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/29/2020 – The University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball coach Mike McLaughlin was looking for his team to refocus and be ready for this game. The team responded breaking a two game losing streak defeating a stubborn Brown Bears team 74 – 60 at the Palestra. The coach was happy with the reaction of his team.
“I thought for the most part we responded pretty well,” said McLaughlin. “It was an emotional night, senior night, and we had to find a way to get a win. We did.”
Adding to the game was the celebration of Senior Night. Prior to the game Penn honored seniors Kendall Grasela, Phoebe Sterba, Emily Anderson, and Liz Satter. Also, they learned earlier that starting forward Tori Crawford would not be able to play in this game due to injury. The team put that beside them and played with spirit fueled by Senior Night.
“Never knowing when your last time is going to be when you play on this floor, that was the motto we came in with this game,” said Grasela. “We said we had forty minutes left on this floor, and we have to give it our all. That’s how the emotion carried through.”
With the win and a Cornell victory over Harvard, Penn clinched a bid to Ivy Madness, another cause for celebration. The Quakers are in line for the second seed at this minute. Much rides on next week results as to the final seeding.
“I was really happy, I had no idea,” said Sterba about clinching a bid. “That was our first goal, to get to the tournament no matter what. Getting there, now we have to go on to our next goal. Everyone was happy to get there.”
Brown guard McKenna Dale scored a game-high 27 points, a season-high. Fellow backcourt mate Justine Graziano added 21 points and a team-high 6 rebounds.
In the game Eleah Parker was a force inside recording a double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds. She made 11 of 15 from the floor, and Parker pulled down 6 offensive rebounds. It was the 7th double-double of the season and 25th of her career.
“When Eleah could get us a basket any time we wanted with a quality shot it opened up the floor for everyone else,” said McLaughlin.
Kayla Padilla added 18 points hitting four three-pointers. Sterba added 15 points and 6 assists, while Grasela also handed out 6 assists. Anderson had 8 rebounds, 3 off the offensive glass.
The game ended, and it was the last regular season game on the floor for the seniors. This is a special time in their lives, and something they will never forget.
“I was so emotional,” Anderson said. “Playing with these girls for four years, it was the time of my life to be out there on the court with them. It’s sad that I won’t be able to continue. This is the greatest court in the whole world. I loved the time I got to play.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian