Penn Hopes for an Ivy League Women’s Playoff Berth Brightens

Three Quakers Set a Career-High in 67 – 53 Win Over Brown

PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/19/2022 –

Another day for the University of Pennsylvania’s women’s basketball team. The Quakers came out taking a lead, not having to climb back. After a tough loss to Yale, the team had a quick turnaround facing the Brown Bears at the Palestra. They kept it simple, and just played basketball. The result was a 67 – 53 victory led by guard Mia Lakstigala who scored a career-high 21 points making 8 of 14 from the floor and 5 of 10 from beyond the arc, tying her season-high for made three-pointers. And the Red and Blue is still alive for a playoff spot.

“We came out with a lot of energy especially after losing yesterday,” said Lakstigala. “We came out hungry, and ready to defend our home court. Everybody came out and played really hard.”

Lakstigala added 7 rebounds and 2 assists.

Padilla Helps the Offense

Kayla Padilla is normally a scorer. In this game she became the facilitator setting a career-mark for assists in a single-game with 11. The number of assists is the most by a player for the Red and Blue since Erin Ladley handed out 13 against Dartmouth in 2001. Padilla scored 5 points. The Penn coaching staff used a different approach for Padilla in this game.

“She is getting so much attention with the ball, so we tried to get Kayla to be in action when she does not have the ball,” said Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin. “She gave herself up and facilitated the ball pretty well. We need the other players to get involved and she has the ability to make them better in a lot of areas. She can shoot it, score it, pass it, dribble it effectively. She was good tonight.”

Lakstigala was a beneficiary.

“The other teams guard her really hard,” Lakstigala said. “She is good at passing and scoring. She did a great job of giving us a lift the entire game.”

The Hustle Stats

The deciding factor in the game was the Quakers winning the hustle stats. On defense the Red and Blue forced 18 turnovers by Brown, 11 by steals, and turned those into 21 points. The Bears had only 4 points off Penn miscues. Quakers guard Mandy McGurk set a career-high getting 6 steals, the most by a Penn player this season.

Off the offensive glass the Quakers grabbed 18 rebounds and limited the Bears to just 2. That resulted in Penn having a 14 – 0 edge in second chance points. Kennedy Suttle and Jordan Obu each had 4 offensive caroms.

The contributions of McGurk and Suttle contributions had impact.

“Mandy and Kennedy are two that you won’t talk about statistically,” McLaughlin said in praising his two players. “Mandy put pressure on the ball, stole the ball. You look at Kennedy. She competes for every ball that is in the air and on the ground. That’s why we have won over the years because our grit has been tough. They’re the ones who won’t get the headline. But they are the ones who win games.”

McGurk added 10 points, tying her season-high against Division 1 teams. Suttle pulled down 7 rebounds and stole the ball twice.

Statistics Recap

Jordan Obi recorded her sixth double-double of the season and 3 in the last 4 games scoring 19 points and rebounding 11 times. Obi made half of her 18 shots.

Isabella Mauricio led the Bears with 21 points while Kyla Jones added 16 points and 4 steals. Mauricio drained 6 of 11 field goal attempts and was perfect on 6 free throws.

Playoff Chances

Penn improves to 5 – 6 in the Ivy League and still resides in fifth place. But the gap between them and 4th place Harvard is a mere half-game. The Crimson has two games remaining, the Quakers have three games including a Wednesday encounter at the Big Red of Cornell who is 4 – 7 in the Ancient Eight, and just defeated Harvard.

The situation for Penn is brighter than it was just one day ago.

“One day, twenty hours later,” McLaughlin said. “In this league anything can happen. We have to bounce back. We have to go to Cornell on Wednesday, a make-up game from earlier in the year when we had Covid. A quick turnaround, but I think they’re (the Penn team) is enjoying what they are doing.”


Written By: Glenn Papazian


Mia Lakstigala #21 in White

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