Penn Downs Division III Gwynedd Mercy
PHILADELPHIA, PA 12/30/2022 –
The University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team had not played in 19 days. This contest would be an opportunity to see how much the layoff affected them. The opponent was the Gwynedd Mercy Griffins of the Atlantic East Conference. The Quakers led throughout and coasted to a 95 – 38 win at the Palestra. Penn has experienced this situation in the past. The game was an indicator of where they stand off the break.
“I thought they reacted well, said Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin. “I think one of the goals was to see that we can come out and not struggle through that, and I thought we did a pretty good job.”
The Quakers had a physical advantage and that showed in the play around the basket. In points in the paint the advantage for the Red and Blue was 58 – 8 overall. Also, the Quakers defensively forced a 22 – 3 edge in counters due to mistakes by the other team.
Gwynedd Mercy showed ability to shoot from deep. The Griffins made 7 of 26 from three-point land, a few more were in and out. Alexis Eagan and Kelly Owens drained two each. This game represented an opportunity for them to play up and in an historic arena. It added to their motivation.
“I think that is really the story,” McLaughlin felt about this game. “We’ve done this, playing Division III at this time because it’s easier for us to control the schedule of the game, but also gives these young ladies who are passionate about their game to come to this place and play, their parents and family here.”
What the Numbers Say
Of the 17 players who saw the floor,16 scored. Jordan Obi scored in double digits getting 12 to go along with 7 rebounds. Stina Almqvist had 11 and Sydnei Caldwell added 10 along with Iyanna Rogers. Playing time for some players was an added benefit for the Red and Blue.
“The other thing was to see how we can build depth and who could get on the floor,” McLaughlin said. “The bench kids got a chance to play, and I thought they handled themselves well.”
The number of points scored was three shy of the Penn program record for points scored on the Palestra floor.
Of the fourteen players suited up by Gwynedd Mercy eight players recorded points. Ava Casale led the team with 7 points.
Gwynedd Mercy (7 – 6) starts league play as they host Immaculata on January 4th.
Penn (7 – 5) returns to Ivy League play. It is a short turnaround as Brown comes to visit on January 2nd. Ready?
“I think we will be ready for Brown,” McLaughlin said. “This team is ready for league play, and this team is getting better and better.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian