Penn Caps a Weekend Sweep

The Red and Blue Defeats Gwynedd Mercy for Two Weekend Wins

PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/31/2023 –

This is not exactly a traditional Ivy Weekend for the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team, but for the Penn freshman it is a look at what the back-to-back games will look like. And the Red and Blue got two wins. The first was over Maine on Saturday. Today the Division III Gwynedd Mercy Griffins visited. Penn cruised to an 89 – 34 win at the Palestra.

For the Quakers it was a look at preparation for two games in two days. Just like in the league.

“We handled today, pregame, the way we’ll handle back to back in an Ivy,” said Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin. “Obviously the starters played under 15 minutes, a little bit of a different animal in terms of back to back 35 minutes, but put them in the mindset. Will tell you down the road of dividends.”

The game started quickly for the Red and Blue scoring the first 14 points. The Griffins put a point on the scoreboard at the 6:04 mark on a free throw by Gabby Marinacci. Penn got the next 6, then GM got their first basket with 3:49 remaining when Lynzie Eggers hit a jumper. As expected Penn had the physical advantage, and used it hitting shots inside and outside.

They were prepared.

“Our focus on the shoot around against Maine was the strongest we’ve had all year,” McLaughlin felt. “We had kids fly in from Europe, and the west coast. Just to get their feet on the ground on the 28th. They did a really good job.”

“I told them I want you to value every second you have a chance to play. I don’t care what the score is, who’s on the floor with you. We’re going to need that. Play 40 times, 14 times we’re going to have to be really good. And find a way to make sure we’re really enjoying it.”

The key metric for the game is the number players used, and all players in uniform saw game action. For Penn most everyone scored. No one played well over 16 minutes, and no player played less than 8 minutes. That can make the coach happy.

“It gives the young kids a chance to get on the floor,” McLaughlin said.

Mataya Gayle and Jordan Obi led the Quakers with 14 points each. Stina Almqvist and Iyanna Rogers had 10. Eggers, the leading scorer for the Griffins contributed 10 points.

Maybe the Gwynedd Mercy players will remember the score? Maybe not. But both teams will remember that they played in an historic gym, the Cathedral of College Basketball, The Palestra. Someone can recall that she made a basket there. A treat to be always remembered.

“I’m a local person, and to give a a local team a local team a chance to play in this place, give them a story down the road that they played here,” McLaughlin said. Someone’s going to grab you 15 years from now, a young kid that’s now a young adult, a woman with kids, and said I played at the Palestra. A small part of that, and I’m doing the right thing.”


Written By: Glenn Papazian


Penn Forward Jordan Obi

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