Penn women’s basketball found yet another way to win in order to climb above .500 for the first time this season.
The Quakers (4-3) coasted to a 54-40 win over LIU-Brooklyn (2-5) on Sunday. The win was Penn’s fourth straight after beginning the season 0-3, marking the first time the Quakers have reeled off four consecutive victories since Feb. 2005.
“I give the girls tremendous credit,” coach Mike McLaughlin said about the team’s current streak. “They were resilient. They never let up.”
Following an overtime victory over Bucknell and an 18-point comeback against St. Francis (NY), Penn led from start to finish and won by a double-digit margin for the first time all season.
“The past few practices we’ve been well-prepared and that showed in this game,” senior guard Brianna Bradford said.
The Quakers led 32-20 at the half largely due to their dominance beyond the arc, where they nailed six three-pointers and shot 54.5 percent in the first stanza.
Junior guard Alyssa Baron led all scorers with 17 points, including a trio of three-pointers. Sophomore forward Katy Allen added nine points, seven rebounds and three treys of her own.
McLaughlin said the team generated several open looks by finding players on the perimeter off of dribble penetration.
But the Quakers’ outside shooting cooled off in the second half, as they only went 3-for-16.
“[The Blackbirds’ defense] tightened up in the second half,” Bradford said.
Penn also played solid defense all game, holding the Blackbirds to 28.3 percent shooting from the field and forcing 18 turnovers.
McLaughlin said the Quakers took advantage of LIU-Brooklyn’s aversion for three-pointers — the Blackbirds only attempted six all game.
“We really defended well,” McLaughlin said. “It was probably our best defensive game as a unit all season.”
The Quakers’ four-game winning streak comes right as they enter the final exam break in their schedule. Penn won’t take the court again until Dec. 21 against rival Drexel.
“[The wins] feel really good, especially going into the break,” McLaughlin said. “I wish we could play again [soon].”
Bradford is confident the Quakers can pick up right where they left off once finals are over.
“We’re just going to keep practicing and do our best to stay as sharp as possible,” she said. “It’s nice to have this last win under our belt so we still have a bit of momentum.”
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