Defense wins championships and games for that matter, as Penn women’s basketball exemplified on Friday.
The Quakers rarely trailed as they blew out Dartmouth at the Palestra, 71-53, in the first game of their first Ivy weekend of the season.
The game began rather close; with the Big Green (3-14, 0-3 Ivy) edging ahead to an 8-5 lead early in the first half behind a pair of three-pointers. However, with 15 minutes remaining in the half, the Red and Blue (11-5, 1-1) would put on a brilliant stretch of basketball.
Over the next 7 minutes, the Quakers held the Big Green scoreless, suffocating Ivy League-leading scorer Fanni Szabo and Co. and forcing a myriad of difficult shots.
Meanwhile, Penn ripped through the Dartmouth zone, finding space both inside and outside. The key to the run was the fast break as a number of Dartmouth turnovers led to easy buckets for guards Alyssa Baron and Melanie Lockett in transition.
Early in the second half it appeared as though Dartmouth may have figured out the offensive issues that plagued its first half struggles.
However, Alyssa Baron just wouldn’t let the Big Green back in the game. As Dartmouth attempted to rally with much improved shooting in the second half, Baron would go on to score 13 points in the first seven
minutes of the half to help expand an already healthy Penn lead.
And of course, just as it did in the first half, the defense would follow suit. A dominating five-minute stretch in the second half would see Dartmouth score just one point as the Quakers extended their lead to 24.
The rest of the game would see the Big Green attempt to stage some form of rally that would ultimately be unsuccessful as Penn held its ground.
The success for the Red and Blue came for a large part from junior guard Kathleen Roche, who was lights out from long range, hitting on 4-for-5 from 3-point range. Meanwhile, Baron ended the game with an impressive 20 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
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