In its final non-conference game of the season, Penn women’s basketball cruised to a 89-43 victory over Stevens Tech, breaking a few team records under coach Mike McLaughlin in the process. The win was an all-around effort, with eight players recording at least five points in the contest, and is sure to provide the Quakers with a boost as they return to Ivy play. Here are the stars of the game, as well as some other important takeaways.
Stars of the game
Phoebe Sterba — The freshman guard from Cleveland, Ohio had one of her best all-around games of the year, with a complete effort on both sides of the ball. Sterba was constantly moving on offense, and found herself open to take and make several jumpers en route to eight points and five assists. On defense, she had a big presence in the first half, contributing two steals and two blocks.
Sydney Stipanovich — Stipanovich’s height advantage in this game was just unfair. Stevens Tech could do nothing to limit the 6-foot-4 center from St. Louis, Mo. on the inside, as she recorded her team-leading eighth double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds. The co-captain also had several poster-worthy blocks on defense, stuffing opposing players with ease.
Ashley Russell — The end of the third quarter was the Ashley Russell show. In the final three minutes of the period, the sophomore from Braintree, Mass. dropped all 11 of her points, most of which came on the fast break. She also added two steals and an assist in a career-best effort.
The Quakers’ offense runs through the paint — This is something we already knew, with Nwokedi and Stipanovich being the Red and Blue’s biggest scorers. But even with them playing limited minutes in the game, Penn dominated inside. They scored 44 points in the paint and continually worked the ball inside to draw defenders from the shooters on the wing and get them open looks.
It’s not just the bigs who rebound — Sure, Stipanvoich and Nwokedi always have a big impact on the glass, but everyone got involved today. Especially on the offensive side of the ball, where the Red and Blue grabbed 16 boards, the Quakers crashed into the middle, and it showed on the stat sheet. 14 players recorded a rebound, with seven getting at least three as the Quakers recorded a season-high 54 boards.
The Quakers have a bright future — With his team ahead by a large margin in the second half, McLaughlin opted to give his starters a rest and go with a lineup of sophomores and freshman, and the young Quakers did not let him down. With a very high tempo style, the girls moved up and down the court with ease, going on a 11-3 run in the third quarter. Six different freshmen and sophomores scored, and they figure to be key pieces for this year and beyond.
Interesting stat of the game
55 — The Quakers scored 55 second half points, which marks a new high during McLaughlin’s tenure, besting the old record of 48 against Princeton on March 11, 2014. Many of those points came from the freshmen and sophomores who came off the bench, as the Red and Blue shot 65.6% from the field in the half, including an absurd 76% in the third quarter.
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