Penn women’s basketball’s second meeting with Cornell went down exactly like the first: a commanding Penn victory. The Quakers never trailed on the way to a relaxed 47-34 win. The win clinches an Ivy League tournament appearance for the Red and Blue, and the first ever for a women’s team. Stifling defense never allowed Cornell a chance to get into the game, and held the Big Red to a measly 34 points. Here’s how each of the players did.
Anna Ross, G – (7.5/10)
The junior floor general played the quintessential Anna Ross basketball game. She did a little bit of everything, putting up 4 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds in 35 minutes of game time. Her most important contributions were off the stat sheet however. Ross’ vision and distribution of the basketball as well as yet another outstanding defensive performance were exactly what the Quakers needed.
Kasey Chambers, G – (7/10)
Chambers was quiet in the first half, scoring only one point, while making most of her contributions on the defensive side of the ball. The second half was a dramatic change as the senior knocked down two big threes to help the Quakers pull away. Her leadership and basketball IQ have always been noted, but a severely underrated part of her game is shot selection. Chambers only takes high percentage field goals, which means she doesn’t shoot incredibly often, but when she does, she knocks them down.
Sydney Stipanovich, C – (7/10)
It remains unclear whether Penn’s MVP center is 100% healthy after an ankle injury sustained three weeks ago. Stipanovich put in yet another full shift, and played well doing it, but she lacked the dominance we have come to expect from her game. Perhaps she is being held to an unfair standard, but the reigning Ivy league player of the year should do better than 3-10 from the floor. That said, Stipanovich still grabbed 8 rebounds and played shut down defense for 36 minutes.
Beth Brzozowski, G – (5/10)
How Brzozowski managed to log a negative plus/minus in a game Penn won by 13 and she played 21 minutes in is remarkable. The junior scored only five points on eight shots and shot only 17% from behind the arc. It was a game where the Quakers didn’t need her to go off, but with Harvard and Princeton looming, those days are fast approaching.
Michelle Nwokedi, F – (1000/10)
1000 career points. Enough said. Nwokedi becomes only the 22nd Quaker to hit that career mark, and she’s still a junior. After two quarters, Nwokedi had over half of Penn’s points. Simply put, she carried the team on her back for the first half, before her teammates showed up in the second half. She finished with 18 points, her 10th double-double of the year, and more than a few vicious blocks. She scored from everywhere on the court, including two massive threes to stave off Cornell runs. In the end, a fantastic and historic performance.
Ashley Russell, G – (6/10)
The Sophomore didn’t get the start but did end up playing more minutes than starter Beth Brzozowski. After a rough first quarter, Russell’s hustle and defending made her a constant nuisance. Her play often toed the line between grit and foul, putting her in early foul trouble, and earning her a seat on the bench with four fouls late in the fourth quarter. While hustle plays don’t show up on the score sheet, anybody watching the game surely noticed Russell. Her scrappiness was at its best in the paint, where she grabbed seven rebounds despite a height disadvantage.
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