W. Hoops loses to Villanova extending streak
Quakers end Big 5 with 0-4 mark as offensive woes continue
January 17, 2012, 11:29 pm · Updated January 18, 2012, 1:36 am·
Kai Tang | DP
For the first time in her collegiate career, Alyssa Baron was silenced.
In the women’s basketball team’s 52-30 loss to Villanova (12-6, 4-0 Big 5) last night, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year shot 0-for-8 from the field in her first scoreless game.
“She’s trying to do a little too much,” coach Mike McLaughlin saod. “She’s trying to force the action a little too early too often and she needs to let the game come to her.”
Baron’s difficulties represent the larger offensive struggles that continue to plague the Quakers (7-7, 0-3), as they extended their losing streak to five games.
Penn led, 11-9, at the midway point of the first, but it would be its last lead of the game. The Wildcats went on a 7-0 run and closed out the frame with a 21-6 run overall. They headed into the break with a 30-16 lead.
“[Villanova is] really good at skipping the ball and great at getting quick shots off,” said sophomore Brianna Bradford, who had three points and three steals in 17 minutes on the floor.
“The first 12 minutes of the game, we played the way we needed to play to give ourselves a chance,” McLaughlin said. “It got away from us in the last eight minutes of the half and it just spiraled.”
The offensive problems intensified in the second half, as the Quakers could only muster one basket in the first eight minutes of play.
“We’re leaving a lot of opportunities out there. We have transition opportunities that we’re not capitalizing on,” McLaughlin said. “We’re putting a lot of stress on our halfcourt team.”
Villanova, ranked No. 27 nationally in scoring defense, built up a 22-point lead in the second, from which the Quakers could never recover. Despite Penn’s offensive difficulties, this was the first time the Quakers reached the 30-point threshold against the Wildcats since 2005.
Though Baron played a team-high 31 minutes on the court, she could find no success against Villanova’s tight defense.
“I think we all fell victim to it, not just [Baron],” Bradford said.
Baron’s previous career-low scoring output was seven points — once against St. Joseph’s on Saturday and last year against Lafayette.
“We’ve got to move the ball quicker. We’ve got to be able to beat their player off the dribble. We have to finish around the basket,” McLaughlin said.
After going unbeaten in the first three Big 5 games of the season, the Wildcats’ victory ensured them the Big 5 championship title, their 13th under coach Henry Perretta.
The Red and Blue will have to jump-start their offense if they want to snap their five-game skid when they face Temple on Saturday in their final tune-up before Ivy play resumes.