The Quakers just needed to get away.
After dropping three straight at home, capped off with an overtime loss to Brown last Saturday, the Penn women’s basketball team needed its New England road trip.
There, the team snapped its losing streak, but not before one more game was tacked onto it. After falling to Harvard Friday, 66-52, the Red and Blue bounced back with a 73-63 overtime win over Dartmouth Saturday.
“Obviously we were on a little bit of a slide, but thankfully we went out and got one win.” coach Mike McLaughlin said.
Friday, the Quakers (9-12, 2-5 Ivy) were down just one at the half but couldn’t keep up as the Crimson (12-9, 5-2) pulled away late in the second.
“We just didn’t play well enough for 40 minutes,” McLaughlin said.
Sophomore Alyssa Baron led the Quakers Friday night with 18 points and five rebounds. She hit 4-of-7 three-point attempts, but the effort wasn’t enough, as she was held scoreless in the second half.
“In the second they just made her work extra hard, and we just didn’t pick up the pieces for her,” McLaughlin said.
Senior Jess Knapp made her first start since tearing her ACL and MCL on Dec. 30, grabbing five rebounds and putting up four points in 24 minutes.
“Jess had a really rewarding weekend,” McLaughlin said. “She played the most minutes since she’s been back. She’s getting more comfortable and learning her limitations — she’s doing really well.”
Harvard won the game on free throws and second-chance points. The Crimson outscored Penn at the charity stripe, 9-3, and on second opportunities, 11-4.
Playing in desperation mode Saturday, the Quakers took care of business — eventually.
Facing a struggling Dartmouth squad that had lost 15 of of its last 16, Penn — behind freshman forward Katy Allen’s career-high 17 points, prevailed.
“We lost an overtime game a week ago to Brown, so it was huge to come in against Dartmouth and win,” McLaughlin said.
In addition to Allen’s 17 points, Bonenberger added 17 of her own and grabbed nine boards, dished out four assists and nabbed two steals.
Knapp started again, and in 30 minutes on the court, she pulled down a season-high 11 rebounds and added three points, which included her 500th career point.
The extra frame simply proved to be too much for Dartmouth (3-18, 1-6), as Penn outscored the Big Green in overtime, 17-7.
“It was satisfying — I was really happy we could get it,” McLaughlin said.
The Red and Blue will attempt to build on their progress next weekend when they hit the road again for their annual swing through the Empire State. They face Cornell Friday and Columbia Saturday. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.
“If you take away a few minutes of all of those early season Ivy losses, we were right there with all of those teams,” McLaughlin said. “I like our chances.”
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