The Penn women's basketball team has repeatedly lost games after blowing second-half leads. For the Penn women's basketball team, the prescription for a win is simple: don't fade in the second half. Unfortunately, this formula has occurred only three times so far this season. Many of Penn's losses have come after the team either blew a halftime lead or let a game get out of reach late in the second half. This pattern began in the team's first game of the season against Villanova on November 14 and continued Monday against Lafayette. What makes the problem even worse is that the team has yet to figure out a solution. "We really don't know what's wrong," sophomore forward Diana Caramanico said. "But it's happened so much we're really in need of solving it." In Villanova, Penn (3-10) was tied at the half with the Wildcats, but lost by 10 due in large part to three consecutive turnovers in the second half. In Monday's game, the Quakers held a 36-28 halftime lead over the Leopards, but were outscored 53-33 in the second half and lost 81-69. Poor execution on defense and a four-minute scoring drought in the last five minutes of the game led to this defeat. "We're more prone to hitting both defensive and offensive lapses in the second half," Caramanico said. "And when we hit an offensive lapse, it affects our defense and vice versa." The Quakers' efforts to solve their second-half woes have included different attitudes on the court as the game progresses. "We've tried getting on each other when players make mistakes, we've tried taking a more relaxed approach," Caramanico said. "Our mental focus just isn't there." When the Quakers do equal their first half performance in the second frame, the result is a victory. In the win against Stetson, the Quakers scored 42 points in the first half and 43 in the second. While Stetson was able to cut into the Quakers' lead in the second half, Penn's strong offensive performance throughout the game preserved the victory. In the Red and Blue's only Ivy win of the season, Penn was tied with Yale at the half, but then outscored the Bulldogs 38-32 in the second half for the win. In their three wins, the Quakers have been able to retain momentum in the second half and keep it throughout the entire game. "In our losses, we lose our momentum and always struggle to get it back," Caramanico said. This kind of momentum swing occurred in what was perhaps the team's most deflating loss of the season. In the Quakers third game of the season, the team held an 18-point lead over Temple. But the Owls gained the momentum and overcame the Red and Blue, eventually winning 81-75. Despite the major concern over this aspect of Penn's game, the Quakers have yet to find a remedy. If they don't overcome the problem soon, the Quakers second half of the season could be as bad as the second half of their games.Comments powered by Disqus
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