When the Penn women's basketball team drops 91 points in a single game, it is tough to imagine Diana Caramanico not being an unstoppable force responsible for most of the squad's points. That's just the way it's been for such a long time. But last night, even as Caramanico fought her way through double- and triple-teams to score 21 points, Drexel had several other problems to worry about. For the first time this season, all five Penn starters scored in double figures, and the opposition could not focus all of its energy solely on the star senior forward. "That's nice to see," Penn coach Kelly Greenberg said. "We were on early. We were hitting everything. You can't talk enough about confidence." Confidence is sure to flow whenever a team hits 74 percent of its shots, as the Quakers did on their way to 52 points in the first half. "Neither team was playing defense, so that had something to do with the score," Caramanico said. While both Penn and Drexel did struggle through some defensive lapses all night long, the Quakers were certainly not having much trouble on the other end of the floor. Freshman Jewel Clark hit an impressive 10-of-13 from the field on her way to a career-high 26 points. And she wasn't the only one to finish the contest with a career high. Sophomore point guard Tara Twomey had already reached the best scoring output of her career with 10 first half points, including a couple of important three-pointers. She added a free throw in the second half to finish with 11. "If Tara Twomey is hitting three-pointers like that, the other Ivy League coaches should be scared," Greenberg said. If last night's contest was an indication of what may happen in upcoming conference games, then the Quakers might just be giving the other Ivies several reasons to be scared. Like many teams have in the past, the Dragons focused on taking Caramanico out of her game early, collapsing on her in the low post. "I felt a lot of pressure from the defense on me," Caramanico said. "If they're going to put two or three people on me, it's great to see my teammates carry the scoring." While Caramanico was limited to a less-than-characteristic 13 field goal attempts, other Quakers were definitely willing to pick up the scoring load. Leading the way were Clark and senior guard Erin Ladley, who finished with 17 points. Forward Julie Epton (10 points) was the fifth and final starter to reach double figures. This offensive balance was evident form the opening tip-off. After Drexel jumped out to a 5-0 lead, Ladley responded with a three-pointer and a short jumper to tie the game. Clark and Epton then added baskets, and Twomey chipped in with two free throws. When Caramanico hit a foul shot to give Penn a 12-8 lead, she was the final Penn starter to get on the board. For a player who owns every scoring record in Penn history and is on pace to become the Ivy League's all-time leading scorer later this season, it's unusual not to be forced to lead the scoring charge. But that's just the way this night went. Offensively, Penn was firing and hitting from everywhere. As both Caramanico and Greenberg noted, it's easy to do that on an evening when defense was as rare as it was last night. Yes, Caramanico cannot really be totally stopped, a fact to which her 21 points attest. But Penn has proved it is more than just one player. With a rising star in Clark and solid contributions coming from every part of the floor, Penn's balance might just be the key to its success.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.