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Shooting 5-for-8 from the field, Penn sophomore guard Mikaelyn Austin tallied 15 points against St. Joseph's to lead the Quakers in scoring. [Stefan Miltchev/The Daily Pennsylvanian]

While the Penn women's basketball team paid tribute to the University's sororities in honor of last night's Panhel at the Palestra celebration, St. Joseph's had no plans of being sisterly.

The intracity rival Hawks (4-2, 1-0 Big 5) dominated and easily dispatched the Quakers (2-5, 0-3 Big 5) in Penn's home-opener, 81-57.

After the loss -- the Red and Blue's fifth consecutive defeat -- Penn coach Kelly Greenberg was left scratching her head at the team's ongoing struggles against non-conference opponents.

"We're going to take some bumps and bruises right now," Greenberg said. "As a coach, I don't have any answers right now."

While the Quakers are having trouble finding solutions, last night's loss exposed several of Penn's most glaring problems.

From the outset of the game, the Red and Blue had difficulties controlling the ball and crashing the boards.

Penn scored the game's first two points on sophomore Jewel Clark's swooping lay-up, but that would be the only lead the Quakers would hold for the entire game.

After suffering two quick turnovers and giving up two offensive rebounds to the Hawks, Penn found itself down 8-4 three minutes into the game -- a gap it would never bridge.

The Quakers turned the ball over twelve times in the first half alone, and were outrebounded 23-14 in the first twenty minutes, with eleven of these St. Joe's rebounds coming on the offensive end.

Dominated in every facet of the game, Penn trailed 42-24 at halftime.

"You'll never win a game with a lot of turnovers because that just sets you that far back in a hole," Penn senior captain Julie Epton said.

"The same with offensive rebounding, you can't give them that many shots."

Such ineffective glasswork was especially problematic for the Quakers' last night, since the Hawks' frontcourt featured All-American candidate senior Susan Moran, and six-foot-two sophomore center Stephanie Graff.

This potent duo took full advantage of Penn's inability to box out and grab rebounds.

Moran scored 18 points on 9-of-17 shooting and grabbed seven boards. Graff registered a double-double, tallying a game-high 23 points and bringing down ten rebounds.

Six-foot-five reserve center Irina Krashnosiok also cashed in on Penn's poor interior defense, pouring in 14 points in only 12 minutes against the undersized, punchless Quakers.

"The bottom line is they had Susan Moran," Greenberg said. "I think she's one of the best players in the East coast."

"She's a great challenge for us. We talked about it for the last 24 hours and yet we still let her do the things she does so well. Again, we didn't have any answers for her and we didn't have any answers for [Stephanie] Graff."

Despite the demoralizing loss, the Quakers were glad to see their underclassmen and reserves show some promise.

Sophomore guard Mikaelyn Austin drained three trifectas in the first half and finished with a team-high 15 points.

"Mikaelyn did shoot very well," Epton said. "That was an excellent part of the game. She's definitely getting confidence out there and that's nice to see."

Freshman center Katie Kilker also contributed off the bench, totaling 10 points and eight boards.

Although the Quakers' reserves are making significant contributions, Penn realizes it needs more consistency from its starters.

"We just have to fine-tune and and find the right combination on the court that will win us some basketball games," Greenberg said.

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