A much-improved Penn women’s basketball team still has a long way to go if it hopes to become an Ivy contender.
In the Ivy opener for both teams, Penn (7-6, 0-1 Ivy) fell to three-time defending Ivy champion Princeton (10-5, 1-0), 77-47, Saturday at Jadwin Gym.
The Tigers, preseason favorites to win yet another Ivy title, have taken nine straight against the Quakers. Penn has not won at Jadwin Gym in nearly eight years.
“It’s always tough going on the road, especially the first Ivy game,” sophomore Katy Allen said.
The outcome of the game was not in doubt for very long as Princeton stormed out to a 17-2 lead to open the game.
“We got off to a very slow start in the first five minutes that we couldn’t get out of,” Penn coach Mike McLaughlin said. “Once we settled down we did some pretty good things.”
McLaughlin said that Penn’s slow start stemmed from excellent execution by Princeton. “We were ready. We were prepared.”
“We just didn’t come out with enough energy,” Allen said.
Junior Alyssa Baron led all scorers with 15 points to go along with six rebounds. Allen added 12 points and four boards.
As the final score showed, Penn had a difficult time stopping the Princeton attack. The Tigers’ 77 points tied for the most the Quakers have given up all season.
The Red and Blue held Princeton’s leading scorer, senior Niveen Rasheed, to only 10 points. But the Tigers had seven players with at least seven points, including all five starters. Princeton finished the game with an astronomical 28 assists, led by sophomore Blake Dietrick’s nine dimes.
“They move the ball very well. They have the ability to score in many different facets,” McLaughlin said.
The Tiger bench also outscored the Quakers’, 26-9.
Ultimately, the Quakers did not have the firepower to match the Tigers. “The score got a little bit too high,” McLaughlin said.
Despite the lopsided final score, Penn can take several positives from the game. After stumbling out of the gate, the Quakers executed much better offensively as the game progressed. They scored 31 second-half points compared to 16 in the first half.
“I’m really proud that we turned it around,” Allen said.
The Quakers also felt that they played the Tigers closer than they had been able to in the past. Last season, Penn lost to Princeton by 35 and 37 points.
“We showed a lot of improvement over the past year against them. Especially that second half, we showed we can play with them,” Allen said.77-47
“The second half us a confidence boost that we’ll be really competitive in our league and we’ll be able to do well.”
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