Three Ivy League doubleheader weekends, three sweeps, and a 7-0 record in conference play. You can’t ask for a better start to Ivy League basketball season.
Penn women’s basketball shellacked Cornell, 65-50, for its sixth consecutive victory and 13th in the team’s last 14 games.
The Quakers (18-3, 7-0 Ivy) never trailed the Big Red (31-9, 5-3 Ivy) and held the lead for almost 39 of 40 minutes, maintaining a double-digit advantage from the 6:09 mark in the second quarter through the remainder of the contest.
“I thought we continued to play the way we wanted to play,” coach Mike McLaughlin said.
For the second consecutive night, the Quakers shooting stroke was fully functional early on, with the team hitting at 63 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from three in the first half.
Junior center Sydney Stipanovich scored 14 of her game-high 21 points in the first 20 minutes, and sophomore guards Anna Ross and Beth Brzozowski were right there with 10 and 8 points, respectively.
McLaughlin spoke to the value of sinking shots early and forcing the defense to respect the perimeter.
“I think it kept them at arm’s length,” he said. “We came out, we made shots. Sydney made a bunch of jump shots, we hit a couple threes, that really gave us a push there in the first half. When our guards start making shots, it frees Sydney and Michelle a little more in the post.”
At first, it looked as though Cornell could outdo Penn’s signature zone by converting from beyond the arc, with Kerri Moran providing the Big Red’s first six points on threes. However, those would be the only treys of the half for Moran and company, as they went on to miss the remaining seven attempts in the half. Forward Nia Marshall had 13 of Cornell’s 27 at the half, and 10 of those came in the second period after staying quiet in the first.
Both offenses struggled out of the break, as they combined for just 24 points in the third quarter and 21 in the fourth. The Red and Blue shot just 7-for-30 from the field and missed all eight three-point attempts, but the Big Red couldn’t do much better themselves on 30.8 percent shooting. Cornell forward Nicholle Aston’s nine second-half points were the most of any individual.
Marshall carried the offensive burden for the Big Red, shooting a respectable 7-for-13 for 17 points. However, the rest of the team managed just 13 of 41, including Caroline Shelquist and Christine Ehland going a combined 1-for-17.
For the Quakers, Stipanovich filled out the stat sheet, leading the team in points, rebounds (12), assists (4) and blocks (3) while adding two steals.
Sophomore forward Michelle Nwokedi scored six points in each half along with five rebounds, three blocks and three steals, and six Penn players recorded at least one steal en route to forcing 14 Cornell turnovers.
Moving forward, the Red and Blue will face the test of two straight weekends on the road, and first up are Brown and Yale, each of which Penn has beaten at the Palestra. Stipanovich said she’s looking forward to the challenge.
“Road games are naturally tougher and we’ll have to bring our A game every night.”Comments powered by Disqus
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