Penn women’s basketball went to Princeton on Saturday to open up its Ivy League season with an absolute thriller. The game was back-and-forth for all 40 minutes, making it a roller coaster of a rivalry match. Ultimately, the Quakers pulled away to secure a crucial 62-57 victory. It was a good, if not convincing, start to conference play. But at the end of the day, all that will matter to coach Mike McLaughlin’s team is the W.
As for the players, there was a mixed bag of performances. Below here are our first ever player ratings:
Anna Ross, G — 7/10
Started off playing like a coach on the court. She played facilitator, conductor, and finisher all in one. The swagger was palpable in the first half, when she strolled into the paint and put up points, despite her small size. Faded towards the end, though, but thankfully, her teammates stepped up when it mattered.
Kasey Chambers, G — 8/10
Absolutely phenomenal on defense. Four steals and several other key break-ups in the final minutes of the match prevented Princeton from completing a comeback. One clutch steal came out of nowhere with two minutes left, and her ensuing assist to Sydney Stipanovich sealed the game for her team. Her eight assists equaled the rest of the team’s combined total. The only reason Kasey didn’t earn a full 10 was her poor shooting. 2-for-10 from the floor, including 1-for-8 from behind the arc? She can do better.
Lauren Whitlatch, G — 5.5/10
Penn’s sharp shooter had a bad night from deep. All seven of her shots came from three, and she only made two of them. Put in a shift defensively, though.
Michelle Nwokedi, F — 8/10
Started really slow, but finished really strong. She seemed one step behind in the first half, but that didn’t matter by the end, when she led the team in scoring with 13 and pulled out four crucial second half blocks. For all the limelight her fellow big Stipanovich receives, Nwokedi has quietly become a leader of the team.
Sydney Stipanovich, C — 6.5/10
Mike McLaughlin can always count on Sydney Stipanovich producing for his team. She was dependable as always, scoring 10 and stifling Princeton’s paint presence. She did have one missed layup in the fourth quarter, though, that was mind-boggling. That being said, only one gaffe could take away from her otherwise solid night.
Beth Brzozowski — 9/10
CLUTCH! Brzozowski won the game for her team with three three-pointers in the final six minutes — her only points of the night. The first two came on two straight possessions to tie the game up, with the third trey coming as a dagger with just a couple minutes left on the clock. Living proof for her team that it doesn’t matter how they start, as long as they finish.
Princess Aghayere — 7/10
When the starters all hit a lull in the middle of the game, Penn’s rising influence was there once again to pick up the others’ slack. Scored all six of her points in just a few-minute span when her teammates needed her most.
Phoebe Sterba — NR
The freshman only played seven minutes, failing to make a big enough impact to merit a rating. She has looked promising in recent weeks, though.
Ashley Russell — NR
Only played five minutes, failing to make a big enough impact to merit a rating.