Penn Athletics had a widely successful weekend, with plenty of teams taking home multiple victories. There were several standout athletes, but none shone brighter than Penn women’s basketball’s Princess Aghayere.
Aghayere was the driving force behind both Penn wins this weekend. Her total stats for the weekend were 33 points on 79 percent shooting with 10 rebounds, but even that doesn’t do her performance justice.
The sophomore forward was a force to be reckoned with in Friday’s game against Columbia. With senior center Sydney Stipanovich nursing an ankle injury and junior forward Michelle Nwokedi in foul trouble, Aghayere was thrust into a prominent role.
And boy did she come through. Aghayere finished with a team-leading and career high 21 points and was nearly unstoppable in the paint. She also added six rebounds, several of which came on her own shots and gave her second chance opportunities to score. Her persistence and aggressiveness near the basket gave the Quakers a scoring threat on a night that they sorely needed one.
Against Cornell on Saturday, Aghayere jumpstarted the Quakers, providing a vital spark at just the right time. After a slow first quarter in which the Red and Blue trailed for the majority of play, Aghayere led Penn on a run to take a four-point lead into the half, one they would not relinquish. In the last 3:25 of the half, Aghayere put up six points, including a buzzer-beating layup.
The forward’s post work on offense was crucial again, as she recorded two more offensive rebounds and gave Penn another option down low. She finished the day with 12 points despite only playing for 18 minutes.
Aghayere has normally played second fiddle to Nwokedi and Stipanovich, but her emergence as a legitimate scoring threat in her own right makes Penn all the more dangerous. She proved this weekend that she can carry the team if needed. Without her, the Quakers would have had a tough time winning either of those games, and because of that, she’s our Weekend MVP.