Every week, there’s one star across Penn Athletics that shines bright enough to merit extra recognition. The decision is often tough, but for this weekend, the answer is clear-cut: no one at Penn shone brighter than women’s basketball star Anna Ross.
Hosting Harvard and Dartmouth, the Quakers had lying at their doorstop a highly-anticipated top-two clash and a must-win in the Ivy League, respectively. The Crimson came to Philly on Friday ranked No. 20 in the RPI and riding high on a 16-game win streak. Additionally, they sat at the top of the Ivy League on a perfect 4-0 record.
Until Ross stepped in.
The Red and Blue came out strong against Harvard, and they led for the entire game after the first minute, but the Quakers couldn’t put their visitors away until the third quarter. After the Crimson started to heat up, Ross took the game by the scruff of its neck to heat Penn up even more.
The junior guard scored nine points in just five minutes, countering Harvard at every step and then some until the end of the game. Once all was said and done, and the Quakers had beaten their opponents by 20 points, Ross had registered 16 of her own — shooting an eye-popping 72 percent from the field — in addition to five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
“Oh, man...” coach Mike McLaughlin said when asked about her performance. “She was as good as you could ever ask someone to be tonight.”
Ross didn’t slow down against Dartmouth the next night, either. She showed great leadership in helping Penn power past the Big Green to top their opponents by 30 points. By the end of the weekend, she had put up 28 points, 12 rebounds — as a point guard! — a handful of assists and a couple steals to boot.
On a team as packed with stars as Penn women’s basketball, it sometimes seems like the real competition is to win Ivy League MVP awards, with the games themselves coming easily in hand. At the very least, Ross can enjoy being our Penn Athletics Weekend MVP. But don’t blink — there’s only more to come from her and her team.