Penn women’s basketball may have ended its season almost a month ago, but the awards haven’t stopped coming in, recognizing the team’s standout season.
Junior forward Michelle Nwokedi was just named a member of the All-Big 5 First-Team for the season, while senior center Sydney Stipanovich picked up a Second-Team honor herself.
The two bigs combined all season long to form a terrifying pair in the paint on both ends of the floor. On offense, they combined for over 26 points per game — while on the opposite end, Nwokedi and Stipanovich racked up the most and third-most blocks in the Ivy League, respectively, over the course of conference play. And in the process of getting her 55 total blocks, Stipanovich became the all-time record holder for career blocks in the Ivy League.
But the Big 5 proved to be a thorn in the Quakers’ side all season long, providing half of the team’s eight losses in the end. It was a stark contrast to Penn’s 13-1 Ivy League record.
For their performances, Nwokedi and Stipanovich were already named Ivy League Player of the Year and Second-Team All-Ivy, respectively, so it’s no surprise that the two earned similar honors in the Big 5. They were simply too good not to be recognized, even though Penn went 0-4 in the Philadelphia mini-conference, losing by slim margins to all four opponents — an average of seven points each time.
The pair of stars will be honored at the Big 5 banquet next Monday at the Palestra. It will be a fitting end to the college career of Stipanovich, who leaves the program as one of the top-three players in Penn history. For Nwokedi, meanwhile, it will mark the official end to her junior season and give her full rest until the team gears up for the 2017-18 campaign.
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