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Sophomore guard Phoebe Sterba stepped up when the Quakers needed her most, leading the team with 14 points from the bench.

Credit: Chase Sutton

NEW YORK — In the first game of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader, Penn women’s basketball defeated Columbia 75-39 on Friday afternoon just three days after falling to rival Princeton on the road.

While the Quakers (16-6, 7-2 Ivy) dominated the second half to blow the game open, the Lions (7-17, 1-8) kept things tight through the first two quarters as they trailed by only four points at halftime. Check out the three biggest takeaways from the game below.

Penn’s secondary players stepped up

When Penn senior guard and captain Anna Ross picked up her second foul less than five minutes into the game, it would’ve been perfectly reasonable to think the Quakers were in trouble. Ross leads Penn in assists and is the team’s only natural ball-handler.

But instead of struggling with their floor general on the bench, the Red and Blue responded. Ross didn’t sub back in until midway through the second quarter, but by then, Penn’s lead had been extended to nine points.

With Ross off the floor, senior guard Beth Brzozowski and sophomore guard Phoebe Sterba saw some increased minutes. Sterba was especially impressive, going off for an efficient 14 points in 16 minutes minutes. Coming into the night, Sterba averaged just four points and 11 minutes per game.

Junior guard Ashley Russell also stepped up for the Red and Blue as she joined Sterba with 14 points to co-lead the team in scoring.

Penn stepped on the gas in the second half

Despite holding off the Lions during the time Ross was on the bench, Penn still found itself leading the Ivy League’s last-place team by just four at halftime.

But the Quakers came out as a different team to begin the third quarter. Columbia didn’t score its first points of the half until over five minutes of game time had expired as the Quakers blew the game open with an 11-0 run to start the quarter. By the time the quarter was over, Penn’s lead was up to 20 and the Quakers never looked back from the way to a 36-point victory.

The Quakers contained Camille Zimmerman

Averaging over 20 points per game, it was no secret that the biggest strength of Columbia’s offense was senior forward Camille Zimmerman, who currently ranks sixth all-time in scoring in Ivy League women’s basketball history.

And just like in the Quakers’ first win over the Lions in January, they weren’t able to completely stop Zimmerman, but they certainly made things hard for her. When it was all said and done, Zimmerman finished with 12 points, but it took her 16 shots from the field to do so. 

The Red and Blue also frustrated her into seven turnovers, which was more than half of Columbia’s total for the game.

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