Heading into the home stretch of Ivy League play, Penn women’s basketball needed a spark, and this weekend they got one from senior forward Princess Aghayere.
Despite starting every game for Penn this season, Aghayere is still relatively new to opening the game for the Quakers. In each of her 85 career games before this season, she came off the bench. Yet, the forward has filled in admirably for graduated All-Ivy forward Michelle Nwokedi, as she is currently second on the team in scoring with 11.8 points per game and third in rebounds with 6.6.
After a disappointing double-overtime loss to Harvard last weekend, Aghayere helped the Quakers get back on track as the Red and Blue swept a weekend series against Columbia and Cornell. In each of the wins, the senior led the team in scoring with 19 points against Columbia and a career-high 23 versus Cornell.
Not known as a sharpshooter, Aghayere took advantage of the extra spacing on the perimeter provided by her teammates' strong ball movement to knock down a number of outside jumpers. Especially impressive was her performance from beyond the arc, where she shot a perfect 4-for-4, including a career-high three deep balls against the Lions on Friday.
Also crucial to her success was her willingness to fight on the offensive glass, as she grabbed nine offensive rebounds across the weekend, which included a career-high of seven against the Big Red. Aghayere’s success at creating second chance opportunities was crucial for the Quakers, who scored 15 second chance points compared to Cornell’s six.
With an impressive 8-1 record in the Ivy League and a solid grasp on first place, the Quakers are certainly starting to consider the possibility of postseason play. Crucial to their ability to advance and win the Ivy Tournament will be the play of Aghayere, who will likely draw difficult matchups when the games start to mean more.
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