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Credit: Son Nguyen

This weekend, Penn women’s basketball gained ground in the Ivy League standings with back-to-back wins over Columbia and Cornell. The team was led by two dominant performances by junior center Eleah Parker, earning her DP Sports Player of the Week. 

Parker entered this season with a plethora of awards from her sophomore season, including Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, Big 5 Player of the Year, and a unanimous spot on the All-Ivy first team. Despite having these accolades, she took some time to get going this season.

Starting with Penn’s game at Saint Joseph’s, Parker went on a stretch of five games of single-digit points. That included a game against Stetson in which she scored only two. But after that game, she turned her season around, highlighted by her performances this weekend.

On Friday against Columbia, Parker became the 23rd player in program history to eclipse the 1000-point mark, putting up 28 points. She finished just one point shy of her career high. Parker's 13 rebounds earned her a double-double, while she also had two assists and three rebounds. 

Parker followed up that performance Saturday night against Cornell. She fought off fatigue to put up 13 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, and a steal to help lead Penn to their third straight win. Her performance marked the fifth time in the last six games that she reached double digits. The only single-digit performance during that time was during Penn’s loss to Harvard, when she scored eight. 

While her offense is what stands out on the stat sheet, Parker's defensive presence on the court is unmatched. Her 6-foot-4 frame allows her to dominate in the paint and use her body to box out opponents. 

Parker now averages 2.4 blocks per game and has 43 blocks this season, the most in the Ancient Eight. Meanwhile, her seven rebounds per game is the seventh in the League.

The Quakers are going to need Parker to take her dominant performances on the road next weekend when they face off with Brown and Yale.