Penn women's basketball has been on a roll in Ivy play recently, and the team isn't planning to slow down anytime soon.
The Quakers (13-5, 3-2 Ivy) are currently on a crucial three-game winning streak against their Ivy League opponents. Last week they defeated Cornell (9-9, 2-4) by a score of 63-41, just a day after narrowly edging Columbia (11-8, 2-4), 86-84. The Red and Blue will travel to Providence, R.I. to take on Brown (7-12, 1-5) this Friday to try to improve their standing in the Ancient Eight.
Recently, the Red and Blue have had a string of strong individual performances. Against Cornell, senior guard Phoebe Sterba was a standout, with six three-pointers, six defensive rebounds, and 22 points total on the night. The day before, junior center Eleah Parker impressed with 28 points and 13 rebounds, joining the 1,000-point club and earning the honor of Ivy League Player of the Week. It will be critical for Penn to continue with these individual showings if they want to improve their standing in the Ivy League.
This weekend, the Quakers will also look to maximize the number of points they score in all four quarters, and remain consistently in possession. In Penn’s last loss, a 58-51 defeat on the road against Harvard (13-6, 4-2), they scored just two points in the second quarter, despite performing remarkably the rest of the game.
Though Brown sits in last place in the League, the Bears are only two games removed from a strong 83-point performance against Dartmouth, and the Quakers must capitalize on every opportunity to remain in possession throughout the run time of the game.
In their second competition of the weekend, the Red and Blue will play Yale on Saturday. Currently second in the League, the Elis have only dropped one contest this season, losing to Harvard last Friday. This ended the Elis' eight-game winning streak, but they were able to bounce back the next night to beat Dartmouth by 20 points. Prior to their Harvard loss, Yale had also been defeated in the Ivy League.
Sophomore forward Camille Emsbo put up 29 points for Yale against Dartmouth. Yale has had an incredibly strong season. Even in their loss to Harvard, the Elis were up by two points at the half. Senior guard Roxy Barahman has been averaging 17 points a game for the Elis, leading their offense.
In its last two games, Penn finished with a combined 55 defensive rebounds, 15 steals, and 40 points-off turnovers, displaying the importance of the Red and Blue’s defense in their recent wins. Against a Brown team with offensive potential, the Penn women’s basketball team must put up similar defensive showings if they want to remain in the lead throughout.