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11-16-2021-womens-basketball-versus-kings-jordan-obi-isabella-cossu

Sophomore Jordan Obi jumps up to shoot the ball into the hoop at the Palestra during the first home game of the season against the Monarchs on Nov. 16.

Credit: Isabella Cossu

After a 43-point victory at Hartford on Sunday, Penn women’s basketball returned to the Palestra for its first home game of the season, defeating King’s College 91-55. 

Sophomore forward Jordan Obi’s 29-point, 12-rebound contribution marked her first career double-double, and contributed to Penn's (2-0) win over the King’s College Monarchs (2-1).

“Jordan’s a super talented kid. I knew she was going to play a big role," coach Mike McLaughlin said. "Here’s a girl who's a sophomore, who hasn’t played a college game … this is her second college game.” 

While the first points of the game went to the visitors, Penn was on top for most of the first quarter. However, back-and-forth baskets prevented either team from taking a large lead. Senior guard Mia Lakstigala’s three-pointer gave the Quakers a six-point lead at 14-8, which was quickly responded to by King’s Kiersten Krouse, who sank her own three-pointer to make it 14-11. 

Several Quakers added to the 20-16 score at the end of the first quarter, but the Red and Blue’s lead would extend much further in the second. 

Penn's strong offensive performance gave them an 11-3 run to start the second quarter. After a layup from junior guard Sydnei Caldwell put the Quakers up 31-19, the Monarchs’ coach called for a timeout to regroup her team. However, Penn’s total of 64 points in the paint was no match for King’s eight. 

However, Penn was unable to extend its lead more than 16 points in the second quarter, as the Monarchs dialed in several second-chance three-pointer jumpers. Despite a Quaker victory, the Monarchs scored 12 threes compared to Penn’s four — this offensive style prompted McLaughlin to change up Penn’s defensive style later in the game.

“Sometimes, we do play a lot of zone and pressure in the zone. Probably not the greatest fit for this team today," McLaughlin said. "I recognize that, that’s why we got out of it. I do want to stay the course, so the team can grow, but I didn’t wanna go too far with it. So, second half, man-on man was a better fit for us.” 

The first half concluded with Penn ahead, 48-35.

The second half opened with back-and-forth baskets, however the Monarchs then remained scoreless for four minutes while Penn enjoyed an 11-0 run. Backup layups from sophomore guard Michaela Stanfield and junior forward Silke Milliman closed out the third, putting Penn ahead by 21. 

The Red and Blue outshined King’s College in the fourth, allowing only nine points and extending their lead to 36 points. Layups from freshman guard Stina Almqvist and freshman forward Sima Visockaite closed out the scoring plays of the game. 

Despite a shortage of players due to suspensions being served by junior and senior athletes for an undisclosed violation of University protocol, the Quakers were able to pick up their second victory of the season. 

“These are unbelievably high characters. These are amazing students here. These are amazing athletes. They’re caring … They will grow from it — they’ll learn," McLaughlin said. "We’re coming close together for this. We’ve had a lot of conversations, and we’ve spent a bunch of time together … and I think we’re gonna end up on the right side of this.” 

The Quakers look ahead to their matchup with St. Francis Brooklyn on Thursday, Nov. 18, in Brooklyn, N.Y., in hopes of extending their winning streak. 

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