Looking to end its five-game losing skid, Penn women’s basketball took on the Stony Brook Seawolves on Long Island. Despite a solid early-game showing, Penn was slowly outscored over the course of the final three quarters, resulting in a 75-69 loss.
Here are my takeaways from the game:
- Kayla Padilla is cementing her case as the Quakers’ best player. Padilla has already had a tremendous career in the Red and Blue through her first two years, but the junior guard continues to demonstrate why she’s Penn’s number one option. From a quick two to kick off the Stony Brook game, Padilla often bailed out Penn’s putrid offense with her smooth stroke from three. She’s averaged 23.7 points in her seven games thus far. Against the Seawolves, Padilla had 29 points on 11-23 shooting, including 5-13 from three. She also added six assists.
- Penn’s struggles in its half-court offense negated its gritty defensive efforts, as the team even picked up full-court during certain stretches. Throughout the game against Stony Brook, the Quakers often found themselves out-hustling the home team. Despite the fact, Penn struggled to convert on the other end, finding issues moving the ball and forcing looks that weren’t there. Unable to kick out the ball, drives into the paint were often erased by help defenders leading to turnovers and poor shot selections. Fortunately for the Quakers, Penn was able to capitalize in transition.
- To add to its offensive struggles, Penn struggled to get the whole team involved, with sophomore forward Obi, Padilla, and senior guard Mia Lakstigala accounting for 86% of the team's points. In the Quakers’ previous game against Saint Joseph's, Padilla was the only player in double digits, scoring 31 of the 70 total. In their contest against Duke, senior forward Kennedy Suttle, Lakstigala, and Padilla amounted to 70% of the team’s total points. It’s no overstatement to say that Penn’s scoring is lopsided. Heavily intertwined with its half-court offense struggles, getting more players involved will go a long way in improving the offense.
- Despite the hustle on defense, Penn struggled in the paint. Starting in person defense, Stony Brook’s guards had easy dribble-penetration opportunities and its bigs had no trouble backing their way down into the paint. A quick in-game adjustment, coach Mike McLaughlin incorporated a 2-3 zone into his defensive scheme. While the team did well to guard the Seawolves’ high-low action, the zone was to no avail. Easy dribble-penetration continued and guards — as well as the Seawolves’ centers — weaved their way to the bucket with ease. Capitalizing on the Quakers’ zone choice, Stony Brook knocked down a handful of three-pointers. That, however, one would live with if the defense was able to lock down the paint.
- Penn’s best defensive possessions came during its full-court presses. Coming off of dead balls, the Quakers frequently set up in a 1-2-1-1 zone, falling back to a 2-3 in the half court. While Penn didn’t generate many traps or steals in the press, the team managed to pressure Stony Brook into turnovers and poor shot selection. During the end of the second quarter and much of the third, coach McLaughlin shied away from the press, and, as a result, Penn was outscored 35 to 30. Granted, picking up full court is certainly taxing on the players. Regardless, Penn looked its best when running a press, something the coaching staff knows they can look to again going forward.
CARTER LYNN is a College junior from Potomac, Md. studying economics. He can be reached at email@example.com.