Penn women's basketball suffered its first conference loss at the hands of Princeton, dropping to the Tigers 70-50.
The Quakers (7-8, 2-1 Ivy) entered the game against Princeton (12-4, 4-0 Ivy) on the heels of a series of cancellations and postponements due to COVID-19. After picking up its third win in a row against Dartmouth this Saturday, Penn's loss against a strong Princeton team today temporarily stopped Penn's forward momentum in its tracks.
The beginning of the game played out similarly. Penn's early offense was powered by the familiar duo of junior Kayla Padilla and sophomore Jordan Obi, as they scored all seven of Penn's points, leading to a 7-6 lead early in the first quarter.
However, Princeton would come back in full force, holding Penn scoreless for seven minutes and racking up 24 points in the process, as Julia Cunningham's eight points outscored all of Penn. Padilla hit a jumper in the paint to snap Penn's scoreless streak just before the quarter ended. Penn ultimately trailed Princeton 24-9.
This lead would prove insurmountable as the game wore on.
With a better second quarter from Penn — featuring yet another buzzer beater from Padilla as she hit a three in the dying seconds of the half — Princeton still led by twelve points. The scoring was back-and-forth, but Princeton's poor shooting in the quarter suggested that its performance would uptick in the following quarters.
In the third quarter, Penn was just able to keep pace with Princeton. After halftime, Penn continued its momentum with an early 6-2 run, including back-to-back buckets by junior Mandy McGurk. However, Cunningham continued to run hot, scoring 12 points and preserving Princeton's double-digit lead.
Padilla was unable to continue her streak of buzzer-beaters due to being fouled by Cunningham on a fast break, but she did knock down both free throws to close the quarter.
The fourth quarter proved to be Penn's worst — even when compared to their first quarter. Princeton only attempted nine field goals in the entire quarter but still outscored Penn due to fouls and abysmal shooting from the Quakers. Penn shot only 20% from the field in the entire fourth quarter and was outscored 14-7.
Despite double-digit performances from Obi, Padilla, and senior Mia Lakstigala, Penn ultimately lost 70-50.
Penn will hope to find its footing again in its next game at Yale (10-6, 3-1 Ivy) this Saturday, Jan. 22.