After a tight first three quarters, the Quaker women’s basketball team (11-13, 6-6 Ivy) was able to hold Cornell (9-14, 4-8) to only seven points in the fourth quarter to come away with a 70-57 victory.
With the team fighting to make the playoffs, this win comes at a crucial time for the Quakers, as they now sit tied with Harvard for fourth place in the Ivy League. The top four teams advance to the Ivy Tournament, so with only two games remaining, the Red and Blue need every win they can get.
“[We're] playing every game like it’s a championship game, ” Padilla said.
Star guard Kayla Padilla scored 25 points in this outing, making four out of seven three-point attempts and going nine for 12 from the charity stripe following a poor shooting performance last week. This was Padilla's eighth time this season scoring 20+ points.
Senior Kennedy Suttle snatched an impressive 17 rebounds, 11 of which were offensive, giving the team many crucial opportunities to knock down three-pointers, of which the team made 9-26. Suttle’s rebounds also facilitated Penn’s 21 second chance points, which was more than double Cornell’s.
The Red and Blue struggled at times in the first half, with Cornell’s efficient offense making a big splash in the first quarter with three consecutive three pointers, but key shots from senior Mia Lakstigala helped keep the team neck and neck with the Big Red. The tight score pushed the team to change their defensive strategy, applying more pressure to try to take Cornell out of its rhythm. In the fourth quarter, the Quakers closed out the victory by making seven out of 10 attempts from the free throw line.
Coach Mike McLaughlin also highlighted junior Silke Milliman’s play, who finished with four points and two rebounds in just under nine minutes of game action.
“She came in and gave us a really good burst," McLaughlin said. "I think it was one of her most solid performances that we’ve had. It’s really important that she continues to build the minutes.”
The Quakers will next face off against Dartmouth in the Palestra on Saturday at 2:00 p.m., where they'll look to build off the momentum of their two-game winning streak.
“I think the energy is slowly building, and we’re at the right time to make a really great move and hopefully get to the tournament,” Padilla said.