The shots were falling for Penn women's basketball on Saturday, as the team used four double-digit scoring performances to cruise past Harvard. It was one of the Quakers' best offensive outputs of the season, with the 87 points marking the most they've scored against a Division I opponent this year.
The Quakers struck first at Lavietes Pavilion, with senior forward Kennedy Suttle scoring a game-opening layup off an assist from senior Mia Lakstigala. Penn continued its run to start the game with a Kayla Padilla jumper and a second Suttle layup.
Harvard followed the Quakers' scoring streak with its first basket of the game, but Mike McLaughlin's squad kept up its scoring pace. Penn outscored the Crimson 19-13 in the first quarter and 22-13 in the second quarter.
A major factor in the Quakers' first half success was the efforts of Penn's two leading scorers on the season, Padilla and sophomore forward Jordan Obi. Padilla scored 14 of her 23 points in the first half, while Obi scored 15 of her 20 over the first two quarters. The scoring duo shot a combined 4-6 from beyond the arc and 10-15 from the floor in the first half.
One issue the Quakers have faced this season is a lack of secondary scoring options behind Padilla and Obi, who are averaging 19.9 and 13.8 points per game, respectively. But that issue didn't make the trip up to Harvard, and Padilla and Obi had no shortage of help in putting up points. Freshman Stina Almqvist's 15 points were the second-most of her career, and Suttle's 19 were a season-high.
Despite entering the half with a 41-26 lead, the Quakers were outpaced by the Crimson throughout the third and fourth quarters. Penn's shooting from beyond the arc dried up, with the Quakers making just one of their eight second-half attempts. The Crimson, however, made six of their 14 three-point shots, helping them send the game into overtime. Harvard's offensive output was primarily fueled by junior guard McKenzie Forbes, who scored a career-high 30 points on the back of 11-26 shooting from the floor. Forbes' effort was also complemented by a 23-point outing from first-year guard Harmoni Turner.
Penn's second-half struggles did not extend to overtime, where the Red and Blue held Harvard to just three points in the bonus period. The Quakers made good use of six points from Padilla, who also made all four of her overtime free-throw attempts.
The Quakers (9-12, 4-5 Ivy) have now won back-to-back Ivy League games for the first time this season, and they continue to right the ship following a mid-season five-game losing streak that threatened their Ivy Tournament hopes. Following Saturday's win at Harvard (12-10, 6-4), Penn sits at fifth in the Ivy League with five conference matchups left. The team will look to continue its winning ways this upcoming weekend, when it hosts Yale and Brown at the Palestra.