The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Senior forward Kennedy Suttle attempts a shot against Brown on Feb. 19 at the Palestra. Credit: Samantha Turner

Seemingly unfazed by the prior night's disappointment of defeat, Penn women’s basketball buried Brown at the Palestra under a crescendo of scoring rhythm to win 67-53, as junior guard Kayla Padilla yielded the stage for her teammates to mark career-highs and top scores.

Padilla proved her influence when off the ball, making a career-high 11 assists and providing immense support for her teammates after being an essential scorer through the season. 

“We’re trying to get Kayla to be in action more when she doesn’t have the ball," coach Mike McLaughlin said. "And I thought she gave herself up tonight to really facilitate the ball.”

Credit: Samantha Turner Sophomore forward Jordan Obi fights for the rebound against Brown during the game on Feb. 19 at the Palestra.

With Padilla’s support, senior guard Mia Lakstigala leaned into leading the score for the Quakers, making a career-high 21 points and seven rebounds to push Penn towards the win. Sophomore Jordan Obi, who remained reliable as ever near the paint, notched her sixth double-double of the season. 

“Even our coach said before the game, 'Just play like it's pick-up,'” Lakstigala said. “I think we are doing a really good job of playing with each other. I think that really helped to give us the momentum throughout the entire game.”

42 total rebounds by the end of the night proved that no fight was too small to chase for Penn. With a fifth of its points fulfilled from second chances at the ball, the Quakers indulged in persistence against Brown’s goal.

“Second chance points to me are really important because it shows that extra level of grit,” McLaughlin said, “and I thought we did it tonight.”

But even in the subtler statistics, the Quakers pulled through with tenacity to claim the victory. Penn made 18 offensive rebounds compared to Brown’s two, with senior forward Kennedy Suttle contributing four. Junior guard Mandy McGurk's six steals were the most any Penn player made in a game this season.

“Mandy put pressure on the ball, stole the ball, and then you look at Kennedy to the ground–that’s what Penn has done; that's why we've won over the years,” McLaughlin said. “Them two tonight, you know, they're not the ones that are going to get the headline tomorrow, but they're the ones that win the game.”

Credit: Samantha Turner Senior guard Mia Lakstigala attempts a three-pointer during the game against Brown on Feb. 19 at the Palestra.

A ten-attempt scoring drought stained the Quakers’ performance in the first half. But Penn’s night concluded in upbeat spirits as it made eight out of ten attempts leading up to the final whistle. Lakstigala ensured that the night belonged to Penn by sinking a three-pointer to close the game.

Despite the gap in final score, Brown did not fail to pick up strong paces through the evening against the Quakers. Loud ovation from the Brown bench made it clear whenever the Bears held the upper hand in rhythm. Foul trouble earned the Bears 11 points from free throws, and they took advantage of every lull in Penn’s offensive energy.

But consistency too often faced towards the opposite bearings for Brown, as the Bears concluded the first half having gone almost eight minutes without scoring. They became tangled in Penn’s high tempo towards the end of the game, having failed to narrow the gap to Penn’s lead through the second half.

“They had a couple of runs, but we just wanted to make sure that we didn't let that get to our heads, and we just took a deep breath and came together as a team,” Lakstigala said. “And I think when they did go on runs, we made sure that we came out even harder.”

The only other time this season that the Quakers lost on Friday and won the following day after was against Columbia and then Cornell during the first week of February. Penn will hope to claim another win against Cornell, this time at the Big Red's home court on Feb. 23.