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Sophomore guard Stina Almqvist dribbles to the basket during the game against La Salle at Tom Gola Arena in Philadelphia on Nov. 29. Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

Building its winning streak to now four consecutive games, Penn women’s basketball handled its business at home with an assertive 78-44 rout of St. Francis Brooklyn.

The first quarter was aptly summarized by the five straight three-pointers drained by the Quakers (5-5) that went unanswered by St. Francis (1-9), closing the quarter on a barrage of points for Penn.  

“We came out of the gate sharing the ball, making threes,” Penn coach Mike McLaughlin said. “I don’t know the last time we [scored] 33 in a quarter but it was a really impressive start that really set the tone for the rest of the game.”

After coming into the first few minutes on a 9-0 run, the Red and Blue set the rhythm for the rest of the game, putting up 33 points against the Terriers in the first quarter alone to a season-high. Penn grasped onto the lead for the entire evening.

St. Francis limited the Quakers to just 13 points in the second quarter, but those efforts proved too little too late as Penn headed into the locker room at halftime with a 29-point lead. Despite going on their own 8-0 run to open up the third quarter, the Terriers could not keep up with Penn’s high-output offensive performance that produced a season-high 78 points. 

Led by Penn senior guard Kayla Padilla and junior forward Jordan Obi who both claimed 20 points each, the depth of the Penn roster also proved to play a key role in the team’s win, with 23 points scored by the bench.

“We knew we had an uphill battle to climb,” Padilla said. “But I think our record is just a testament to how much we’ve been able to translate what we learned to really execute on the floor and just get good wins.”

By the end of the game, in which Penn’s greatest lead was 37 points, 13 different players had found their way onto the score sheet for the Red and Blue. Defensively, Penn was led by Obi and junior forward Floor Toonders with a combined total of 18 rebounds.

On the other side, St. Francis struggled to put numbers on the board. Led by sophomore center Sarah Bandoma who scored 10 points, the Terriers finished shooting only 30% from the field and 21.1% off of three-point attempts.  The game quickly ran away from the Terriers as they lacked the scoring threat to chase Penn's score.

After losing five of their first six games, the Red and Blue have fought their way to a 0.500 win percentage. With their next seven games to take place at home, the Quakers hope to capitalize on their home-court advantage to keep stacking wins. And while the locker room is excited amid their most recent success, they have not forgotten the defeats quite yet, serving as fuel to their ambitions ahead.

The Quakers will face off against cross-city rivals Temple University at the Palestra this Sunday, Dec. 11 at noon with the hopes of extending their current winning streak. 

“I think we’re getting better as a basketball team,” McLaughlin said. “There’s work to do to get ready for [Temple] but we feel good. We’re playing good and the kids are having a good time doing it. So let’s keep it going.”