A point shy from doubling its score from its last time out against Princeton, Penn women’s basketball dominated Yale 79-57.
The Quakers (13-6, 5-1 Ivy) offense dominated Yale’s (10-9, 4-2) from the start. The team pushed the ball in transition which created easy buckets in the paint. The Red and Blue also forced turnovers which aided their transition attack. Senior guard Mandy McGurk had 2 steals at the half, and Penn had 4 collectively. Additionally, the ball movement was dynamic, allowing the Quakers to be patient for the right shots.
“I thought the ball moved and reversed side to side,” coach Mike McLaughlin said. “I thought we made some adjustments, some improvements.”
With regards to scoring, the pairing of junior forward Jordan Obi and senior guard Kayla Padilla was absolutely lethal as they combined for 23 points at the half. When Yale was closing in on Penn late in the second quarter, it was Padilla and Obi who bailed the Quakers out with quick buckets to hold the lead at 38-28 at the half.
“They are the focal point of our offense, our defense, our team, our program right now, and they’ve really taken ownership of that,” McLaughlin said of the duo. “Jordan has been special; her practice habits are amazing right now.”
The Quakers were also solid defensively, allowing just 28 points in the first two quarters. Furthermore, no Bulldogs had more than 8 points in the first half, a testament to great team defense. Yale also failed to get to the line due to the Quakers‘ disciplined defensive scheme. At times, Yale seemed out of rhythm as Penn would run a full-court press.
The Red and Blue dominated the third quarter as the lead at the end of the period ballooned to 20 with a score of 60-40. Padilla was on fire, scoring at will. The Quakers rebounded well and prevented the Bulldogs from scoring in the paint. Yale struggled to make shots, as its offense started to fall off a cliff mid-way through the third.
“We try not to play in the half court … I think you see that in our ability to get transition buckets and really exploit their defensive weaknesses,” Padilla said. “Then again, when you have five players who are looking to score and get aggressive, it opens the gates for everyone.”
The fourth quarter was more of the same, except the Quakers had some more flare in their game. The passing was on point with junior forward Floor Toonders racking up 4 assists in the game. Moreover, the Quakers became even more aggressive, attacking the rim on several occasions. The final score was 79-57, with Padilla’s 21 points leading the way for Penn.
Penn is currently tied for first place in the Ivy League. The Quakers will next be in action at Harvard on Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+.