Penn women stop Brown to stop skid

The Penn women ended a bad week with a strong win Saturday night, beating Brown, 74-60, at the Palestra and locking up a berth in the Ivy League Tournament.
The Quakers dominated the inside; that was to be expected. And the Bears had some success with what they do best, outside shooting plus a fast transition game. But Penn kept pace with Brown from the outside: Penn was 10-for-28 from three, and Brown was 11-for-29.
On Senior Night for Penn, that outside matchup was personified by two shooting guards who have played one another very well for four years, Penn’s Phoebe Sterba and Brown’s Justine Gaziano. Each knocked down five threes; Sterba had 15 points, six assists and two steals, Gaziano 21 points and six rebounds.

Gaziano will wrap up her Ivy career with two games at home next weekend, but her totals Saturday already made her the second-highest scorer in Brown program history and 11th ever in the Ivies; she’s likely to finish in the top 10.

Brown junior McKenna Dale led all scorers with a career-high 27 points on 10-of-22 shooting while picking up three assists and three rebounds.
But Brown doesn’t have the height and the depth to beat this Penn team for 40 minutes — at least not these 40 minutes. (The Quakers were mostly ineffectual in lopsided losses Tuesday and Friday against Princeton and Yale.)
Following their abysmal night against Yale, center Eleah Parker and guard Kayla Padilla were back in form: Parker ruled the paint on offense and defense, and Padilla found her range. Parker went 11-for-15 for 24 points and 14 rebounds, with four blocks and two steals. Padilla went 5-for-13, including 4-for-8 from three, for 18 points.
Penn also controlled the ball far better. Senior point guard Kendall Grasela had the sort of game coach Mike McLaughlin has come to expect: six assists with just one turnover, a steal and even a couple of blocks. Grasela doesn’t shoot when she doesn’t have to — she had three points — but she’s a big reason Penn had 25 points off turnovers, versus 10 for Brown.
In the absence of forward Tori Crawford, who rolled her ankle against Yale, Penn also got good games from backup center Emily Anderson and backup forward Kennedy Suttle, who combined for 15 rebounds.
Brown returns home for its final games of the season next weekend against Harvard and Dartmouth. Penn hits the road for Cornell and Columbia, potentially playing the latter for the No. 2 seed in the league tournament.

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