Temple takes Big 5 crown in late comeback over Penn women

The Penn women, who looked like Big 5 champions in the fall when they beat St. Joseph’s and La Salle (and Drexel, for that matter), missed a share of the city title when they went cold from outside, gave up 29 points in the fourth quarter and lost at Temple Thursday night, 76-72.
Temple and Villanova get to share Philadelphia bragging rights with three wins each in the series. Penn gets to wonder how it’s lost three games in a row, albeit to good teams, and how the defense on which it prides itself failed to protect a 15-point lead.

Read moreTemple takes Big 5 crown in late comeback over Penn women

Penn fades late at Villanova in final game against Harry Perretta

The Penn women’s basketball team really, truly can beat Villanova. It can sweep the Big 5. Penn nowadays has as robust a program, as strong a coaching staff, as talented a bunch of players and stream of recruits as you can find in the Philadelphia area.
Maybe next year.

Read morePenn fades late at Villanova in final game against Harry Perretta

Penn can’t get by on potential versus No. 25 Princeton

Turns out it takes more than potential to beat Princeton.

The season’s first meeting between the two most highly regarded women’s teams in the Ivies lived up to its billing for exactly 20 minutes, as Penn played the nationally ranked Tigers about even at the Palestra. But Princeton dominated inside and played better defense — something that almost never happens to the Penn women — to pull away in the second half and coast to a 75-55 win Saturday afternoon.
Penn (10-2, 0-1 Ivy) had a monumental turnout of talent. Unfortunately for the Quakers, much of that was in the stands — among them ballhandlers and playmakers like Meghan McCullough, Kasey Chambers and Anna Ross, a dominant frontcourt player in Michelle Nwokedi, and the versatile Katy Allen and Lauren Whitlatch to drive to the basket or sink threes.They’re all alums, and they weren’t in superhero mode, ready to toss off their street clothes to reveal their old uniforms underneath and come to the rescue.

Read morePenn can’t get by on potential versus No. 25 Princeton

Penn grinds out win over Drexel in defensive Battle of 33rd Street

On a day when the ball seemed too slick to handle, the Penn women managed not to let a victory slip away, beating a persistent Drexel team 53-49 at the Palestra.
Credit some key threes by guards Kayla Padilla and Phoebe Sterba, a resurgence for center Eleah Parker, clutch steals by Kendall Grasela and sterling play on both ends by Tori Crawford.

Read morePenn grinds out win over Drexel in defensive Battle of 33rd Street

Led by Kayla Padilla, Penn has been full of surprises

The Penn women played Princeton dead even in the regular season last year and almost beat them in the Ivy League Tournament. They lost two starters to graduation, but this year wasn’t supposed to provide much in the way of surprises: relentless defense, a disciplined half-court offense, and dominant play by junior center Eleah Parker. Well, Penn has been full of surprises, most of them good.

Read moreLed by Kayla Padilla, Penn has been full of surprises