It makes sense that on the night of Floor Toonders’ return from the injury that kept her off the court for the season’s first six games, her Penn Quakers would control the inside.
But the 6-foot-4 senior forward came in for just four minutes and made no plays; it was her shorter teammates who made their inches and aggressiveness count in beating La Salle Wednesday at the Palestra, 79-71.
The freshman from Georgia showed why coach Mike McLaughlin made her his starting point guard by running the offense and scoring 25 points in three quarters as the Penn women beat a good Siena team on the road Sunday afternoon, 85-79, in a back-and-forth game between well-matched teams.
Saint Joseph’s gave Penn women’s basketball a reality check Tuesday night at the Palestra. After the Quakers’ comfortable season-opening victory Saturday over Marist, the undefeated Hawks cut them down, 72-48.
The Hawks have run up 20-plus-point margins of victory in each of their first three games (including at Yale). Their top scorers from last year have returned, joined by grad student Chloe Welch and freshman Gabby Casey, two of the five Hawks who hit double figures at Penn. Sophomore forward Laura Ziegler led the way with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
How good are these Hawks offensively? Well, in the first quarter, they hit a third of their shots, including 1-for-3 from three, and the Quakers kept pace. In the second quarter, St. Joe’s hit half of its shots, including 2-for-4 from three (the killer being a buzzer-beater from just inside half-court to leave Penn seven points down). In the third quarter: 57% overall, 40% of threes. In the final quarter, 75% on all shots, including 3-for-4 on threes.
The Richmond women started hot and never cooled off much at home, ending Penn’s season Thursday in a first-round WNIT game, 75-52.
There was no fairy-tale ending for Penn. Kayla Padilla notched 21 points on 7-for-18 shooting, eight rebounds and five assists — leading the team in all three categories — in her final game for the Red and Blue. She played all but the final seconds and got hugs from her coaches as time expired. But Richmond (21-10) played an impeccable game at Robins Court — jumping to an 11-0 lead and hitting five three-pointers in the first quarter. The Spiders’ lead built to as much as 29, and they outscored their opponents in each quarter.
PRINCETON, N.J. – What looked like a rout for the top-seeded Princeton women turned into a close game, but they stopped a Penn comeback and took their semifinal game Friday in the Ivy League Tournament semifinal, 60-47.
The Tigers had reason to be confident: They were on their home court, they were the regular-season titleholders for the fifth year in a row, and they’d beaten the Quakers decisively just a week earlier in West Philly. Princeton scored first, then again, then again and again, setting up fastbreaks seemingly at will — 19 points in the first quarter on 50% shooting. Penn, meanwhile, was a portrait in futility: two points on 1-for-13 shooting.
“I felt really good after that first quarter,” Princeton coach Carla Berube said.
It was a game of limited importance. The Penn women, in third place and assured of a spot in the Ivy tournament, made the long road trip to Hanover, N.H., for what was supposed to be a tune-up at Dartmouth, which had yet to win an Ivy game.
But Penn wasn’t playing like a team contending for a title Saturday — shooting poorly and turning the ball over repeatedly coming off a disappointing loss at upstart Brown a week earlier.
Penn held just a one-point lead when Dartmouth junior guard Mia Curtis grabbed the rebound after a Penn miss with three seconds on the clock and hustled the ball downcourt to senior forward Emma Koch for the layup at the buzzer — putting the Big Green ahead, 12-11, after one quarter.
Passion! Great performances! Revenge! You could enjoy them all on the radio — the Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday broadcast had “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci” — or you could find them at the Palestra in West Philly, where the Penn women took down Harvard, 70-64.