Penn women’s basketball edges Harvard, 69-67, clinches Ivy League Tournament slot

Penn women’s basketball has punched a ticket to Ivy Madness.
The Quakers clinched a slot in the Ivy League Tournament Saturday with a wild and crazy 69-67 win over Harvard at the Palestra. They’ll join the third-place Crimson, Princeton and Columbia in the tourney at Columbia’s Levien Gym March 15-16 to compete for a berth (or maybe two) in the NCAA Tournament.

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Stina Almqvist leads Penn women’s basketball past Cornell, 67-54

Stina Almqvist got a ESPN+ interview after Penn’s 67-54 win over Cornell at the Palestra Monday. (ESPN+)
Stina Almqvist’s career-high 26 points and 10 rebounds propelled the Penn women’s basketball team to a 67-54 Martin Luther King Jr. Day win over Cornell in the Quakers’ Ivy home opener.
Almqvist, the 6-foot-1 junior guard from Sweden, has made the jump this season from dependable role player — with 11 minutes a game last season — to leading scorer and constant presence (37 minutes on Monday). Penn has two other players averaging in double points, but on an afternoon when neither of them had a dominant performance, Almqvist came through, repeatedly weaving to the hoop through Cornell defenders and hitting 10 of 18 shots.
Penn senior forward Jordan Obi had 14 points and nine rebounds, but foul trouble limited her playing time. Junior guard Lizzy Groetsch helped fill the gap and scored 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting. And freshman point guard Mataya Gayle had half of Penn’s 14 assists on the afternoon but was uncharacteristically cold from the floor, shooting 1-for-9.
“Mataya’s awesome, so, like, even though she’s cold she’s such a playmaker,” Almqvist told Ivy Hoops Online afterward. “Even though the ball maybe didn’t go in today, she did so many great things for us. I’m confident every time she gets the ball.”
Cornell kept things close through the first half, leading 14-12 after the first quarter (its biggest lead) and staying close through the half on 10-of-30 shooting. But Penn had the hotter hand, shooting 9-for-23 in the first two periods to take a five-point lead into halftime, and the young Big Red team didn’t sink a three all day. Sophomore forward Summer Parker-Hall and junior guard Kaya Ingram led Cornell with 14 points apiece, and Parker-Hall had seven rebounds.
In the second half, the Quakers’ lead expanded to double digits, the Big Red began to harass them with a full-court press, and the Quakers repeatedly struggled to break it.
“I think we got a little stressed, but then we took some timeouts and we tried to figure it out,” Almqvist said.

In any case, the Big Red couldn’t capitalize on enough of Penn’s turnovers. Although Penn had more turnovers in the game (15 to Cornell’s 12), Penn had more points from turnovers (12 to 10).

Cornell (6-9, 0-3 Ivy) will host a strong Brown team (11-5, 2-1) on Saturday, while Penn (10-6, 2-1) hits the road again to play Harvard (9-7, 2-1).

Penn women’s basketball falls flat at Temple in 61-47 defeat

Well, that was ugly.
Two days after the Penn women’s strong win at Merrimack, they had their weakest game of the season at Temple, losing 61-47.
Yes, the Owls threw a frustrating, fast-handed defense at them, but the Red and Blue had the larger role in the loss, shooting a meager 28% from the field (to the Owls’ 38%) and committing 28 turnovers (leading to 31 — just over half — of Temple’s points).

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Jordan Obi shines as Penn women’s basketball beats Merrimack, 71-62

Senior forward Jordan Obi led Penn to a 71-62 win at Merrimack Friday night. (Penn Athletics)
At this point in her career, Penn forward Jordan Obi doesn’t have to open her mouth to trash-talk. Anywhere inside 15 feet, her body declares: The ball’s right here, the rim’s right there, and you can’t do a damn thing to stop me.
But is it trash talk if it’s true?

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Penn women’s basketball dominates paint to beat La Salle, 79-71

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.

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Yale women defeat Penn to close in on slot in Ivy League Tournament

The Yale women started hot at the Palestra, racing to a 17-2 lead, and never trailed in beating Penn, 68-58, on Friday night.

This was pretty much a must-win for the Quakers (9-13, 4-6 Ivy) in their fight for a slot in Ivy Madness, where Yale (14-9, 7-4) would join Princeton, Columbia and Harvard.

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Princeton women dominate at Penn

Abby Meyers has scored in double figures in all 16 appearances this season, including 11 points to go along with 10 rebounds in Princeton’s win at Penn Monday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

The question going into their game Monday against Princeton was whether the Penn women, who have been inconsistent, could put together their best game against the Ivies’ best. The Quakers played well, but the Tigers played so much better, winning 70-50.

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Penn women cruise in substitute game versus Ursinus

You weren’t expecting a close game, were you? If so, you were expecting the Penn women to travel to Morgan State for their first game in 20 days. But with the coronavirus shuffling and scuttling schedules, the Quakers instead were playing host to Division III Ursinus, and the result was an emphatic 89-29 Penn win.

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Penn women fall at Bucknell in last game of suspensions

Half a team, half a team, half a team onward! So rode the Penn women into Bucknell, and like the Light Brigade before them, t­hey lost convincingly Friday night, 62-46.

This was the Quakers’ eighth game of the season, and it completed the rolling four-game suspensions that each of the juniors and seniors on the squad had to serve for violating an unspecified university rule. Sitting out this time were five women who have started multiple games this season: Sydnei Caldwell, Mia Lakstigala, Mandy McGurk, Kayla Padilla and Kennedy Suttle. They watched from the bench, and their absence on the floor was obvious.

The eight Quakers who took on a capable Bucknell team struggled in some key ways: shooting just 30% from the floor, including a hopeless 3-for-17 from three-point range; committing 18 turnovers that yielded Bucknell 23 points (while getting just two points from Bucknell turnovers); and failing to stop backdoor passes and drives that gave Bucknell 32 points in the paint.

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