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.
With the season a few weeks away, the Ivy League hosted Women’s Basketball Media Day on Monday, the first of two media availabilities this week. The event was hosted over Zoom for media members and is available on the conference’s YouTube channel.
The preseason media poll was released last Thursday with Princeton earning all 16 first-place votes. Last year’s Ivy Tournament winner and regular season co-champions are the sixth unanimous pick in league history and the first since Penn in 2016-2017.