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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Penn women’s basketball tops Yale, 66-52

There was no mystery about the Penn women’s basketball mission this weekend: Travel to New England and beat their two rivals for the last spot in Ivy Madness. And they accomplished half of that mission Friday night in New Haven, never trailing in a convincing victory over Yale, 66-52.

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Four Quakeaways from Penn women’s basketball’s loss to No. 25 Princeton

My friends Steve Silverman and George “Toothless Tiger” Clark did a fine job covering No. 25 Princeton women’s basketball’s win at Penn, so (with apologies to Ian Wenik, the Quakeaways man), here are four Quakeaways from Saturday’s game:

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Penn women’s basketball routs Brown, 77-56

Friday night basketball at the Palestra belonged to Penn senior forward Jordan Obi, who scored her 1,000th point as the Quakers demolished Brown, 77-56.
Obi, the most versatile player at Penn since the arrival of coach Mike McLaughlin 15 years ago, was pretty much perfect: 20 points on 4-for-4 shooting and 11-for-12 from the foul line, plus 13 rebounds, three blocks and a pair of assists. Her totals would have been higher, but McLaughlin pulled his starters early with a 30-point lead.
Obi is the 25th Quaker to hit the 1,000-point mark, and she did it faster than all but six other players, in just the third season of a COVID-shortened career. And her timing for a big game couldn’t have been better, because Penn needed this win against an ascendant Brown program that’s trying for its first ticket to the Ivy League Tournament since 2017. Penn has qualified for the tournament each year since its inception and isn’t interested in ending its season early.
When coaches and players say they don’t pay attention to the standings, don’t believe them.
“There is some discussion,” Obi conceded to reporters after the game. “Beating Brown, losing is not an option.”
“We were aware of everything, where everyone stands, but we go into every game as if it’s our last,” said Simone Sawyer, a Penn sophomore guard. Sawyer, who had a shaky start to the season, was back in the starting lineup for the first time since November and came through with three threes and three steals.
Brown and Penn came into the game obviously charged up: The frenetic first three minutes of play included an Obi block, three scrambles resulting in held balls, seven missed shots, five turnovers and just seven points scored. But then Penn started hitting its shots — 58% in the first three quarters — and Brown struggled from the field, shooting just 29% for the night. Penn led all the way; Brown was down 17-12 with under four minutes left in the first quarter, but then Penn went on a 17-point tear and never felt pressure after that.
“I thought we came out and defended really hard,” McLaughlin told reporters after the game. “They executed on the offensive end. We made shots that first quarter. I thought overall it was a great team win.”
He even had high praise for the Penn Band, which erupted in cheers when Obi hit her milestone basket and presented her with a 1,000-point banner after the game.
As for Obi, McLaughlin told Ivy Hoops Online: “She can play inside, outside. She can shoot the three. She’s a power player at times. She can handle the ball. She’s the full package. She’s a very good defender. She’s long. She’s active. She’s willing.”
Joining Obi in double figures for Penn were the usual suspects: junior Stina Almqvist (17 points, 6-for-11 shooting including 3-for-5 from three-point range, plus three assists and a pair of blocks) and freshman Mataya Gayle (11 points, 5-for-9 shooting, three steals).
Kyla Jones led Brown with 18 points on 7-of-18 shooting, and Isabella Mauricio had 11 points on 4-of-9 from the field.
Penn (11-8, 3-3 Ivies) is back in the Palestra on Saturday night against Yale (4-15, 1-5). Brown (13-6, 4-2) will try its luck at Princeton (16-3, 6-0).

Penn women’s basketball waltzes past Gwynedd Mercy

When a good Ivy team plays a Division III team, the question isn’t “Who’s going to win?” It’s “Why bother?”
We’ll answer the first question first, though, in case you were anxious: Penn, 89-34.

Penn and Gwynedd Mercy both entered Sunday’s game with 7-5 records, but the similarities pretty much end there. Gwynedd has a successful D-III program, but it’s a small school, and every one of its players is from the Philly area — Pennsylvania and New Jersey, not even Delaware.

What the two schools have, though, are successful longtime Philly coaches (and former Philly Catholic high school players) who have known each other forever. Mike McLaughlin is in his 15th year at Penn, and before then he had 14 wildly successful years at his D-II alma mater, Holy Family. Keith Mondillo has been Gwynedd’s coach since 1995.

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Penn women’s basketball trounced at No. 23 Marquette, 87-52

The clock on women’s college basketball games runs 40 minutes, and for the first 10 on Sunday, the Penn Quakers looked like they belonged on the same court as the No. 23 Marquette Golden Eagles. Penn even had the lead for a few ticks.
After 10 more minutes and a 10-2 run for Marquette, the differences were more clear. Marquette has a potent, balanced offense and a stingy defense, while Penn has some talent and some work to do.

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Mataya Gayle, Stina Almqvist Lead Penn women’s basketball past Siena

(Penn Athletics) Mataya Gayle posted 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting for Penn in her third career game in a win at Siena Sunday.
Mataya Gayle has arrived.
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.

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WATCH: Q&A with Dartmouth women’s basketball coach Linda Cimino

Ivy Hoops Online contributor Steve Silverman caught up with first-year Dartmouth women’s basketball coach Linda Cimino Monday to discuss her key influences on the path to taking over in Hanover, plans to strengthen the program,  takeaways from her team’s home loss to Siena Sunday, first-year guard Nina Minicozzi’s strong work ethic, how she’d define a successful first season as coach and much more:

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