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Career Nights Highlight Women’s Basketball’s 72-59 victory in La Salle


PHILADELPHIA A well-rounded effort by the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team steamrolled past La Salle in a Big 5 game Tuesday night, taking an early lead and never looking back for the 72-59 win.

Quaker Note Meal

* freshman Simone Sawyer led the offense for the third game in a row, cashing in for a career and game-high 24 points from 9-for-18 shooting. She added to her career tally with seven rebounds and four assists.

*Junior Jordan Obi joined her in that points streak with 20 points, batting in 10-for-13, the most field goals made against a Division I opponent in her career.

*Senior Captain Kayla Padilla also had a double-digit night, dropping 10 points, including going 4-for-4 on the line. She added seven more assists in the game and season, with five more rebounds.

*Senior Captain Mandy McGurk tied a career high with six assists.

*Junior Floor Toonders hit double digits in rebounds for the second time this season, pulling in a game-high 10. The other time this season was in the season opener at Marist, with a career-high 14 rebounds.

*Expanding her defensive game tonight, sophomore Stina Almqvist recorded a career and game-high four steals to add with six points and six rebounds. It was her first steals of the season, almost tying her total of six from her freshman season.

*The Quakers totaled 23 assists in the game, the most since December 7, 2019, when Penn defeated Stetson 81-41 at The Palestra.

* Penn forced the Explorers to 22 turnovers, their second-most of the season. La Salle flipped the ball 25 times to Niagra on November 12. The Quakers turned those 22 turnovers into 21 points.

How it happened

All it took Penn was five seconds to score the first bucket of the game when Obi tipped to Toonder, who quickly turned to Sawyer after a cut to the basket. It opened up a 6-0 run for the Quakers on two straight layups by Obi for a lead that wouldn’t waver the rest of the way.

La Salle cleared the first basket nearly four minutes later, but was answered by two free throws from Padilla and a layup from Toonders to take a 10–2 lead midway through the first frame.

The first double-digit lead came in the dying minutes of the first as Padilla drilled a three, then Sawyer made a full court steal, which turned into a strong finish, 17-6.

The Explorers closed the gap to five before the end of the first inning, but Sawyer hit a three and Almqvist chipped in a left corner jumper to put Penn up to eight at halftime.

Nothing changed in the second inning, as the lead soared after an 11-2 run for the Quakers in the space of three minutes. Obi had three consecutive layups from feeds from McGurk, while Padilla added three more and Almqvist closed it out with a layup. Penn had five steals in his full-court press during the stretch, including three by Almqvist.

La Salle stopped the run with two free throws, but it didn’t slow Penn, who then added eight more points to take a commanding 43-22 lead into halftime. Four different Quakers scored in the run, and Sydney Caldwell put the finishing touches to the half with a driving layup from the top of the arc to give Penn the biggest lead of the game.

A somewhat slow start for Penn to restart the second half saw the Explorers go on a 13-4 run to close the gap to 12. However, the Quakers responded with a 6-2 stretch to maintain momentum as they reverted to a 19-point lead by the end of the third on a three and a layup from Sawyer, 60-41.

The Explorers won the fourth 18-12, but it was almost enough to overcome Penn’s substantial lead.

Next one

The Quakers head back to The Palestra on Thursday to begin a 10-game home game, starting with a clash with Stony Brook. The tip is set at 7pm





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