PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/11/2014 – The University of Pennsylvania women’s and men’s basketball team opened their Ivy League schedule against the arch-rival Princeton Tigers with a double-header at the Palestra. The Red and Blue earned a split as the women’s team fell to Princeton 84 – 53 in the early game. In the nightcap the men found a way to earn a 77 – 74 victory in their Ivy opener.
Princeton 84 Penn 53 – The Penn women came out on the floor looking to break a 10-game losing streak against Princeton. The Tigers played a complete game, playing well on both ends of the floor to get the win. Early in the game it appeared that the Red and Blue was in position to pull off the upset. The game was tied at 7 four minutes into the game. The Tigers opened a 21 – 7 lead holding the Red and Blue scoreless for close to six minutes. Princeton built up momentum as turnovers resulted in baskets. The Tigers took a 38 – 25 lead into halftime. Penn gained some equilibrium, but could not dent the Princeton lead. Every Penn run was answered by a Princeton basket. Kara Bonenberger got Penn to within 55 – 42 with a free throw at the 11:40 mark. The Tigers put the game away with a 14 – 0 run over the next three and a half minutes. The lead would grow to as many as 32 points. Princeton shot 43.9% from the field (29-66) and made 7 of 17 three-point shots (41.2%) against the top defensive team in the league. Meanwhile the Tigers held Penn to 30.5% shooting (18-59), and 5 of 19 from beyond the arc. The Red and Blue turned the ball over 17 times resulting in a 26 – 13 edge for the Orange and Black in points off turnovers.
Princeton forward Kristen Helmstetter led all scorers with 17 points and took down 9 rebounds. Tigers guard Blake Dietrick scored 16 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Forward Alex Wheatley hit double figures with 10 points.
Alyssa Baron and Bonenberger scored 10 each to lead the Quakers. Bonenberger had 8 rebounds. Guard Meghan McCullough scored 9 points and handed out 4 assists.
The Red and Blue go up against Villanova in a Big Five game on the Main Line on January 15.
Penn 77 Princeton 74 – It was the typical Penn – Princeton game, tough, hard-fought, and the result in doubt until the end. The Red and Blue ended the Tigers three-game winning streak in this series pulling out a three-point win. Penn took a 43 – 38 lead into halftime. It was the most points the team had scored in an opening half this season. The Red and Blue held the lead most of the second half. Each time Princeton took a lead, Penn would get it back. The Tigers went ahead 61 – 60 lead on a free throw by forward Will Barrett. The Quakers scored 11 of the next 13 points getting a 71 – 63 lead on a layup by guard Tony Hicks with 4:15 to play. Princeton did not go away as this would be the last field goal that Penn would score. Hicks, who scored a team-high 18 points, fouled out on the next possession. The Tigers used an 8 – 0 run to tie the game at 71 with 2:14 on the clock. Penn guard Jamal Lewis made three of four free throws for a 74 – 71 lead. Princeton answered with a three-pointer by Barrett tying the game with 22 seconds remaining. The deciding points came at the free throw line for Penn when guard Miles Jackson-Cartwright, who had been going to the bench for treatment on his leg, made two tough free throws for a 76 – 74 lead. The Tigers turned the ball over on the next possession, and were forced to foul Penn forward Fran Dougherty who made one of two. A desperation shot by Princeton was off the mark and Penn got the win.
Dougherty scored 17 points and took down a season-high 12 rebounds. Darien Nelson-Henry returned to the lineup for the Red and Blue and scored 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Forward Julian Harrell scored 7 points and had a game and career-high 6 assists. Penn made 27 of 55 from the floor (49.3%), and out rebounded Princeton 42 – 25.
Princeton had five players in double-figures led by T.J. Bray with 19 points. Barrett scored 15 points while forward Hans Brase added 14. Denton Koon and Spencer Weisz each scored 10 points. From the 3-point line the Tigers were 6 of 21 (28.6%).
Penn improves to 3 – 10, but is 1 – 0 in the Ivy League. The Red and Blue take the floor on Saturday, January 18 against Big Five foe Saint Joseph’s.