PHILADELPHIA, PA. 3/22/2019 – The University of Pennsylvania looked for a bounce back win after the loss in the Ivy League championship. The team came out with a bounce in their step especially on the defensive end of the floor, and advances in the WNIT with a 64 – 45 win over the Eagles of American University.
“It was a nice atmosphere for us,” said Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin. “The girls really wanted to play. It was a disappointing ending on Sunday, but this group wants to continue to play. They’re fatigued, but they found a way.”
“We tried to let the last loss go, but we also tried to grow from it,” said senior guard Ashley Russell. “We also knew that it was win or go home. We’re not done yet and want to keep on playing as long as we can. We came out with fire in the first and our defense showed that we came here to win.”
The Quakers were ready and it showed on defense. The Eagles were held to 25% shooting in the first half, and made 2 of 11 in the first half. Penn was in front 38 -17 at halftime. For the game American was held to their lowest point total of the season.
“We were locked in,” Russell said about the defense. “We knew who their shooters were. We flowed very well and that flowed into our offense.”
Penn converted 41.5% (22 of 53) of their shots and made 9 of 21 from distance. The Red and Blue was lead by Russell who scored a game-high 18 points adding 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Eleah Parker got her 28th double-double of the campaign with 16 points and 17 rebounds which tied her career-high. Phoebe Sterba added 15 making 3 three-pointers.
Cecily Carl had a team-best 16 points for AU and Jade Edwards contributed 14 points. The Eagles finish the season at 22 – 11.
Penn (24 – 6) records their fifth postseason win in program history. They move on to play the Providence Friars in Rhode Island on Sunday at 4 PM. The mindset is to get another game.
“We have the mentality that we want to keep winning and keep playing,” Russell said. “We want to make sure we have another guaranteed forty minutes.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian