Penn ladies’s basketball falls to Princeton in Ivy Tournament very last, sixty five-54

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NEW HAVEN, CONN. — As they’ve executed all yr, the Quakers battled till the final buzzer — but on Sunday, it wasn’t quite sufficient. Penn ladies’s basketball lost to Princeton, sixty five-fifty four, within the Ivy League Tournament identify game, a competition that changed into a great deal closer than the very last score shows. The teams traded blows all through the sport, as neither was capable of get a secure lead. The contest got here right down to execution within the very last minutes, and the Tigers (22-nine, 12-2 Ivy) made a pair greater key plays than Penn (23-6, 12-2) once they needed to most. The Quakers, then again, couldn’t get a basket to head in the final 6:28 of motion. “I simply assume it become our waft,” senior guard Ashley Russell stated about the crew’s troubles in crunch time. “We sort of got wrapped up inside the warmness of the moment, and if [Princeton] hit a shot, I suppose it hit our spirit a touch bit. We kept looking to fight back, but whenever we got an open look, they just weren’t falling, and I suppose it changed into a bit defeating.”

After starting the nighttime in an early 8-2 hole, the Quakers battled lower back with an 8-0 run of its personal. Russell, who become competitive going to the basket all evening, capped the run with an and-one layup to place Penn up 10-8 with 4:50 left within the zone. Two-time Ivy League Player of the Year Bella Alarie led the way for the Tigers, scoring 11 of her crew’s 19 first zone factors. The junior wound up with 25 points, while additionally making her presence felt on the defensive end with 5 blocks. The 2d zone began just because the first one did, with the Tigers getting out to every other six-point lead. But over again, the Red and Blue became the tables, taking place a 14-2 run, which covered 8 points from Russell, and gave Penn a 31-25 lead. After giving up five quick points to quit the half of, the Quakers entered the locker room with a 31-30 lead.

Penn remained locked in on the protective end inside the 2nd half of, limiting the manufacturing of Alarie and the relaxation of the Tigers’ gamers. The Red and Blue managed the glass — prevailing the conflict, 36-29, at the evening — and maintained a moderate lead for the duration of the third and into the fourth period, however they couldn’t get any kind of breathing room. When junior guard Kendall Grasela hit a difficult runner to tie the score at 51 with 6:28 left, it appeared inevitable that the sport might come right down to the final possession.  “I felt exact all the way until they stated, ‘Time’s up,’” coach Mike McLaughlin said. “The recreation become in our fingers; they’d 3 offensive rebounds. We did a good task on the glass, we gained the battle at the glass, that’s important. We made a few photographs over the top of them, which turned into crucial. We simply didn’t make sufficient.” The Quakers’ slow finish on offense changed into proof of a bigger hassle that they had for elements of the competition: shifting the ball. In total, Penn had simply three assists in the contest. On the other aspect, one especially grasp play on the quit got here from an unexpected supply in Princeton’s Julia Cunningham. The freshman defend, who hadn’t scored all recreation, drilled a three ball with 2:19 left to present her group a fifty eight-52 lead. Still, the Red and Blue had a high possibility to get lower back into the game but could not get their shots to fall in crunch time, as they had been outscored 21-7 in the very last quarter. A couple of turnovers and difficult pictures, along with Princeton hitting its unfastened throws, spelled the give up for Penn.

“We were higher when we had been a little bit in transition for quite lots the whole recreation until the ultimate 8 minutes,” McLaughlin stated. “I thought we type of were given out of our flow, and the ball didn’t circulate as swiftly. [Sophomore forward] Eleah [Parker] didn’t get out of the publish as effortlessly as she did in advance.”

With the loss, Penn will anticipate its fate, as an at-huge bid to the NCAA Tournament, while not going, isn’t completely out of the query for the Quakers. “I simply want to play basketball with this group again,” McLaughlin said. “We were given 4 seniors that want to play, Ashley being one. I want to look her out right here, so I’ll play wherever they need to play outside right here, we’ll try this as properly. But we need to play once more, and we deserve to keep to play basketball at the very best level.” The Quakers will discover whether or not they’ve made the NCAA Tournament on Monday, and if not, the maximum possibly state of affairs is a ride to the girls’s NIT Tournament.