Penn Quakers

Texas A&M uses 25-1 run, overcomes 21-point deficit to oust Penn women from NCAA tourney

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Texas A&M uses 25-1 run, overcomes 21-point deficit to oust Penn women from NCAA tourney


LOS ANGELES -- For 30 minutes, Texas A&M was completely outplayed by Penn.

Then, the Aggies staged the biggest comeback in NCA Tournament history, rallying from 21 points down in the fourth quarter to stun the Quakers.

Khaalia Hillsman scored 27 points and Texas A&M overcame the huge deficit to come away with a 63-61 victory Saturday night. She scored the go-ahead basket with 19.1 seconds left as the fifth-seeded Aggies finished the game on a 25-1 run to beat the 12th-seeded Quakers.

"That's the biggest comeback I've ever been a part of," said Aggies veteran coach Gary Blair. "The game is never over at A&M until we decide it's over."

The rally surpassed the previous record for largest comeback at 16 points that happened twice in the tournament according to the NCAA.

"In the fourth, quarter I was just trying to have some pride in what we do," Hillsman said. "We weren't representing our school very well for 30 minutes, and then in the last 10, we found something in us."

When the Aggies went down by 21 they went to an effective full-court press that Penn never could master. The Quakers (22-8) turned the ball over seven times in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, they did not connect on field goal during the game's final 8:58 of the game. They missed their final 10 shots. Everything was suddenly going wrong.

"We needed one basket," said Penn coach Mike McLaughlin. "They sped us up and we lost our organization. We didn't handle it very well. It's my responsibility to keep our kids composed and find a way to get one basket."

The Aggies won despite shooting only 30 percent on the night. It helped in the fourth quarter that they outrebounded the Quakers 16-6.

Sydney Stipanovich led Penn with 20 points, while Michelle Nwokedi had 15 points and seven rebounds. They had Penn with a deceptive 58-37 lead.

"It's just really, really difficult for me right now," McLaughlin said.

Big picture
Penn: The Quakers had won 13 of its last 14 games before Saturday.

Texas A&M: The Aggies scored 20 points from the free-throw line (20 of 26), including 13 points from the line in the fourth quarter.

Record smasher
Both Notre Dame and Michigan State rallied from 16 down in the Final Four to hold the previous tourney comeback mark. The Irish did it in 2001 against UConn and the Spartans rallied against Tennessee in 2005.

Shooting turnaround
Penn was breezing early, shooting 50 percent from the field through three quarters. It made its first three in the fourth quarter and then never another (3 for 13).

Giving credit
The Quakers were understandably bewildered after surrendering a record 21-point lead, but they gave the Aggies their due. Said Nwokedi: "Their pressure was really getting to us. They sped us up. The press, we couldn't break it. Give them credit."

Up next
The Aggies will meet fourth-seeded UCLA Monday.

Penn football falls to Columbia in OT


Penn football falls to Columbia in OT

BOX SCORE        

NEW YORK — Josh Wainwright caught 10 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns, including a 24-yarder from Anders Hill in overtime, and Columbia defeated Pennsylvania 34-31 on Saturday for its best start since 1996.

The Lions (5-0, 2-0 Ivy) knocked off the defending Ivy League champions for the first time in 21 tries and snapped an 11-game home skid against the Quakers (2-3, 0-2). The Lions are assured of no worse than a .500 record after winning just five games in its last four seasons.

Penn appeared to be in control after Nick Miller's 25-yard interception return gave the Quakers a 21-7 lead in the third quarter. But the Lions rallied for three TDs in the fourth to take a 28-21 lead. Josh Bean started the Columbia scoring with a 1-yard plunge. Hill hit Wainwright for a 59-yard score to knot the score at 21 and then connected with Rory Schlageter from 7 yards out for the go-ahead score.

The Quakers sent the game to overtime on Will Fischer-Colbrie's 17-yard scoring strike to Justin Watson with 1:21 left. Penn got the ball first in OT, but settled for a 41-yard field goal. The Lions faced a third-and-9 when Hill hooked up with Wainwright for the game-winner.

Hill finished with 258 yards on 21-of-33 passing with three TDs and an interception.

Fischer-Colbrie completed 14 of 25 passes for 186 yards and a score. He threw two interceptions.

Najae Brown's 79-yard interception return helps CCSU beat Penn

Penn Athletics

Najae Brown's 79-yard interception return helps CCSU beat Penn


NEW BRITAIN, Conn. -- Najae Brown returned an interception 79 yards for a touchdown and Central Connecticut scored five more on offense to defeat Penn 42-21 on Saturday.

The Blue Devils (3-3) rolled up 473 yards of total offense -- Jake Dolegala passed for 179 yards and scrambled for another 15 and a touchdown. Dolegala also found Drew Jean-Guillaume for a 7-yard touchdown pass before halftime. Central Connecticut rushed for 294 yards on 53 carries and four scores. Jean-Guillame opened the game with a TD run from the 14, Courtney Rush and Cameron Nash had scoring runs of 8 and 1 yards, respectively.

Brown picked off Nick Robinson and returned it 79 yards to give the Blue Devils an early 21-0 lead.

Penn came back on three Robinson touchdown passes -- to Christian Pearson and a pair to Justin Watson to pull within 28-21 with 18 seconds left in the first half. The Quakers (2-2) didn't score after halftime.