Penn Quakers

Penn women's basketball tops Princeton to win inaugural Ivy League Tournament

Penn women's basketball tops Princeton to win inaugural Ivy League Tournament

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For the third time in four years, the Penn women's basketball team is going dancing.

And like usual, the Quakers denied Princeton its own NCAA berth in the process.

In the finals of the inaugural Ivy League Tournament on Sunday at the Palestra, Anna Ross scored 17 points and tourney MVP Michelle Nwokedi had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the top-seeded Quakers to a 57-48 win over the rival Tigers to clinch a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

"It's been a tremendous ride with this team," Penn head coach Mike McLaughlin said. "It's a celebration they'll remember forever. We've been fortunate enough to win three of the last four Ivy League championships but this one is special because it's on our court. It's something to really cherish forever."

Penn had rolled to the Ivy League championship -- its fifth in program history and third in the last four years -- and capped a 13-1 Ivy League regular season record with a win over Princeton in the same building less than a week ago.

But with the addition of a four-team conference tournament this year, the Quakers had more work to do to return to the Big Dance. And they got the job done by knocking off Brown in Saturday's semifinal before denying Princeton a chance to win two titles in the same day.

The Tigers had won the men's title earlier, beating Yale in the title game a day after rallying from a 10-point second-half deficit to stun Penn in the semifinals.

But many of the Penn men players were at the Palestra on Sunday to cheer on the women, who danced at center court and cut down the nets in their own gym after knocking off the hated Tigers for the third time this season.

"I couldn't ask for anything more," said standout senior Sydney Stipanovich, the only player to be a part of all three title-winning teams (2014, 2016, 2017). "The last four years have been amazing. I wish I could be here for another four years. I couldn't ask for a better way to end my senior year on the Palestra floor."

After leading by just one through one quarter, the Quakers dominated the second quarter, outscoring the Tigers 14-4. Second-seeded Princeton -- which beat Harvard in the semifinals after a 9-5 Ivy regular season -- missed its first 14 baskets of the second quarter as Penn clamped down defensively and took a comfortable 29-18 halftime lead.

Nwokedi drilled two straight three-pointers to start the second half to send the Quakers to a 35-19 advantage, and senior point guard Kasey Chambers (13 points, five assists) made a couple of big threes in the fourth quarter to help fend off a Princeton charge.

"Kasey is a winner," McLaughlin said. "She's got heart, she's got guts, and she is one of the better winners I've ever coached."

Penn will find out where it's going in the NCAA Tournament during the women's selection show Monday evening. The Quakers have never won an NCAA tourney game but had all-time NCAA leading scorer Kelsey Plum and Washington on the ropes in last year's first-round contest before the Huskies stormed to the Final Four.

Penn will likely join Temple as Big 5 women's teams in the NCAA Tournament. The Owls are poised to earn an at-large berth following a 24-7 regular season.

"We're gonna play as long as we can," Stipanovich said. "There's no doubt we can get a win -- or even more."

Penn falls to Harvard in Ivy League Tourney semifinals

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Penn falls to Harvard in Ivy League Tourney semifinals

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Bryce Aiken had 19 points as Harvard beat Penn 66-58 in the Ivy League tournament semifinals on Saturday.

Noah Kirkwood had 12 points for Harvard (18-10). Kale Catchings added nine rebounds.

AJ Brodeur had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Quakers (19-12). Devon Goodman added 11 points.

Penn takes down Brown to clinch final berth in Ivy League Tournament

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Penn takes down Brown to clinch final berth in Ivy League Tournament

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Devon Goodman, AJ Brodeur and Jake Silpe scored all but five of Penn's points as the Quakers completed their first weekend sweep of the Ivy League season, defeating Brown 58-51 on Saturday night in the Palestra to claim the final berth in the league tournament.

Penn (19-11, 7-7) is defending champion in the Ivy League Tournament but needed to beat Brown in order to return. The Quakers scored eight unanswered points to open the second half, breaking a 27-27 halftime tie, and led the rest of the way.

Brodeur scored two layups, Goodman and Max Rothschild added the other baskets in the game-changing burst.

Rothschild scored just two points but added seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Penn had a dozen steals as Brown committed 22 turnovers, resulting in 21 points for Penn.

Desmond Cambridge led the Bears (19-11, 7-7) with 13 points. Joshua Howard and Tamenang Choh scored 10 apiece and Choh had nine rebounds.

Brown was 17 of 50 shooting to Penn's 24 of 60.

Penn defeat Yale 77-66 on Friday night.