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."

Karekin Brooks' 4 TDs leads Penn by Lehigh in 60th meeting

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Karekin Brooks' 4 TDs leads Penn by Lehigh in 60th meeting

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Karekin Brooks rushed for 268 yards with three touchdowns on 29 carries and Pennsylvania outlasted Lehigh 65-47 on Saturday in the 60th meeting between the defending champions of the Patriot and Ivy leagues.

Brooks became the 12th Quaker to rush for 200-plus yards in a game and moved into second on Penn's single-game rushing record, behind Terrance Stokes' 272 yards against Princeton in 1993. Brooks also threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to David Ryslik early in the fourth quarter, which made it 56-35.

Penn (2-0) scored consecutive touchdowns 1-minute, 9 seconds apart late in the second quarter to establish a two-touchdown lead it maintained during a second half that saw the teams trade scores on virtually every possession.

Will Fischer-Colbrie finished 13 of 20 for 235 yards and three touchdowns, connecting with Christian Pearson on a 43-yard scoring strike, Logan Sharp from 26 yards and Nicholas Bokun late in the fourth from 21 yards out.

Lehigh (0-4) was led by Brad Mayes, who went 26 of 40 for 444 yards with four touchdowns, but also suffered two interceptions.

Penn at Lehigh: Quakers kick off non-conference schedule with tougher test

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CSN

Penn at Lehigh: Quakers kick off non-conference schedule with tougher test

Penn (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) at Lehigh (0-3, 0-0 Patriot)
Goodman Stadium, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Saturday, 12:30 p.m.

After opening its season with a home win over Division II Ohio Dominican last week, Penn faces its first true test of the season as it hits the road to face a team better than its record would indicate.

Here’s a closer look at the matchup:

Scouting Penn
One of the biggest question marks coming into the season for the two-time defending Ivy League champion Quakers was at quarterback following the graduation of standout Alek Torgersen. And it’s still somewhat of a question mark heading into their second game as starter Will Fischer-Colbrie struggled a bit in the first half while Nick Robinson looked sharper in more limited playing time. Allowing 24 points to a D-II team was also not an ideal start for Louis Vecchio and Penn’s defense. But third-year coach Ray Priore must have been happy with the emergence of running backs Karekin Brooks (142 yards, two touchdowns), Abe Willows (73 yards) and Isaiah Malcome (49 yards) after senior starter Tre Solomon went down with a minor injury. And All-American wide receiver Justin Watson was his usual dominant self, catching eight balls for 134 yards and two TDs.

Scouting Lehigh
The Mountain Hawks were impressive in their opener, falling by only three points to nationally ranked Villanova, 38-35. They’ve been less impressive since then, losing to Monmouth, 46-27, and to Penn’s Ivy League rival Yale, 56-28. Through three games, they’re allowing an average of 46.7 points per game, which ranks 113th out of 123 FCS teams. But Lehigh, coached by former Penn offensive coordinator Andy Coen, is far more formidable on the other side of the ball thanks to junior quarterback Brad Mayes, who has recorded three straight 300-yard passing games, and Troy Pelletier and Luke Christiano, the Patriot League’s two top receivers so far this year.

History
This will be the 60th meeting between the long-standing Pennsylvania rivals with Penn leading the series, 44-15. But Lehigh has won the last two meetings and seven of the last nine dating back to 1990. And since 1975, the Quakers are just 1-8 in Bethlehem.

Storyline to watch
Watson, one of the best football players in Penn’s storied history, is always a player to watch. Even more exciting is the fact that another All-American wide receiver will be on the other sideline in Pelletier. Both Watson and Pelletier are on the Walter Payton Award watch list, and both players lit it up in last season’s Penn-Lehigh matchup with Pelletier going for 10 catches, 123 yards and a TD, and Watson going for eight catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Who will fare better in their last college matchup?

What’s at stake?
For the Quakers, non-conference games don’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things since Ivy League teams are ineligible for the FCS playoffs. But against a leaky defense, it will be important for the Quakers to continue to let their young offensive players at running back and quarterback grow while trying to avoid another injury like the one Solomon suffered last week.

Prediction
The Quakers have had a rough time of it in Bethlehem but look for them to hand Lehigh its second straight loss to an Ivy League team.

Penn 28, Lehigh 27