Penn Wins Title in Thrilling Fashion - Mar 14, 2016
Shine those dancing shoes! For the second time in three season, the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team will play in the NCAA Tournament after completing the season sweep of archival Princeton and claiming the program's fourth Ivy League championship via a 62-60 win at Jadwin Gymnasium. Penn (24-4, 13-1 Ivy) will now await the NCAA Selection Show, which will take place Monday night. Princeton (23-5, 12-2 Ivy), which came into the game ranked 32 in the RPI, will wait for a possible at-large bid. In a game befitting of such stakes, the Quakers answered a late Tigers charge with an Anna Ross (5'9''-G) layup and foul shot to take a 58-56 lead with 1:45 to play. With less than 20 seconds to play, Penn forced a jump ball off a defensive stop executed by Kasey Chambers (5'7''-PG) who jumped a drive attempt. Princeton (23-5, 12-2) was forced to foul, and Chambers calmly hit both free throws to give Penn a four-point cushion. The Tigers hit on a second-chance bucket from Michelle Miller (5'10''-G-94) with 9.4 seconds to play, but again they were forced to foul Chambers and she again made good on her shots. A Princeton bucket with 0.8 seconds left set the final score. A strong finish to the third quarter gave Penn a six-point lead entering the final frame. The Quakers entered the second half with a matching six-point advantage, but had seen that lead slip to just a pair before Michelle Nwokedi (6'3''-F) took over in the paint with two strong layups in the final minute of the third frame. Penn's defense contained the Tigers from the floor for much of the first half, holding Princeton without a field goal for 9:12 of game play during the first and second quarters. Penn wasn't able to totally take control, though, building just a three point lead off the defensive stand. The Quakers conceded the first four points of the opening quarter, but Lauren Whitlach answered with five in a row to get the Quakers going. By the end of the first period, Chambers had joined her with five points and Ross had four to give Penn a 14-11 lead. Ross finished with 18 points, while Nwokedi had 17. Chambers and Whitlatch had 11 each. For Princeton, Alex Wheatley (6'2''-F-94) had 20 points while Vanessa Smith (6'1''-G-95) added 12.
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