Women’s basketball took to hardwood Friday evening with hopes of proving that were able to put the tough double overtime loss sustained at the hands of the Big Red of Cornell behind them by having a strong showing against the Quakers of Penn. However, the Quakers had a different idea as they ran away from the Lions in the second half, ultimately winning, 52-40.
The Light Blue immediately came out fueled by the energy of head coach Paul Nixon. Nixon never went more than one minute of the first half without either yelling at the refs or yelling encouragement to his team. Nixon’s energy clearly carried over to his team’s play on the court.
The Lions’ first half energy led to a mixture of the aggressive defensive play that led to early and constant foul trouble for Guard Brittany Simmons and Forward Courtney Bradford and the resulting role that was filled beyond all expectations by sophomore guard, Miwa Tachibana.
The Lions were able to rattle off six in row including four straight by Simpson after Penn opened the game by scoring the first four points. From that moment on the half turned into a fast paced, aggressive shootout.
Penn’s quick guards agreed with the fast pace early with Keiera Ray running the fast break and having a hand in nearly every Quaker point that was scored early in the half.
Eventually, it became clear who would own the first half. Tachibana initially made her presence felt slowly, hitting a jumper from just inside the arc. Before too long she found herself open at the top of the arc, draining the three. Following the triple, Tachibana converted a three point play off of a strong runner in the lane. After staying quiet for a bit, it was time for Miwa to heat up again, nailing another three as well as getting another three point play. Tachibana finished the half with 14 of the Lions 31 points.
From the opening of the second half, it was all Quakers. 10 minutes into the second period of play, Penn had scored 14 points to Columbia’s four. It appeared as though during halftime the energy that was propelling the Lions through the first half transferred to the Quakers, enabling them to break the press, play pressure defense, and sink three pointers.
The Quakers continued their strong play through the half as Alyssa Baron, Katy Allen, and Kathleen Roche began sinking the shots that they were missing throughout the first half. Penn’s defensive intensity also stepped up to the next level as they began stifling almost any opportunity the Lions had to get off a decent shot.
Alyssa Baron and Miwa Tachibana led all scorers with 14 points each.
The Lions look to bounce back as they hit the court again tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Levien against Ivy powerhouse Princeton.