Quakers best Columbia, Cornell

At the Palestra on Friday and Saturday, the women’s basketball team beat Columbia and Cornell, respectively.

Junior center Eleah Parker shoots a jump shot against Columbia at the Palestra.
Junior center Eleah Parker scored 28 points against Columbia and became the 23rd member of the program’s 1,000-point club.

The women’s basketball team improved to 7-1 at home and 13-5 overall over the weekend by taming the Lions of Columbia and blanching the Cornell Big Red.

Junior center Eleah Parker became the 23rd member of the program’s 1,000-point club in style on Friday against Columbia at the Palestra. She had 28 points in Penn’s 86-84 overtime win.

At the end of the first quarter, the Quakers trailed 15-13, but they outscored the Lions 24-14 in the second quarter to take a 37-29 halftime lead.

Columbia scored the first five points of the second half to cut the Red & Blue’s advantage to 37-34. Halfway through the third period, the score was tied up at 44-44. 

A three-pointer by the Lions with 3:40 left in the third gave Columbia a 50-48 advantage. Five straight points by junior forward Tori Crawford—two layups and a free throw—put Penn back out in front, 53-50. Two free throws by Parker in the final 40 seconds of the quarter gave the Quakers a 55-50 lead after three periods.

Freshman guard Kayla Padilla shoots a shot at the Palestra during a game.
Freshman guard Kayla Padilla scored 22 points against Columbia, including eight of Penn’s 11 points in overtime.

The opening of the fourth quarter mirrored the opening of the third: The Lions scored the first five points. A three and a layup tied the game at 55 apiece.

Senior guard Phoebe Sterba nailed a three with 7:31 remaining in the game to put the Red & Blue up 60-57, but Columbia countered with a three of their own. Freshman sensation Kayla Padilla drained a three with 6:14 on the clock to give the Quakers a 63-60 lead.

Penn was up by five, 75-70, with around two minutes remaining in the game. The Lions hit a three to cut the lead to two, and then scored a lay-up with 28 seconds on the clock to even things up at 75-75. Parker missed a layup in the final seconds, and the game went to overtime. 

The extra period was Kayla Padilla time. She scored eight of the Quakers’ 11 points. After Columbia went up by two, she hit a three to give the Red & Blue a 78-77 lead. Parker followed with a layup to put Penn ahead by three. Next, Padilla drained a jumper that gave the Quakers a five-point advantage. 

Columbia scored a bucket to cut the lead to 82-79, but another jumper by Padilla pushed the lead back to five. The Lions scored in the paint with 29 seconds left to make it a three-point game. Junior guard Michae Jones made one of two free throws with 19 seconds left to put the Red & Blue up by four. Columbia hit a three with four seconds on the clock to make it a one-point game, 85-84. Padilla drained a foul shot with three seconds left to give Penn an 86-84 victory. 

Senior guard Phoebe Sterba shoots a shot during a game at the Palestra.
Senior guard Phoebe Sterba had 12 points, six rebounds, and five assists against Columbia, and 22 points, seven rebounds, one assist, and one block against Cornell. 

On top of her 28 points, Parker had 13 rebounds, two assists, three blocks, and one steal. Padilla had 22 points—her 10th time scoring 20-plus points this season—three rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Crawford had 13 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one block. Sterba added 12 points, six rebounds, and five assists. 

Back at it against Cornell on Saturday at the Palestra, the Quakers led 24-10 after the first quarter and pretty much breezed throughout. They were up 37-21 at halftime and held the Big Red to six points in the fourth quarter on their way to a 63-41 win. 

Sterba led all scorers with 22 points, and added seven rebounds, one assist, and one block. Parker had 13 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, and one steal. Crawford chipped in 10 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and one steal.