Flexing Quakers fluster Big 5 foe La Salle

The women’s basketball team defeated the Explorers 72-59 on Tuesday at La Salle. The Quakers dished out 23 assists and caused 22 turnovers.

First-year forward Simone Sawyer scored a game-high 24 points. (Image: Penn Athletics)

The women’s basketball team faced La Salle for the 49th time on Tuesday, and for the third time in four meetings and 13th time overall, Penn walked away victorious.

First-year guard Simone Sawyer and third-year forward Jordan Obi steered the Quakers with 24 and 20 points respectively, in a game in which the Red & Blue never trailed.

Competing in the Explorers’ Tom Gola Arena, Penn opened the game on a 10-2 run and led 24-16 after the first quarter.

The Quakers outscored La Salle 19-6 in the second quarter. A 13-4 run, powered by eight points from Obi, gave the Red & Blue a 39-20 advantage halfway through the period. At the break, Penn was ahead 43-22.

In the first few minutes of the third quarter, the Explorers cut the lead to 12, but the Quakers responded with a 13-6 run and held a 60-41 advantage after three periods. Sawyer scored nine points during the run—two jumpers, a layup, and a three-pointer.

Fourth-year guard Kayla Padilla played a game-high 39 minutes and scored 10 points. (Image: Penn Athletics)

The fourth quarter was much more competitive than the previous three. La Salle outscored the Red & Blue 18-12 in the period and trimmed the lead to 64-51 with 6:11 remaining. But they got no closer and Penn closed out its first Big 5 win of the season.

Sawyer played a game-high 37 minutes. She shot 9-18 from the field, 2-8 from the three-point line, and 4-6 from the free throw line, and added seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Obi, in 31 minutes, was 10-13 from the field and had four rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Fourth-year guard Kayla Padilla played a game-high 39 minutes and scored 10 points. Third-year forward Floor Toonders grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

The Quakers outrebounded the Explorers 47-22, caused 22 turnovers, dished out 23 assists, and held La Salle to 32.4 percent shooting on field goals.

On Thursday, Dec. 1, the Red & Blue (2-5) take on Stony Brook (4-2) at 7 p.m. at the Palestra, the first of 10 consecutive home games.