Texas rallies to top Penn women, 79-61

Penn forward Jackie Falconer runs a drill during practice before the first round of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 22, 2014, in College Park, Md. Pennsylvania is scheduled to play Texas in the first-round game on Sunday. (Gail Burton/AP)
Penn forward Jackie Falconer runs a drill during practice before the first round of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 22, 2014, in College Park, Md. Pennsylvania is scheduled to play Texas in the first-round game on Sunday. (Gail Burton/AP)
Posted: March 25, 2014

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Penn led Texas at halftime but simply could not get to the finish line in their NCAA women's basketball tournament opener on Sunday.

The 12th-seeded Quakers succumbed to a 22-2 Texas rally in a 79-61 Longhorns victory at the Comcast Center.

"They just kept coming and coming," Penn coach Mike McLaughlin said. "We tried to answer. We tried to slow the game down. We tried to get a timeout. We just couldn't get back control of the game."

Fifth-seeded Texas (22-11) moved into the second round Tuesday night against Maryland (25-6), which dispatched Army, 90-52, in the first game of the doubleheader.

Penn (22-7) closed one of the most successful seasons in the program's history, highlighted by a third Ivy League title.

Senior Alyssa Baron scored 17 of her 25 points before intermission for the Quakers, who built a 32-17 lead before the Longhorns began slicing the deficit. Texas trailed by 38-31 at the break.

"We were feeling good, we were feeling it, but sometimes leads just go away," said senior Courtney Wilson, who scored 10 points. "Basketball is a game of runs."

"In the second half, they ran the ball at us and we didn't get as set on the defensive end, which was our goal," McLaughlin said.

Penn freshman Sydney Stipanovich saw just 19 minutes of action because of foul trouble but scored 14 points.

Imani McGee-Stafford, a 6-foot-7 sophomore center, finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds for Texas.

"I thought she was great," McLaughlin said. "She's not only 6-foot-7, but she is incredibly mobile. She's a factor because she changes the complexion of the game around her and around the rim. To her credit, she made some really difficult shots at key parts of the game."

Nekia Jones had 14 points and Empress Davenport scored 10 for the Longhorns.

The loss meant the end of the road for Baron.

"We were able to keep improving year to year," she said of the Quakers' program. "I think we are leaving the program in good hands and I see continued success in the future."

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|