Less than a week into Ivy play, Penn women’s basketball has now extended its winning streak to nine straight with a pair of wins against Cornell and Columbia at the Palestra over the weekend. The Quakers are red hot, winning all four games held over winter break. But Columbia (13-3, 2-1) has been dominant and came into Saturday’s matchup riding a 10-game winning streak. On Friday night, Penn led comfortably, not trailing in the final three quarters and eventually defeating Cornell 62-54. But Padilla’s impact was felt beyond just scoring, as she grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists. Jordan Obi grabbed 15 rebounds and forced four turnovers, while only sitting for one minute of game time.
“I feel like everyone knows that Jordan has been an absolute force on the offensive side who can score from inside and from three,” Padilla said of her teammate. Penn was also able to capitalize on a sluggish offensive night from the Big Red. Despite generating eight more turnovers than Penn, Cornell shot 1-17 from deep, and ended the night below 35% on all field goals. Following her performance on Friday, Padilla was honored before Saturday’s match against Columbia.
Pregame, Penn President Liz Magill, Athletic Director Alanna Shanahan, and Coach Mike McLaughlin presented Padilla with the ball from her Dec. 11 match against Temple, when she became the 24th Quaker to reach 1,000 career points.
Penn didn’t score following either of Columbia’s two first-quarter turnovers. But, again, mistakes reared their ugly head when Penn only made two of its first seven free throws in the fourth quarter.
And on the next possession, after bringing down a rebound, Obi made both free throws after being fouled, giving Penn the lead with under a minute left.
She delivered repeatedly, bringing down rebounds and hitting free throws to eventually seal the Quaker’s four-point lead.
On one of Columbia’s final possessions, junior Floor Toonders blocked a shot which would have tied the game. “So I was able to step up this time and block a shot.”
McLaughlin spoke highly of Toonders’ performance, especially complementing her conditioning throughout this weekend’s back-to-back games.