PHILADELPHIA - For a few hours on Monday night, it felt like the good old days at The Palestra. With archrival Princeton in town, a great Penn crowd was on hand.
What a show they got.
Penn never trailed in the game, but Princeton refused to go away. In the end, the Quakers were able to keep the Tigers at bay and gain an 82-67 win. It was Penn's fourth straight victory, improving the Red and Blue to 11-9 overall, and the Quakers are now 3-0 in Ivy League play for the second straight season as they hit the road for an important trip to Yale and Brown this weekend. Princeton fell to 10-9 overall, 1-2 in Ivy play.
Penn snapped a five-game losing streak to Princeton, and improved to 123-102 all-time against the Tigers. Of note, the 82 points were the most scored by Penn against Princeton in more than 40 years -- in fact, it had been 40 years and one day since the Quakers defeated the Tigers, 82-59, on Jan. 29, 1972 here at The Palestra.
On the biggest of nights, once again it was Zack Rosen who led the way. The senior guard scored a game-high 28 points and dished off five assists. At the start of the game, he scored five points and assisted another basket as Penn jumped out to an 11-2 lead. The Quakers never looked back.
In the first half, Princeton shot 68.4 percent from the field (13 of 19). Tyler Bernardini was hampered by foul trouble and played just 11 minutes. Miles Cartwright also had foul problems and played a mere two minutes. Despite those negative ingredients, Penn was up 40-32. That was because the Quakers shot 63.6 percent from the field (14 of 22), and hit a staggering seven of their 10 three-point shots. After that quick start, the Red and Blue's lead bulged to as many as 16 points (34-18) before Princeton shot its way back into contention.
It was more of the same in the second half. Princeton kept shooting lights out, while Penn cooled off. When Ian Hummer (team-high 21 points) hit a jumper in the paint, the Tigers' shooting was at 70 percent (21 of 30), and the Quakers' lead was just five, at 57-52.
Penn followed up with three shots at the basket, all of them off the mark, and Princeton came down looking to make it a one-possession game. Instead, Douglas Davis missed a jumper, and instead Penn got a three-pointer from sophomore guard Steve Rennard in front of the Penn bench.
Princeton hung around. The Tigers made it a six-point on a layup by Brendan Connolly (15 points on 7-of-8 shooting), but after a frantic back-and-forth that saw both teams steal it from each other Rosen slipped in for a right-handed reverse layup.
Ben Hazel made it a six-point game again with five minutes to go, hitting a pair of free throws after he tipped the ball from Rennard and was fouled as he went in for a layup. This time he missed the free shot, and Rennard atoned for his previous transgressions with another trey to make it 65-56.
Hazel answered with his own three-pointer, and then Rosen missed a long three attempt. Henry Brooks was there for the rebound, however, and was fouled as he put back the board. He hit both of his shots out of the final media timeout to make the score 67-59 with 3:18 to play.
As it turned out, that was it for Princeton. Hazel turned it over on the Tigers' next possession, and a missed three by Bernardini was rebounded by Belcore and led to a Rosen layup as he was fouled. The charity shot was also good, and suddenly the Red and Blue's lead was 11.
Hummer hit a trifecta to get Princeton within single digits one final time, but Penn scored the next seven points -- all of them at the foul line -- to make the score 77-62 with less than a minute to play. That wrapped it up.
Bernardini finished the night with 14 points, 11 of them in 11 first-half minutes, while Rennard ended the night with 10 points, two assists and two steals. Cartwright also had 10 points. And how about Rob Belcore? Faced with the task of guarding Hummer, an All-Ivy player a year ago, the senior forward came up with four points, a team-high seven rebounds, five assists without a turnover, and two steals in 37 minutes.
For Princeton, Davis finished the evening with 14 points and five assists to complement Hummer and Connolly.
Penn's game on Friday in New Haven will start at 7 p.m., while Saturday's game in Providence will tip off at 6 p.m.
Penn-Princeton Game Notes: Penn improved to 123-102 all-time against Princeton and snapped a five-game losing streak to the Tigers ... The last time Penn scored 82 points against Princeton was Jan. 29, 1972 -- 40 years and a day before Monday's performance ... The last time Penn scored 82 points in an Ivy League game in regulation was March 7, 2008 in a 94-92 loss to Cornell at The Palestra, a span of 47 conference contests (Penn had 82 points in a double-overtime loss to Harvard last year) ... Penn scored more than 80 points for the second consecutive game (the Quakers had 84 against Saint Joseph's on Jan. 21); the last time that happened was early in the 2007-08 season, when Penn scored 93 against The Citadel and then 85 vs. Virginia ... Penn is 3-0 in Ivy League play for the second straight season ... At 11-9 overall, Penn has its best 20-game record since the 2006-07 team was 12-8; that team went on to go 22-9 and win the Ivy title ... For the third straight game, Penn never trailed; the last time the Quakers were behind in a game was with just over 18 minutes remaining at Columbia on Jan. 13 ... Penn shot a season-high 55.6 percent from three-point land (10 of 18); prior to Monday, the most treys Princeton had allowed in a game was six ... Penn shot 53.1 percent from the field overall (26 of 49) and has shot 50 percent or better from the field in two straight games, three of the last four, four of the last six, and six overall in 2011-12 ... Penn had a +14 rebound margin (33-19), a season high ... Penn tied a season best with 20 free throws made, and set a season high with 30 free throws attempted ... Penn improved to 7-1 when leading at the half this season ... Penn put four players in double figures in the scoring column, improving to 5-1 this season when that happens (9-2 when three or more are in double digits) ... Penn is 5-1 this season when making (and taking) more foul shots than its opponent ... This was Penn's first Monday win in the Jerome Allen coaching era; previously the Quakers were 0-4 in such games ... Penn finished January with a 5-2 record ... Senior guard Zack Rosen scored 28 points, two shy of a career high ... It was his ninth game with 20 or more points this season and his team-leading 18th double-figure scoring performance ... Rosen has led Penn in scoring 11 times this season ... Last year, Rosen scored a combined 13 points in the two games against Penn ... Rosen passed his head coach, Jerome Allen, and moved into eighth place on Penn's all-time scoring list ... Rosen tied a season high with 10 field goals (also set in the season opener at UMBC) and hit four three-pointers for the sixth time this season ... Despite foul trouble in the first half, senior guard Tyler Bernardini finished with 14 points for his 17th double-figure scoring performance this season ... Eleven of his 14 points came in the first half, despite his only playing 11 minutes in that half ... Bernardini hit three three-point baskets on the night, the sixth time in 11 games he has had three or more treys in a game ... Sophomore guard Steve Rennard scored 10 points, all in the second half, for his first double-figure scoring game at Penn ... Rennard played a career-high 26 minutes, and tied season/career bests with two rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two three-point baskets ... Sophomore guard Miles Cartwright played just two minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, but he ended up with 10 points for his 10th double-figure scoring game of 2011-12 ... Cartwright had a streak of 19 straight made free throws snapped early in the game; he ended the game 6-of-8 at the line ... Senior forward Rob Belcore led Penn with seven rebounds, his fourth time leading the team in that category this season ... Belcore also had five assists, tying a season high, and grabbed two steals on the night ... Freshman center Henry Brooks scored eight points, including his first dunk as a Penn player, and grabbed five rebounds (one shy of a season/career high) ... Sophomore guard Dau Jok tied a season/career high with two rebounds, while freshman guard Patrick Lucas-Perry tied a season/career best with two points.
Record Book Watch: Senior guard Zack Rosen had five assists in the game, giving him 538 for his career which is the program's all-time record ... Rosen has 1,497 career points which puts him eighth on Penn's all-time scoring list. (Stan Pawlak is seventh, with 1,501 points from 1964-66; Ibrahim Jaaber is sixth, with 1,518 points from 2004-07.) ... Senior guard Tyler Bernardini has 1,391 career points which puts him 12th on Penn's all-time scoring list. (Mark Zoller is 11th, with 1,429 points from 2004-07.) ... Rosen has played 3,703 career minutes which is third all-time. (Michael Jordan is second, with 3,719 minutes, while Jack Eggleston is first with 3,737 minutes.) ... Rosen has 198 career three-point field goals which is sixth all-time, while Bernardini is seventh all-time with 188 treys. (Garett Kreitz is fifth, with 199 treys.) ... Rosen has made 387 career foul shots which is seventh all-time. (Current Penn Athletic Director Steve Bilsky is sixth, with 388 made foul shots.) ... Rosen has started 102 games in his career which is fourth all-time (Ugonna Onyekwe is third, with 105 starts from 2000-03.) ... Bernardini has made 97 career starts which is ninth all-time. (Koko Archibong is eighth, with 99 starts from 2000-03.)