PHILADELPHIA - For the second time in as many years, the University of Pennsylvania and Wagner men’s basketball teams needed overtime to settle matters. And for the second straight year, it was the Seahawks who made the plays in the extra session as they walked out of The Palestra Saturday night with a 75-69 victory.
You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “it was a shame someone had to lose.” Saturday night’s game at The Palestra may have gone in the other direction. On a night when the teams combined for 41 turnovers and shot a combined 33.1 percent (39 of 118), the Quakers were left ruing a game that they very likely should have had.
Penn (2-6) got to overtime despite senior Miles Jackson-Cartwright playing just 14 minutes due to foul trouble. It was unfortunate, as all indications were that he was on his way to another solid offensive performance -- he hit three three-pointers (on four attempts) for nine points. His production would have been helpful.
Fran Dougherty had another solid night, posting his first double-double of the season with a team-high 17 points and 11 rebounds. Darien Nelson-Henry had 11 points and seven boards. Freshman Tony Bagtas had another outstanding performance at the point, scoring seven points and dishing off eight assists in 36 minutes in his second career start.
Penn had not one but two chances to gain a final lead at the end of regulation. On the first, with just under a minute to play and the score tied 62-62, Tony Hicks missed a jumper and Wagner’s Kenneth Ortiz got the rebound. After a timeout, the Seahawks (5-5) worked the clock under 30 seconds before Ortiz drove the lane. His layup was no good, however, and the ball went back to Penn.
With the game in his hands and the clock nearing triples zeroes, Bagtas took the ball into the lane. However, he lost his dribble and ball ended up in Ortiz’s hands. Another timeout. One final shot by Ortiz, a pretty good look -- no good. On to overtime.
It took 90 seconds, but Wagner scored the first points of the OT on a pair of free throws by Mario Moody. Another 90 seconds later, the Seahawks’ Jay Harris hit a stone-cold three from well beyond the line that pushed them ahead, 67-62. Following another empty Penn possession, Ortiz hit a pair of free throws and it was 69-62 with just 36 seconds left. Penn’s first points of the session finally came after that, on a Bagtas three-pointer.
Ortiz and Latif Rivers scored 18 points apiece for Wagner -- 12 apiece in the second half -- while Moody finished with 12 points and Harris had 11.
Penn is off for the next 15 days due to the University’s fall-term exam period; the Quakers are next in action on Sunday, Dec. 22 when they play at Marist. Tip time is slated for 2 p.m.
Game Notes: This marked Penn’s first overtime game of 2013-14, and the second straight year the Quakers and Seahawks needed OT to settle matters … Penn is 3-7 in overtime under head coach Jerome Allen, but has lost three straight and seven of its last eight … Penn set season highs in three-pointers (8) and rebounds (44) … Penn outrebounded its fourth straight opponent, after being outboarded in each of its first four games this season … Wagner shot 33.3 percent from the field, an opponent low against Penn this season … Penn has held its last two opponents to just 33.9 percent shooting from the field (37-109), and seven of Penn’s eight opponents this season have shot below 45 percent against the Quakers … For the second time in three games, Penn lost a game it led at halftime (in both cases, the halftime lead was one point) … Penn has had its two worst shooting games in the last two contests (21-62 at Villanova, 20-61 vs. Wagner), but its best shooting performances from beyond the arc (40 percent against both the Wildcats and Seahawks) … Wagner set opponent highs in free throws (33), free-throw percentage (.846) and blocked shots (9) … Senior Fran Dougherty had his first double-double of the season (fifth career) with 17 points and a season-high 11 rebounds … Dougherty has led Penn in rebounding each of the last four games … Dougherty averaged 2.5 rebounds in Penn’s first four games this season; he is averaging 9.3 in the last four … Dougherty also matched a career high with 36 minutes played … Freshman Tony Bagtas had eight assists, giving him 17 in the last two games, and matched his season/career high with seven points … Sophomore Tony Hicks scored 14 points, his seventh double-figure game this season and the 22nd such game of his career … Sophomore Darien Nelson-Henry had 11 points, his sixth double-figure scoring game this season and 16th of his career … Senior Steve Rennard tied a career high with three assists … Senior Miles Jackson-Cartwright scored nine points, giving him 1,174 for his career which is 28th in Penn history; Paul Romanczuk (1996-99) is 27th with 1,179 points, while Jeff Neuman (1964-66) is 26th with 1,187 and Matt Langel (19997-00) is 25th with 1,191.