PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team got out to a fast start on Yale Saturday night at The Palestra -- not a surprise, given that it was Senior Night and the Quakers were starting an entire lineup of them.
Eventually, however, the Bulldogs climbed back into game and used a nine-point run to turn a three-point deficit into a six-point lead late in the first half.
As it turned out, that was the only lead change in the game. Yale never relinquished it. In the end, the Bulldogs gained a 70-63 victory.
Even more than Friday night’s game with Brown, Penn (7-18, 4-7 Ivy League) hung around. The Quakers were never behind by more than six points in the game’s final 10 minutes, except for the final score. Penn had multiple occasions with the ball and down three, but could not get closer (or tie). It was one of the more frustrating games in recent memory.
Where to start? How about with 6:18 left, after Tony Hicks had hit a three-point shot to make the score 55-52. Brandon Sherrod missed a jumper at the other end, and Fran Dougherty rebounded it. At the other end, Hicks missed a jumper but Dougherty got the offensive board and was fouled. However, he missed both shots.
Yale turned the ball over, and Darien Nelson-Henry was fouled as he went up for a shot. Nelson-Henry missed both foul shots.
Nick Victor pushed Yale’s lead back to five after that, but Miles Jackson-Cartwright was fouled as he took a three-point shot. He made the first two, but missed the third. So it was still 57-54 with 4:13 to play.
The game was 63-60 with two minutes to play when Penn again got the ball with a chance to cut into the lead or even tie it. Instead, Jackson-Cartwright missed a trey with 1:14 left and Yale got the board.
Yale worked the clock, eventually getting an off-balance shot by Javier Duren that missed. However, Victor got the offensive board with the game clock just above the shot clock. The Quakers were forced to foul Duren, and he hit both to make it 65-60.
Hicks drained a trey to make it 65-63, but Duren was fouled again on the inbounds and made both his shots. Then Penn tried the work the ball inside, but Hicks’ pass banged off the rim ahead of Nelson-Henry catching it, and landed in the hands of Armani Cotton. He made one of two, and that pretty much put it away.
Jackson-Cartwright finished Saturday’s game with 20 points and seven assists, playing the full 40 minutes in his final home game. Hicks and Nelson-Henry scored 15 apiece, while Dougherty finished the night with eight points and eight rebounds.
For Yale, Justin Sears finished with 24 points and four boards, while Duren had 14 points and six assists.
Penn is on the road for its final three games this season, starting next weekend when the Quakers are at Columbia Friday and Cornell Saturday. Both of those games will tip off at 7 p.m.