PHILADELPHIA - The Penn and Harvard men's basketball teams engaged in a game that can only be described by one word Saturday night at The Palestra: Classic.
In the end, the Crimson's Oliver McNally knocked down a layup with 11.5 seconds left, and then Zack Rosen's attempt to be a hero at the other end was blocked by Kyle Casey. That allowed Harvard to escape a raucous Palestra with an 83-82 victory in double overtime.
Harvard improved to 16-4 overall and is now 5-1 in the Ivy League; Penn -- which entered the game on a four-game win streak -- fell for the first time in Ivy play and is now 9-9 overall.
You want an amazing stat? Penn never led in regulation or the first overtime. Yet somehow the Quakers were able to get level at the end of both periods.
In fact, Penn's first lead came at 79-77 when Jack Eggleston dunked home a feed from Rosen for the first basket of the second overtime. More than a minute after that, Conor Turley was fouled and hit one of two free throws to put the Quakers up 80-77.
Christian Webster got two of those points back with 2:05 left on a pair of foul shots, but Eggleston finished a Miles Cartwright feed to put the lead back to three with 1:48 left.
Casey made two foul shots with 1:29 left to make it 82-81, and then a critical turnover occurred when Rosen was tied up by Brandyn Curry and a held ball was called to give possession back to the Crimson.
Webster was fouled, but he missed both free throws and Penn still had the lead. The Quakers worked the shot clock down, and with about 21 seconds left Eggleston shook free for a jumper that failed to fall. Harvard quickly pushed the ball up the court, and McNally drove along the left baseline, stopped at the block and put in a feathery jumper that found nothing but twine.
It was a tough ending for the Quakers, who battled back from 18 points down to force the extra time. That said, it looked like Harvard might get a chance to win it at the buzzer when a Crimson player followed a missed shot with a putback attempt that also missed. The light went on, the whistle blew...or was it the other way around? The refs conferred, then declared the horn went first and foul shots were not in order. 64-64. On to overtime.
After Keith Wright and Cartwright traded baskets, Curry hit a trey and then Webster hit two foul shots to put Harvard up 71-66. Eggleston got three of them back with a trifecta, but Casey hit a foul shot and then Wright dropped another layup for a 74-69 advantage.
Rosen got inside for a layup and a foul, making the free throw to put it at 74-72. Wright hit a pair of foul shots, but Rosen drained a long three and it was 76-75. Casey was fouled off an inbounds, but after making the first he missed the second. That left it in Rosen's hands, and he popped home a rainbow jumper in traffic just as the buzzer sounded. 77-77. On to double overtime.
Wright led all scorers with 25 points, while Casey had 18 points and nine rebounds. Webster finished with 17 points.
For Penn, Rosen was simply outrageous -- he tied a school record with 13 assists (previously set by Dave Wohl in 1970 and matched by Tim Begley in 2005) and also led the Quakers with 21 points. Eggleston had another strong performance, with 23 points and eight boards. Tyler Bernardini scored 13 points but fouled out early in the second overtime, while Cartwright had 14 points.
Penn continues this brutal eight-day stretch with its first road game of the 2011 Ivy League campaign. The Quakers are at archrival Princeton Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
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Postgame Notes: Penn had a four-game win streak snapped with the loss ... It was Penn's third overtime game this season; the last time the Quakers played at least three OT games was 2005-06 ... It was Penn's first double-overtime game since Nov. 24, 2009 (a 97-94 loss to Delaware) ... It was Penn's seventh overtime game with Harvard, and the first since Feb. 24, 2006 ... Penn is 3-4 in those games ... Penn reached 80 points for the third time this season; all of them have been overtime games ... Penn shot 14 of 16 at the foul line for the second time in as many nights ... In four of the last five games, the Quakers have shot 87.5 percent or better from the charity stripe ... Junior guard Zack Rosen tied a school record with 13 assists ... The record was originally set in 1970 by Dave Wohl, and matched in 2005 by Tim Begley ... Rosen's 13 assists are the most by an Ivy League player this season ... Rosen also had 21 points, his third such game this season and 11th career ... Eight of his points came in the first overtime session ... Rosen now has 991 career points ... Senior Jack Eggleston had 23 points to lead Penn, the second time in three games he has led Penn in scoring in a game ... It was Eggleston's third 20-point game outing this season, and his fifth career ... Eggleston also led Penn with eight rebounds, the 16th time in 18 games he has led the Quakers in that category in a game ... Eggleston has averaged 22.0 points per game in the last three contests, and 10.6 rebounds over the last five games ... Freshman Miles Cartwright scored 14 points and tied a season/career high with five rebounds ... Senior Tyler Bernardini scored 13 points and tied a season high with three assists ... Bernardini has scored in double figures in nine straight games, averaging 18.0 ppg over that stretch ... Bernardini now has 938 career points ... Among the players who set season/career highs in minutes were Cartwright (48), Rosen (47), Eggleston (45), and Fran Dougherty (31).