NEW HAVEN, Conn. - With just over a minute left in regulation, and the Penn and Yale men's basketball teams tied at 58, Penn junior Zack Rosen drove the lane and threw a pass, as he later described, "into the Yale band." It was his first turnover of the night, after dishing off seven assists.
Boy, did he redeem himself.
Yale had three chances at the basket on its possession, but missed all three - the third attempt blocked by Mike Howlett and rebounded by Jack Eggleston. After that, Penn put the ball in Rosen's hands for the final play.
Anyone who knows anything about Penn basketball knew what was coming, but it didn't matter. With the clock expiring, Rosen lost his defender off a screen at the top of the key, slipped into the lane, and lofted a feathery jumper over the outstretched arm of Yale's Greg Mangano. The ball settled into the basket with 2.3 seconds left, and that was enough to propel the Quakers to the 60-58 victory at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
Yale had a chance for the tie or win after Rosen's shot, but after a timeout the Bulldogs' Austin Morgan was forced into a desperation heave from well beyond midcourt. The ball dramatically hit the front rim, securing Penn's victory.
Penn is now 11-12 overall, and 5-4 in the Ivy League which is good for third place alone after Columbia's loss at home to Harvard tonight. Princeton -- which lost to Brown tonight, 75-65 -- and the Crimson are tied in the loss column with one, each. Harvard has nine Ivy wins, Princeton eight.
In addition, the win gave Penn a road sweep for the weekend, and allowed the Quakers to sweep the season series with Yale.
Rosen's winning bucket was his only field goal in the second half, as he finished with eight points and six rebounds to go with his seven assists. Tyler Bernardini had another stellar performance, scoring 16 points including his 1,000th career point on a three-pointer early in the game. Freshman Miles Cartwright had 10 points, while Eggleston had nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
Finally, what can you say about Howlett? The junior has fought injury all season, but with Conor Turley and Cameron Gunter unavailable to start the weekend he was pressed into duty. After scoring 10 points last night at Brown, he played 28 minutes on the block and dropped 11 against Yale's Mangano. He also had three blocked shots, highlighted by that critical play in the final minute.
Mangano entered the game leading the Ivy League in scoring and rebounding, and he had another monster game with 26 points (shooting 11-of-17 from the field) and 11 rebounds. Porter Braswell was the only other Yale player to score in double figures, with 13 points.
Much like the first meeting, when Penn broke out with a 24-6 lead, Saturday night's game was painted Red and Blue early. The Quakers scored at will for a stretch midway through the opening stanza, and used a 12-0 run to bust out to a 26-11 lead. Yale kept its poise, though, thanks mostly to Mangano and Reggie Willhite. By halftime, Penn's lead was a more manageable eight-point advantage, 32-24.
Howlett opened the second-half scoring, but Yale scored 14 of the next 16 points and took a 38-36 lead when Braswell got inside and hit a layup. Penn finally got it going again, scoring seven straight points to go up 43-38, and the teams were content to trade points for several minutes after that. When Eggleston hit a layup with 8:14 to play, the score was 53-48.
Yale regained the lead when Mangano hit a shot, then Braswell went on a four-point spurt that ended with a pair of free throws. Cartwright got Penn's lead back with a jumper, and then more than two minutes went by before Mangano knocked down a layup to make the score 56-55.
Rosen missed a jumper, but the ball bounced back to him and eventually Eggleston was fouled going up for a shot. He made one, tying the score at 56-56. Morgan then missed a wild shot at the other end, and that led to a Bernardini jumper from just inside the arc that put Penn ahead, 58-56.
Yale responded almost immediately with a layup from Mangano. That would be the last points in the game before Rosen's heroics.
Penn is back home next weekend, hosting Columbia Friday night and Cornell Saturday night at The Palestra. Both games are slated to start at 7 p.m., and Friday's game with the Lions will be televised live on the Comcast Network.
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Postgame Notes: Penn matched its Ivy League win total from last year with the victory ... After having just two of its final 12 non-conference games with a single-digit margin, Penn has had six such games in Ivy play so far ... Taking it a step further, Penn did not play a non-conference game that ended with a margin of less than five, but has had four such games so far in Ivy play ... Penn entered the weekend with one road victory; the Quakers gained two this weekend ... Penn swept Yale for the first time since 2008 ... Penn has now swept the Brown-Yale trip 26 times out of the 55 times the Quakers have made it ... The last time Penn swept an Ivy League road weekend was Feb. 13-14, 2009, when the Quakers beat Brown on a Friday and Yale on a Saturday (sound familiar?) ... Penn shot 50.9 percent from the field (27 of 53); in the last four games, the Quakers are a combined 97 of 194 (50.0 percent) from the field ... Penn improved to 2-0 in game where the Quakers tie their opponent in the rebound category; it also happened at Delaware ... Penn committed just 10 turnovers, its fewest since committing only four at Delaware ... For the second straight night, Penn tied a season high with five blocked shots ... For the first time this season, Penn won a game when it made fewer free throws than its opponent; prior to Saturday, the Quakers were 0-11 in such games ... Penn shot just five foul shots and made four of them; both of those numbers are lows in the Jerome Allen coaching era ... Penn also won despite hitting a season-low two three-point baskets ... Senior Tyler Bernardini led Penn with 16 points, the seventh time in the last 14 games he has led the team in that category ... Bernardini scored the 1,000th point of his Penn career with a three-pointer early in the first half; he now has 1,010 career points ... Bernardini became the 37th player in Penn history and the third this season to reach the milestone (also Jack Eggleston and Zack Rosen) ... Bernardini is averaging 16.7 ppg over Penn's last 14 contests ... Junior Mike Howlett made his first start this season, and had 11 points, three rebounds and a career-high three blocked shots ... Howlett entered the weekend with seven points this season, but had 21 combined at Brown and Yale ... Eggleston finished with nine points and 10 rebounds, his ninth double-figure rebounding game in 2010-11 and 16th at Penn ... Junior Zack Rosen scored just one field goals in the second half, but it was the game-winner ... Rosen finished with seven assists, giving him 390 for his career which puts him fifth on Penn's all-time list ... Rosen has 127 assists this season, and needs six more to move into a tie for 10th place on Penn's single-season list with his current head coach, Jerome Allen (133 in 27 games in 1992-93) ... Rosen has had five or more assists in 12 straight games ... Freshman Miles Cartwright finished with 10 points, his fifth double-figure scoring game in Ivy play ... Senior Darren Smith knocked down a jumper in the first half, his first points since Nov. 17 at Manhattan.