HANOVER, N.H. - It was truly a tale of two halves Saturday night at the Leede Arena, as the Penn men's basketball was absolutely on its heels throughout the first 20 minutes but thoroughly dominated the second en route to a 70-58 victory over Dartmouth.
With the win, Penn improved to 13-14 overall and is now 7-6 in the Ivy League. That guarantees the Quakers a .500 record in Ivy play this season, and third place is still in play as they get ready for Tuesday's season finale with Princeton. The teams will tip off at 7 p.m., after the women's game that starts at 4:30 p.m.
(Oh, and then there's the small fact that Penn can spoil the Tigers' chances at an Ivy League title and an NCAA bid on Tuesday. Princeton lost to Harvard in Cambridge tonight, putting both the Tigers and the Crimson at two in the loss column. Harvard is done; Princeton, of course, is not. So if Princeton wins Tuesday's game at Penn, the Tigers and Crimson will be co-champions and will play a one-game playoff this weekend to determine the Ivy's NCAA bid. If Penn wins on Tuesday, though, the Tigers are out and the Crimson are the outright champions.)
Following a desultory performance Friday night at Harvard, it looked like the doldrums were going to carry over into Saturday night. Jack Eggleston scored the game's first basket, but Dartmouth responded with five points in a row. Miles Cartwright ended that brief run, but Dartmouth ripped off the next 11 points. Suddenly it was 16-4, and the Big Green was off.
Dartmouth doubled Penn up four times after that, at 22-11, 28-14, 30-15 and 32-16. At that juncture the Quakers scored five in a row, but Dartmouth's Tyler Melville ended the half with a bucket and then opened the second stanza with another to make it 36-21.
That's when Penn woke up.
Tyler Bernardini -- who was 0 of 5 from the field in the first half -- hit a long jumper for two points, then drained a three-pointer on the Quakers' next possession. Cartwright followed that up with a conventional three-point play, and just like that Penn was within seven points.
Another seven-point Penn run turned a 40-31 game into a one-possession affair, and although Dartmouth kept trying to hold Penn off it seemed only a matter of time. That time came with the score 44-38 in the Big Green's favor. First Zack Rosen hit a trey. Then Cartwright did. Then Bernardini. Then Eggleston. Then, finally, Rosen again. Dartmouth's only point to counteract the barrage was a free throw by Gediminas Bertasius. When the dust had settled, Penn was up 53-45.
Penn kept the foot on the gas, and opened its lead up to as much as 15 (66-51) before settling at the final score. In all, the Quakers' run was 45-15 in making up the 15-point deficit and reversing the fortunes.
Eggleston finished the night with 21 points (shooting 6-of-9 from the field and hitting all three of his trey attempts) and also had eight rebounds. Bernardini responded to a scoreless first half with 16 second-half points, and he also had eight boards. Rosen scored 13 points and dished off six assists with only one turnover. Cartwright had 10 points and five assists.
For Dartmouth, Melville had 16 points and five assists. David Rufful finished with 11 points, while Ronnie Dixon -- playing his final game at Dartmouth along with fellow senior Clive Weeden -- had 10 points.
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Postgame Notes: Penn has guaranteed itself a .500 Ivy League record for the first time since 2007-08, when the Quakers went 8-6 ... Penn swept Dartmouth for the second straight season and has won 27 of the last 29 from the Big Green ... Penn tied a season high by making 10 three-point baskets ... Penn has outrebounded or tied its opponent in rebounds in six straight games ... Senior Jack Eggleston led Penn in scoring for the seventh time this season, dropping 21 points ... It was Eggleston's fifth 20-point game this season, and his seventh at Penn ... Eggleston also led the Quakers with eight rebounds ... Eggleston has led Penn in boards in 23 of 27 games this season ... Senior Tyler Bernardini scored 16 points, all of them in the second half ... Bernardini has scored in double digits in six straight games and 18 overall this season ... After shooting 0-of-6 from the field (0-4 three-pointers) in the first half, Bernardini was 6-of-9 (4-7) in the second half ... Junior Zack Rosen scored 13 points, his team-leading 22nd double-figure scoring game in 2010-11 ... Rosen also had six assists against just one turnover; he has five or more assists in 15 of Penn's last 16 contests ... Rosen now has 149 assists this season, a career high and sixth on Penn's single-season list ... Rosen is up to 412 career assists ... Freshman Miles Cartwright had 10 points, his fifth straight game in double digits and 16th this season ... On the all-time scoring list, Eggleston now has 1,238 points; Rosen has 1,116; and Bernardini has 1,061 ... Junior Mike Howlett made his fifth straight start at center.