PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's basketball team has been preaching all week that it needs to take care of its own business and not worry about what happens around the rest of the Ivy League. It took awhile on Friday night, but the Quakers were able to pull away and defeat a pesky Brown squad, 54-43, at The Palestra.
While the Quakers (18-11, 10-2 Ivy League) were taking care of their business, the Ancient Eight chase dropped from four teams to two -- Penn and Harvard. The Crimson did what they had to do, sweating out a 77-70 overtime win at Columbia's Levien Gymnasium to move to 11-2 in the standings. Princeton, meanwhile, knocked off Yale, 64-57; with Harvard's win, both the Tigers (8-4) and the Bulldogs (9-4) were eliminated from the race.
Penn will host Yale Saturday night at 7 p.m., while Harvard is at Cornell for a 7 p.m. tipoff. The Crimson will be done with their regular season after tomorrow, while the Quakers move on to a Tuesday showdown with archrival Princeton at the Tigers' Jadwin Gym. That game will tip at 7:30 p.m.
Zack Rosen led Penn with 19 points, again coming up big down the stretch. Miles Cartwright had 11 points and six rebounds, while Tyler Bernardini came up with 10 second-half points to aid the cause. Penn has won six games in a row, seven of its last eight, and 11 of its last 13.
Brown (8-22, 2-11 Ivy) came into Friday night's contest off a 94-78 win last weekend. Any dose of confidence the Bears garnered from that victory was quickly squashed, however, as they failed to reach even half that number on Friday.
Brown used an eight-point run midway through the first half to turn a 13-13 game to an eight-point advantage. In fact, it was Fran Dougherty who kept Penn in this game early; he scored all of the Quakers' first eight points and grabbed four of his team-high eight rebounds in the first several minutes.
Rosen eventually helped get the Quakers back into the mix, scoring six of their final nine points of the half to make it a two-point contest at the break, 24-22. He then scored the opening basket of the second half, tying the score at 24-24.
Brown's Dockery Walker (12 points, 14 rebounds) and Rosen traded baskets after that, and then a Sean McGonagill bucket for the Bears was answered by a three-pointer from the left corner by Rob Belcore. That pushed Penn to a 29-28 lead, an advantage that went to three when Rosen found Cartwright ahead of the pack off a McGonagill miss.
Penn never trailed again, although Brown tied the game at 36-36 when Matt Sullivan drained a three-pointer with 8:19 left. However, Bernardini knocked down his first trey of the night, and then after Tyler Ponticelli scored (on a Brown possession kept alive by Walker) Rosen found the basket from downtown. That made the score 44-40.
Walker made it 42-40, but then Cartwright scored on a layup and Rosen followed with one of his patented fading jumpers near the foul line. That made the score 46-40 with just over three minutes to go. Brown's Jean Harris (16 points) hit his fourth three-pointer of the night, but that turned out to be the Bears' last gasp -- Rosen followed with another jumper, then after a defensive stop Cartwright rebounded a missed Rosen trey and it led to his own layup for a 50-43 advantage inside a minute.
Penn-Brown Game Notes: Penn has won six games in a row for the first time since the 2006-07 team ended the regular season with 10 straight victories ... Penn has won seven of its last eight games and 11 of its last 13 ... Penn held Brown to just 43 points, the lowest total by an opponent since a 59-40 win at NJIT on Jan. 17, 2009 ... The last time Penn held an Ivy League opponent to 43 or fewer points was Feb. 13, 2007, a 48-35 win over Princeton ... Penn committed just eight turnovers, the fifth time this season the Quakers have stayed in single digits in that category ... Brown set opponent lows in the Jerome Allen coaching era in second-half points (19) and field-goal percentage (.320), and set an opponent season low in free throws attempted (6) ... Brown also tied opponent season lows in field goals made (16), free throws made (4) and turnovers (8) ... Senior guard Zack Rosen led Penn with 19 points, the fifth straight game and 18th time this season he has led the Quakers in scoring ... Rosen is averaging 21.0 ppg in Penn's last five games, and has scored in double figures in 13 straight games and a team-high 27 times this season ... Sophomore guard Miles Cartwright had 11 points, his 13th double-digit scoring game this season ... Senior guard Tyler Bernardini scored 10 points, his 19th double-figure scoring game but first since Feb. 11 vs. Dartmouth and just his second since Jan. 30 vs. Princeton ... All of Bernardini's points came in the game's final 11:33 ... Sophomore center Fran Dougherty scored Penn's first eight points on Friday, and tied a season/career high with eight rebounds ... Sophomore guard Steve Rennard set a season/career high with four rebounds and tied a season/career best with two assists ... Senior Rob Belcore had four assists without a turnover; he has 35 assists and 10 turnovers in Ivy play this season.
Record Book Watch: Senior guard Zack Rosen had two assists, giving him 573 for his career which is the program's all-time record ... He has 158 assists this season, which is four shy of the single-season record shared by David Klatsky (2000-01) and Ibrahim Jaaber (2006-07) ... Rosen played 39 minutes, giving him 4,049 for his career which is also a program mark ... Rosen has 1,111 minutes this season, which leaves his 33 shy of Jaaber (1,144 in 2006-07) for the program's single-season record ... Rosen has 1,657 career points which puts him third on Penn's all-time scoring list. (Ugonna Onyekwe is second, with 1,762 points from 2000-03.) ... Senior guard Tyler Bernardini has 1,449 career points which puts him 10th on Penn's all-time scoring list. (Current Head Coach Jerome Allen is ninth, with 1,488 points from 1992-95.) ... Rosen has 217 career three-point field goals which is fourth all-time. (Jeff Schiffner is third with 220 from 2001-04.) ... Bernardini has 198 career treys, which is seventh all-time. (Garett Kreitz is sixth with 199 from 1995-98.) ... Rosen has made 404 career foul shots which is fifth all-time. (Ernie Beck is fourth, with 419 made free throws from 1951-53.) ... Rosen has 150 career steals which is fourth all-time (Matt Maloney is third, with 157 from 1993-95), while Bernardini has 130 steals which is ninth (Paul Chambers from 1989-92 and Shawn Trice from 1992-95 are tied for seventh with 134.) ... Rosen has started 111 games in his career which is tied with Jack Eggleston for second all-time. (Tim Begley is first, with 113 starts from 2002-05.) ... Bernardini has made 100 career starts which is tied with Allen for seventh all-time (Michael Jordan and Geoff Owens are tied for fifth, with 101 starts each.) ... Bernardini has played 3,225 career minutes which is eighth all-time. (Langel is seventh, with 3,245 minutes from 1997-2000.)