PHILADELPHIA - It was a Senior Night to remember Saturday for the Penn men's basketball team, which sent Rob Belcore, Tyler Bernardini, Mike Howlett and Zack Rosen off in style with a 68-47 dismantling of Yale.
Penn's win -- its seventh in a row -- moved the Quakers to 11-2 in the Ivy League, they remain a half game back of Harvard in the standings. The Crimson edged Cornell, 67-63, in Ithaca on Saturday night to close out its regular season at 12-2 in Ancient Eight play. So Harvard has guaranteed itself at least a share of this year's Ivy title; Penn can tie with a win Tuesday night at Princeton. The Quakers and Tigers will tip off at 7:30 p.m. from Jadwin Gym.
Tuesday night's game with Princeton will air live to a national audience on ESPN3.com.
If Penn wins Tuesday night's game, the Quakers and Harvard will be declared co-champions and meet in a one-game playoff to determine the conference's automatic NCAA bid. That game would be played at a date and site that has not yet been determined. If Penn loses on Tuesday, Harvard will be sole Ivy League champion and gain the conference's NCAA bid.
Saturday night at The Palestra, Penn use an 11-3 run late in the first half to turn a 10-10 game into an eight-point advantage. That remained the case right up to the break, which came with the Quaker lead at 30-22. Penn's largest lead in the stanza was 10 points just before halftime. Rosen had 10 points, while Belcore added five and three others scored four each.
Penn turned the ball over on its first three possessions of the second half, but Yale could not cut into the Red and Blue's lead. That proved costly, as finally Belcore hit a layup and then Bernardini followed a Bulldog turnover with a three-pointer for his first points of the night. That made it 35-22 and forced Yale to call timeout.
Penn has struggled this year at finishing teams off, but that was not the case on Saturday. Instead, after Jeremiah Kreisberg scored out of the timeout, the Quakers went on a 15-point run that essentially ended the game. Five different players scored in the run, led by Rosen who had eight.
Penn's lead peaked at 59-30 with more than five minutes to play, and it was essentially garbage time after that as head coach Jerome Allen was able to give each senior his moment as he took them off the floor one at a time.
Rosen once again led the way in scoring, with 20 points. A tip of the hat must be made to Belcore, however; he finished the night with 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals, and was simply masterful as he held Yale's standout center, Greg Mangano, to just 10 points and five boards. Miles Cartwright had nine points as 11 different Quakers players found the scoring sheet on this night.
It was Senior Night at The Palestra, and prior to the contest the men's basketball program honored outgoing seniors Belcore, Bernardini, Howlett and Rosen. All four then started the contest along with Cartwright.
Penn-Yale Game Notes: Penn has won seven games in a row, eight of its last nine, and 12 of its last 14 ... Penn swept the Brown-Yale home weekend for the 38th time in 53 attempts ... Penn finished the regular season with an 11-6 record at The Palestra ... Penn improved to 12-1 when leading at the half, 15-4 when shooting a better field-goal percentage than its opponent, and 9-1 when holding its opponent to less than 60 points ... Penn's 21-point win was its largest this season ... Penn's 29-point lead (59-30) was its largest in any game this season ... Penn held Yale to 47 points, its second straight game holding an opponent under 50 ... In the last 10 games, Penn has held eight opponents to 60 points or less, six to 55 points or less, and three below 50 ... Penn shot 54.8 percent from the field (23 of 42), a season high ... Yale made just 14 field goals, shot 27.5 percent from the field, and had just four assists; all are opponent lows in the Jerome Allen coaching era ... Yale became the 21st opponent this season held below 45 percent from the field ... Yale hit just one three-pointer, the lowest by an opponent since UMBC did not hit any treys in the season opener ... Penn had 11 different players score ... Senior guard Zack Rosen led Penn with 20 points, his 14th straight game and 28th time this season in double digits ... Rosen has led Penn in scoring in six straight games, seven of the last eight, and 19 this season ... Rosen has scored 20 or more points in four of Penn's last six games, and 13 times overall this season ... Rosen also led Penn with season-high six rebounds, his third time leading the Quakers in that category this season ... Senior Rob Belcore had 11 points, his 11th double-figure scoring game this season; he did not have a double-digit scoring game in 2010-11 ... Freshman forward Keelan Cairns scored his first collegiate points.
Record Book Watch: Senior guard Zack Rosen had two assists, giving him 575 for his career which is the program's all-time record ... He has 160 assists this season, which is two shy of the single-season record shared by David Klatsky (2000-01) and Ibrahim Jaaber (2006-07) ... Rosen played 30 minutes, giving him 4,079 for his career which is also a program mark ... Rosen has 1,141 minutes this season, which leaves his three shy of Jaaber (1,144 in 2006-07) for the program's single-season record ... Rosen has 1,677 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 1,454 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 219 career three-point field goals which is fourth all-time. (Jeff Schiffner is third with 220 from 2001-04.) ... Bernardini has 199 career treys, which ties him with Garett Kreitz (1995-98) for sixth all-time ... Rosen has made 412 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 131 steals which is ninth (Paul Chambers from 1989-92 and Shawn Trice from 1992-95 are tied for seventh with 134.) ... Rosen has started 112 games in his career which is second all-time. (Tim Begley is first, with 113 starts from 2002-05.) ... Bernardini has made 101 career starts which is tied with Michael Jordan and Geoff Owens are tied for fifth all-time ... Bernardini has played 3,253 career minutes which is seventh all-time. (Jaaber is sixth, with 3,569 minutes from 2004-07.)