MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. - The University of Pennsylvania men's basketball team got double-doubles from senior Matt Howard and freshman AJ Brodeur and that led the way as the Quakers defeated Robert Morris on Friday night, 67-50. The game was the season opener for both squads.
Brodeur finished the night with 23 points -- going 11 of 14 from the field -- along with 11 rebounds and two blocked shots as he was active at both ends of the floor. Howard had 15 points and 10 boards. Jackson Donahue and Max Rothschild had eight points each, with Jackson knocking down a pair of three-point baskets -- one to start the game, one right near the end -- and dishing off three assists while Rothschild snared five rebounds and blocked two shots. Matt MacDonald had five points and grabbed seven rebounds.
How It Happened
Unlike last year, when Penn gave up a 17-point second-half lead before pulling out a one-point victory, the Quakers were never seriously threatened on Friday night. The Red and Blue never trailed -- they opened the scoring on Donahue's trey, then answered Robert Morris' first bucket with the game's next 10 points to go up 13-2 after eight minutes.
The lead ballooned to 17 at one point (23-6), before Robert Morris scored eight of the last 10 points before halftime to make the score 29-20 at the break. The Colonials then opened the second-half scoring with a Braden Burke layup to make it 29-22.
They got no closer. Brodeur hit a layup to end the brief skid, and next thing you knew Penn was going on an 8-0 run that covered less than two minutes and made the score 47-28 with 12: 47 left. Another 10-2 run pushed the Quakers up by 25 (60-35) with just over six minutes left, and they cruised from there.
*Penn improved to 2-0 in season openers under head coach Steve Donahue; both wins came against Robert Morris, last year at The Palestra and this year at the Colonials' Sewall Center.
*With his effort tonight, Brodeur became the first freshman in program history to collect a double-double in his collegiate debut. In fact, the last time a Penn player had a double-double in his varsity debut was way back on December 1, 1976 -- prior to freshman eligibility -- when sophomore Tony Price went for 18 points and 12 rebounds in a 108-69 win over The Citadel at The Palestra.
*Penn has never lost a game during the Donahue era when leading at the half; the Quakers were 6-0 in such games last year.
*Howard's double-double was the third of his career; his first two came last year. It also was his 30th double-figure scoring game as a collegian.