CAMBRIDGE, Mass. What a difference a night made for the Penn men’s basketball team.
One night after decisively beating Dartmouth in Hanover, the Quakers had the tables turned on them and were defeated by Harvard at the Lavietes Pavilion, 89-79.
With the loss, Penn falls to 10-16 overall and 5-4 in the Ivy League. Harvard, which defeated Princeton in overtime Friday night, improved to 8-18 overall and 3-7 in league play.
This game was decided before halftime, and the reason was that the Quakers had no answer for Harvard’s frontcourt in the opening stanza. Harvard’s Evan Harris and Brad Unger combined for 32 points 16 apiece in the opening stanza. Harris was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line. Unger was 5-of-8 from the field, with a pair of three-pointers, and hit four of his five free throws.
Any chances that Penn had of getting back into this thing were squelched during the early part of the second half by Harvard guard Jeremy Lin, who scored nine points in the opening six minutes to keep the Quakers at bay.
To its credit, Penn made a spirited run down the stretch. The Quakers were down by 18 with less than eight minutes to go, but went on a 17-7 run that was capped when Tyler Bernardini knocked down a trey that made the score 74-66 with just under four minutes to play.
Harvard delivered a knockout blow, however, running nearly all of the shot clock and converting when Kyle Fitzgerald drained a baby hook on the right block. That seemed to take the wind out of Penn’s sails and gave the Crimson the breathing room they needed. Penn never got the margin in single digits after that, and made it a 10-point final by scoring the game’s final four points.
For the Quakers, Brian Grandieri led the way with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Harrison Gaines scored 16 points and Bernardini added 12. Three other players Andreas Schreiber, Jack Eggleston and Kevin Egee scored nine apiece.
For the Crimson, Unger and Lin finished with 21 apiece while Harris had 20. A yeoman performance also came from point guard Drew Hosman, who had eight points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
The Quakers are back on the road two more times next weekend, traveling to Yale and then Brown next Friday and Saturday.