PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's basketball team fell into a familiar pattern Friday night against Navy, and unfortunately the result was something that has been all too common in the early part of this season -- a loss.
The Quakers were within striking distance at the half against the Midshipmen, but Navy scored the first nine points of the second stanza and Penn never recovered in taking a 76-65 loss. Penn is now 1-6 on the season, although the six losses have come against teams with a combined record of 37-5 (88.1 winning percentage). Navy, meanwhile, is 7-1 and off to its best start since the 1983-84 season.
Penn was down 35-28 at halftime, but while the Quakers were missing their shots to start the second half Navy got off to a quick start, with five points in the first 55 seconds to gain a 40-28 advantage. It took Penn nearly 17 minutes to finally get that deficit into single digits, when Brennan Votel knocked down a three-pointer that made the score 67-58. However, on the ensuing inbounds Navy went over the top to Chris Harris, and Tyler Bernardini was called for an intentional foul when he knocked Harris to the deck as the Navy guard went up for a layup. The foul was Bernardini's fifth, and after Harris hit both free throws Kaleo Kinaknocked home a jumper in the lane that finished off a four-point play and made the score 71-58.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair most of the way, until the five-minute mark when both teams went into offensive lulls with Navy up 28-26. The Midshipmen got a pair of foul shots by Kina, and then more than a minute passed before Harris drained a three-pointer. Votel missed a jumper at the other end, and then Kina hit a pair of foul shots that gave Navy a 35-26 lead with 2:56 to play. The last points of the stanza came on a layup by Remy Cofield with 59 seconds left before the break.
Penn was led by Votel, who scored 14 points and collected nine rebounds to nearly collect his first collegiate double-double. Jack Eggleston scored 13 points, while Harrison Gaines scored 10.
For Navy, Kina had a superb night and finished with 28 points, while Harris added 18 and Adam Teague scored 10. The Midshipmen outrebounded the Quakers, 42-34, and went 22-of-27 from the foul line (compared to Penn's 12-of-20).