Box Score (PDF)
PHILADELPHIA - For the third game in a row, the Penn men's basketball team got off to a slow start offensively. For the second time in those three contests, the result was a loss.
The Quakers made a game of it at La Salle Wednesday night, but a long drought midway through the first half spelled doom in a 79-70 loss at the Explorers' Gola Arena.
Penn (4-9) was up, 7-6, after five minutes, but went nearly eight full minutes without scoring. In the meantime, La Salle scored 16 unanswered points during the stretch, and held a 22-7 lead before Brennan Votel finally drained a layup with 7:40 left. The Quakers then went more than three minutes without scoring again, but La Salle (10-7) could only put down three points. By halftime, the Explorers were up 31-17.
La Salle's Rodney Green opened the second half with a pair of foul shots, but Penn sprung to life with eight straight points, six of them on a pair of Tyler Bernardini three-pointers. However, just when it looked like the Quakers might make a run at the Explorers Green shut the door. He scored four straight points to make the score 37-25, and then after Jack Eggleston and Terrell Williams traded baskets he knocked down four more to put the Explorers up, 43-27.
Penn would not let La Salle pull away, but could not get its deficit into single digits until less than six minutes remained. That was when Zack Rosen drained a three-pointer, capping a 6-0 run that made the score 58-51 with 5:53 to go. However, Kimani Barrett knocked down a three-pointer on La Salle's ensuing possession, then a foul shot 30 seconds later. That seemed to take any wind out of Penn's sails, and while the Quakers got within eight points on several occasions down the stretch they could get no closer.
Bernardini had a big night for Penn, scoring 23 points including 15 in the second half when he scored four three-point baskets.Rosen finished with 10 points, seven assists andthree steals, while Harrison Gainesrecorded his third straight double-figure scoring game with 10 points.Eggleston had nine points and eight rebounds.
For La Salle,Green led all scorers with 26 pointsas five Explorer players were in double figures. He also had five assists and three steals.Yves Mekongo Mbala had 13 points and seven boards, whlie Paul Johnson had 12 points and seven rebounds. Barrett and Ruben Guillandeaux had 10 points apiece.
Penn is back in action Saturday night, taking on Saint Joseph's at The Palestra. Tipoff is 7 p.m., and the game will air live on the Comcast Network (formerly CN8).
Download: Penn13 (@La Salle).pdf