PRINCETON, N.J. - The Penn men's basketball team worked through a lethargic first half to build a double-digit lead over Princeton by halftime, then cruised in the second half to a 64-48 victory Tuesday night at the Tigers' Jadwin Gym.
Penn finished the regular season with a 22-8 record, and closed its third-straight Ivy League championship season with a 13-1 conference mark. Princeton concluded its worst season in Ivy history, at 2-12; the Tigers finished 11-17 overall.
Mark Zoller scored 23 points to lead all scorers, while Ibrahim Jaaber had 10 points, five rebounds and four steals on the night including the 300th theft of his collegiate career. Brian Grandieri also had 10 points, and snared six boards.
For the game, Penn shot 53.5 percent from the field (23 of 43) and committed just 12 turnovers on the night. In addition, the Quakers were 17 of 21 from the foul line.
Princeton got 12 points from Zach Finley; he was the only Tiger player in double figures on the night. The Tigers suffered through a tough shooting night (19 of 45, 42.2 percent) and had 17 turnovers.
Both teams were sloppy with the ball in the first half, as Penn committed 11 turnovers and Princeton committed 10. With 7:19 left in the stanza, the Quakers' lead was just 17-15 after the Tigers' Mike Strittmatter got free for a layup and converted.
However, Jaaber got through the Princeton for a layup of his own, then made a steal and turned it into a dunk at the other end. That sent the Quakers off on an 8-0 run that pushed the lead to 25-15. Shortly afterward, Penn went into the locker room up, 28-17.
After struggling offensively in the first half, Penn was much better possessing the ball in the second (one turnover). The Quakers quickly jumped on the Tigers to start the stanza, using a 9-2 run that made the score 37-22 with just over four minutes gone.
Finley made the score 38-26 with 15:56 left when he hit a layup, but the Tigers scored just two points over the next four minutes as the Quakers put this one away. Grandieri got a steal and turned it into a layup at the other end, then a steal by Jaaber became an easy Grandieri bucket off a Zoller feed.
Grandieri hadanother steal that turned into a jumper by Zoller, before Finley broke the brief Penn run with a hook shot. However, that was answered by converted foul shotsfrom Zoller, Justin Reilly and Kevin Egee, and with 11:28 left it was 50-28, Quakers.
Princeton never got closer than 17 points after that.
Penn will now await its NCAA Tournament fate, which will be announced Sunday night at 6 p.m.