PHILADELPHIA – A youthful and inexperienced University of Pennsylvania received a jolting introduction to Ivy League weekend play on Saturday night. Playing games on consecutive days for the first time this season, the Quakers looked fatigued and sluggish almost the entire night at The Palestra.
Unfortunately, the opponent was defending champion Harvard. The Crimson are deep, they are athletic, and they are experienced. They took full advantage of Penn’s performance and were never troubled in dispatching the Quakers, 63-38.
Penn fell to 6-11 overall, 1-2 in Ivy League play, while Harvard improved to 13-5 and 3-1 in conference play. The verdict continues a trend of Harvard dominance over Penn; last year, the Crimson defeated the Quakers by 30 in Cambridge and by 20 here at The Palestra.
This game was never in doubt. Harvard scored the first six points of the night, held a 10-2 lead at the first media timeout, and had a double-digit lead from the 6:07 mark of the first half on.
If there was any drama in this game, it was drained late in the first half. That’s when Harvard scored the final nine points before the break, the dagger being a three-pointer by Siyani Chambers at the buzzer. That made the score 36-15 as the teams went to the locker room. Harvard then scored the first four points of the second half to make it 40-15.
The advantage ballooned past the 30-point mark with more than 12 minutes left in the game, and pretty much stayed there until long after both teams had pulled their regulars.
Matt Howard scored 11 points and was the only Penn player to score in double figures; at the other end, Harvard had four of its five starters reach double digits, led by Chambers who had 14 points.
Penn hits the road for next weekend’s Ivy League action. The Quakers are at Cornell on Friday at 8 p.m. in a game that will air live as part of the Ivy League’s American Sports Network package. On Saturday, Penn is at Columbia in a game that will tip off at 7 p.m.
Download: HARVARD 1.pdf