PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men's basketball team looked like it had Saturday's meeting with archrival Princeton in hand, but the Tigers staged a furious comeback over the game's final 13 minutes and overcame the Quakers for a 78-74 victory.
Penn led by as many as 15 in the second half, holding Princeton without a field goal through the first six minutes of the second half before Spencer Weisz finally ended the Tigers' drought with a layup..
The Quakers stillled 60-46 after a Dylan Jones dunk with 13:04 to play. But the Tigers went on an 18-4 run after that -- including an 8-0 streak to punctuate the run --to go up 64-63 with just under six minutes remaining.
The next two Penn possessions ended the same way -- with Tony Hicks scoring and getting fouled for the potential three-point play. (In between, Henry Caruso drilled a three-pointer.) On both occasions, Hicks missed the free throw. The score was tied at 67-67 after his second bucket.
Amir Bell made it 70-67 with an old-fashioned three-point play, but Darien Nelson-Henry knocked down a pair of foul shots and then Matt Howard got into the lane for a layup that gave the Quakers their final lead of the night at 72-71. Penn had three chances to expand on the lead, missing shots on three straight possessions, before Princeton finally took the lead for good on a pair of Henry Caruso free throws.
Hicks got an open look from the right corner on Penn's next possession, but his shot fell short with 30 seconds left and Penn was forced to foul. Bell was fouled, missed both shots, but Princeton forced a tie-up on the rebound of the second shot and the possession arrow went to the Tigers. This time Hans Brase was fouled, and he made both.
Hicks turned it over on Penn's next possession, and Ben Hazel put it away with four foul shots in the game's final 10 seconds.
Hicks and Nelson-Henry led the Quakers with 18 points apiece, with Nelson-Henry going 8-of-10 from the field. Mike Auger had a team-high six rebounds and added seven points in 16 minutes off the bench. Howard (11) and Antonio Woods (10) also scored in double figures for the Quakers.
For Princeton, Caruso scored a career-high 23 points while Weisz added 20.
Next up for the Quakers is a trip through the Empire State. Penn plays at Niagara on Tuesday at 7 p.m.