Box Score (PDF)
PHILADELPHIA -The Penn men's basketball team mounted a furious comeback Wednesday night at La Salle, using a 17-4 run down the stretch to turn a 72-59 deficit into a 76-76 game at the end of regulation.
Unfortunately, the Explorers were the ones who had gas left in the tankfor the extra session. They scored 10 of the first 12 points in OT, and that was enough for the hosts to cruise to an 89-83 victory at the Tom Gola Arena.
With the loss, Penn fell to 5-7 overall and 0-2 in Philadelphia Big 5 play. La Salle improved to 8-9 overall, 1-1 in Big 5.
Penn was down almost the entire game, and could not get closer than seven throughout the second half. In fact, for much of the stanza La Salle held a double-digit lead. Because of those factors, there was little reason to expect what happened in the final 3:30 of regulation.
It began innocuously enough, as Tyler Bernardini put a cap on his night with a pair of free throws to make the score 72-61. La Salle's Cole Stefan missed a three-pointer, and at the other end Jack Eggleston knocked down a trey to make the score 72-64.
Nearly a full minute went by before Zack Rosen hit one of two foul shots with 1:59 left in regulation. La Salle's Ruben Guillandeaux then missed a layup before turning the ball over, and Rosen juked a pair of defenders to shake free for an easy layup. Suddenly, the score was 72-67 -- the closest Penn had been to the lead the entire half.
Tyreek Duren briefly stopped the run, knocking down a pair of foul shots to make the score 74-67, but then a missed three by Rob Belcore was saved when Rosen knocked it off a La Salle player as it headed out of bounds. Rosen then complemented his hustle play with a trey of his own, making the score 74-70.
Guillandeaux upped the lead to six with two free throws, but Rosen drained another trey - punctuating a personal nine-point run - and then after Guillandeaux missed a jumper at the other end Eggleston was fouled as he went up for the tying three-pointer. The senior forward calmly knocked down all three shots, and the game was tied with 24 seconds left.
La Salle set up for one final shot, but the best they could get was a wild effort toward the hoop by Duren that never had a chance.
The overtime was a whole different ballgame -- or rather, much like the first 36 minutes of regulation.
Guillandeaux scored a hoop and was fouled quickly after La Salle won the tip, and his free throw gave the Explorers the 79-76 edge. Penn responded with a Rosen layup, but Aaric Murray hit two foul shots, and then Duren capitalized on a Quaker turnover for another layup to make it 83-78.
More than two minutes went by before anyone scored, and unfortunately for Penn it was Guillandeaux, knocking down a foul shot with 1:04 left. Penn had two chances on its next possession, but came up empty, and that set up a final minute of fouls that La Salle knocked down.
Rosen finished the game with 19 points -- he only had two at halftime -- to lead five Penn players who scored in double figures. Bernardini had his third straight solid outing, scoring 17 points, while Eggleston finished with his third double-double this season (16 points, 12 rebounds). Conor Turley had 13 points, while Miles Cartwright finished with 12. Rosen also ended the game withsix assists against just one turnover; he was matched in the assist column by Cartwright.
For La Salle, Guillandeaux had 24 points to lead all scorers. Murray ended the game with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Duren had 15 and Jerrell Williams scored 10 off the bench.
Penn is off until next Wednesday, when the Quakers are at Temple for another Big 5 game. Tipoff at the Liacouras Center will be 7:30 p.m.
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