Men's Basketball Edges Harvard, 66-60

Box Score (PDF)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Freshman Zack Rosen came to Penn as a much-ballyhooed recruit, and there were a number of preseason publications that predicted he would be the Ivy League Rookie of the Year.

The point guard has had his ups and downs during the first half of the season, but on Friday night -- in his first Ivy League contest for the Quakers -- Rosen showed why he came with all the hype. The freshman played a key role in Penn's 66-60 win at Harvard, and at the end of the night he had 15 points and nine assists.

Of particular note, though, was his play down the stretch. After the Crimson's Oliver McNally hit a free throw with 4:08 to go to put Harvard up, 55-52, Rosen fed Lewis for a dunk; drove the lane and drew a foul, hitting both free throws; and had a superb look to Jack Eggleston that ended with another slam that capped an 8-2 run and put the Quakers up 60-56 with 1:07 to play. He then answered a Doug Miller score for Harvard by coolly draining both ends of a 1-and-1 to put Penn back up by four, propelling the Red and Blue to the win.

You get the feeling head coach Glen Miller will be perfectly content with 55 more Ivy League games just like that in Rosen's career.

He was far from the only hero, of course. Eggleston scored a career-high 19 points.Freshman Rob Belcore, also playing his first Ivy game, finished with 10 points and seven boards, and did a great job containing Harvard's leading scorer, Jeremy Lin (13 points, only 10 shot attempts in the game).

A near-capacity crowd at Lavietes Pavilion witnessed a game that was, truth be told, awful in the first half, but picked up noticeably in both level of play and drama in the second stanza.

Penn (5-10, 1-0 Ivy) and Harvard (9-8, 1-2) combined for a staggering 27 turnovers in the opening stanza, distributing them almost perfectly (Penn had 14, Harvard 13). The Quakers were up 12-6 early on, but the Crimson used a 14-1 scoring run to take control as Penn went more than seven minutes without a field goal. The Crimson were still up, 27-21, with three minutes left before the break, but Penn got treys from Belcore and Rosen, and then Tyler Bernardini knocked down a pair of layups in the final minute to put Penn up, 31-27, at halftime.

That lead held more than nine minutes in the second half, before a Miller layup with 10:52 left gave Harvard a 45-44 advantage. Bernardini put Penn back ahead with a pair of free throws, and then Miller and Cameron Lewis (4 points, 7 rebounds) traded buckets and the Quakers were up 48-47.

Two minutes passed before Keith Wright hit two foul shots, then he came back on Harvard's next possession with another basket and it was 51-48. Eggleston finished a Rosen feed, but Lin hit a trey and it was 54-50 for the Crimson.

Rosen brought the Penn fans to their feet with 5:10 left on a fast break, faking left and then when the Harvard defender bit going right for an easy layup that made the score 54-52 -- and the stage was set for the rest of the way.

Miller had 14 points to lead Harvard, while Lin had 13 and Wright finished with 10.

Penn returns to action Saturday night, traveling to Hanover to play Dartmouth. The Quakers and the Big Green tip off at 7 p.m., and the game will be televised live in the Philadelphia area on Comcast Network Philadelphia (formerly CN8).

Download: Penn15 (@Harvard).pdf