Men's Basketball Falls at Dartmouth, 63-60

Box Score (PDF)

HANOVER, N.H. - Turns out lightning cannot strike twice for the Penn men’s basketball team – at least not yet.

One night after pulling out an uplifting six-point win at Harvard, the Quakers looked like they were on their way to another rousing victory Saturday night at Dartmouth’s Leede Arena. With 5:24 left, sophomore Tyler Bernardini knocked down a pair of free throws to extend a nine-point Penn run and give the Red and Blue a 56-48 lead, the largest lead by either team to that point in the stanza.

However, Dartmouth came back to score 15 of the game’s last 19 points, punctuating it with eight seconds left when Dan Biber drove the lane, hit a layup, and was fouled on the play. The basket broke a 60-60 tie, his foul shot was good, and Penn’s final possession yielded a desperation three by Bernardini that was not close.

Final score: 63-60, Dartmouth.

The win snapped a 23-game winning streak for Penn over the Big Green, dating back to the 1997 season. It also put the Quakers (5-11, 1-1 Ivy League) at .500 in the league after their first weekend of play. Dartmouth is now 4-14 overall, 2-2 in the Ivies.

Penn still led, 59-53, when Jack Eggleston (five points, eight rebounds) made the first of two foul shots with 3:56 to play. Biber got half of them back with a trey, and then a Penn turnover became a Robby Pride layup – his only basket of the game – making it was a one-point game with three minutes left.

Penn turned it over again, and it looked like Biber might give the Big Green its first lead since 48-47 with an open look beyond the arc. The shot rattled out, though, and Eggleston snared the board. At the other end, Eggleston got a shot in the paint that was blocked, and after a timeout Dartmouth got its lead when David Rufful drove the lane and hit a layup in traffic. Penn’s sloppy inbound pass was then stolen, and the Big Green possession ended with the ball in Alex Barnett’s hands. The first-team All-Ivy pick was fouled on a shot attempt, but missed both and Penn still had life with 49 seconds left.

Penn drove the ball quickly downcourt, and Bernardini was fouled as he drove. After missing the first of two, he made the second to tie the game with 37 seconds left. That set the stage for Biber’s winning effort.

Penn jumped out early in this contest, and probably could have put this one away in the first half by taking advantage of Dartmouth’s offensive struggles. Instead, the Quakers were only up 19-10 with six minutes left before the break, and then Barnett keyed an 18-4 run to end the half with nine points including the last six of the stanza. Biber also played a role in the run, with a three and a two on consecutive possessions. At the half, Dartmouth led 28-23.

Penn did not need much time to draw level, using a 7-2 run in the first 1:50 to tie the contest. The game went back and forth for several minutes after that, but with Dartmouth up 48-47 and eight minutes to go the Quakers delivered what looked like a knockout punch for the second straight night. Kevin Egee started the run with a trey, and then after a defensive stop Bernardini was fouled up top and hit both foul shots to make the score 52-48. Next up, Egee stole a Biber pass, and on the ensuing fast break found a streaking Eggleston for a slam and a six-point lead. More than a minute later, Bernardini again was fouled, and again he hit both to give the Quakers an eight-point cushion.

It was not enough, it turned out.

Biber provided a nice complement to Barnett (24 points for the second straight night), scoring 17. For Penn, Bernardini had a strong night offensively and scored 22 points. Cameron Lewis was also active offensively, going for 12, and Brennan Votel scored 10. Freshman Zack Rosen scored five points, grabbed five rebounds, and dished out seven assists.

Penn returns home next weekend, taking on Columbia and Ivy League front-runner Cornell. The Quakers will host the Lions Friday at 7 p.m., and the Big Red – defending champion and already 4-0 in the league this season – come to The Palestra Saturday for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

Download: Penn16 (@Dartmouth).pdf