Men's Basketball Falls at Harvard, 80-66

Box Score (PDF)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -Considering the Penn men's basketball team overcame a slow start to win Friday night at Dartmouth, perhaps it is understandable that the Quakers did not learn the proper lesson: Slow starts are bad.

The players might be closer tograsping that lesson after Saturday night. At Harvard's Lavietes Pavilion, the Crimson jumped out to a 12-2 lead before the game was less than three minutes old, and that was pretty much it. Penn made the sellout crowd nervous on a few occasions, but could not overcome that opening deficit and fell 80-66.

With the loss the Quakers fell to 2-2 in the Ivy League, splitting each of their first tworoad weekends. Pennis now3-15 overall. Harvard improved to 4-2 in Ivy play and 15-5 overall.

Harvard made some changes to its starting lineup afterits 56-53 loss to Princeton Friday night, and the changes made a difference. The teams traded points to start the game, but the Crimson's Brandyn Curry was the catalyst to a 10-point run that gave his team all the cushion they would need.

Harvard's lead was still 16 points before Penn had even reached double digits on the scoreboard, at 25-9, and the Quakers struggled to get back within single digits. However, that happened just before halftime, and the teams went into the break with the Crimson up 41-32 thanks to Rob Belcore's jumper just before the buzzer. Penn then scored the first three points of the second stanza when Belcore fed Monckon for a backdoor feed that Monckton converted with a foul.

Harvard responded with the game's next seven points, though, and once again Penn was climbing uphill. The Crimson's lead crested at 17 with nine minutes to play, but the Quakers had another run in them. Getting to the foul line, the Quakers knocked down six free throws and the punctuated the unanswered run with a three-pointer from Dan Monckton. That made the score 62-54, and you could sense unease in the Harvard crowd. The angst intensified when the Crimson's Doug Miller missed in the lane, and Zack Rosen again drew a foul and hit both shots. That made the score 62-56 with just under five minutes remaining.

Enter Christian Webster and Oliver McNally. The Harvard duo knocked down three-point shots on four possessions over a two-minute span, and all Penn could offer as a counterpunch was an Eggleston foul shot. That made the score 74-59 with two minutes to go and essentially ended the contest.

Rosen and Monckton scored 19 points apiece to lead the Quakers, and Monckton also led Penn with eight rebounds. Jack Eggleston scored 13 points, and Justin Reilly had his second straight effective night off the bench with nine points.

Harvard had a balanced attack, with four players scoring in double figures and two others adding nine apiece. Jeremy Lin had 19 to lead the way, while McNally added 14-- going 4-of-5 from beyond the arc-- and Kyle Casey produced 13.

Penn is finally home for Ivy League play next weekend, hosting frontrunner Cornell Friday and Columbia Saturday. Both games are slated for 7 p.m. at The Palestra.

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Penn Game Notes: Penn went 20-of-23 from the foul line, the ninth time in the last 10 games the Quakers shot at least 75 percent from the charity stripe in a contest ... In the last three games, Penn has gone 46 of 53 (86.8 percent) at the foul line ... Penn had Ivy League highs in field goals made (20) and three-pointers made (6) ... Junior Dan Monckton had career highs with 19 points and eight rebounds ... Monckton has scored in double figures in three of the last four and five of the last eight games ... Sophomore Zack Rosen tied Monckton with 19 points, the fourth straight game and 15th time in 17 contests he has scored in double figures ... Rosen is averaging 17.0 points over the last four games, and 17.9 points over the last 16 contests ... Junior Jack Eggleston scored 13 points, his 13th double-figure scoring game and the fourth time in the last five contests he has done it ... Eggleston tied a career best with two blocked shots ... Eggleston played all 40 minutes, and has been on the floor for every second of Ivy League action Penn has played this year ... Senior Justin Reilly had nine points, his best scoring output since he had a career-high 15 against Yale on Feb. 16, 2008 ... Reilly scored 17 points on the weekend, after scoring 17 in his first eight appearances combined this season.

Download: Penn18 (@Harvard).pdf