Box Score (PDF)
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -Wednesday night's men's basketball game between Penn and Marist featured an early Quaker scoring surge that the Red Foxes answered.
It also featured a sizable scoring run by the hosts in the second half. Penn, the visitors, did not have an answer.
As a result, Marist was able to gain a 66-57 win in a game that was choppy throughout. The Red Foxes improved to 3-10 on the season, while the Quakers fell to 5-5 with powerful Kentucky on the immediate horizon.
Tyler Bernardini led Penn with 18 points, including 12 in the second half. Zack Rosen had 15 points, but 13 of them came in the first half.
It was Rosen who was the catalyst to Penn's early success. He drained a trio of three-point baskets in the game's first four minutes, pushing the Quakers to an 11-3 lead. Marist's Jay Bowie and Bernardini traded treys after that, then nearly four scoreless minutes went by before Jack Eggleston drove home a slam dunk in traffic to give Penn a 16-6 advantage.
Marist called timeout, and the break worked as the Red Foxes came out of it and scored the game's next 10 points -- five of them in a 45-second span -- to draw level. Bernardini finally ended the Marist run with another three-pointer, but the teams would be tied twice more before Penn took a 27-25 lead into the halftime break.
The Quakers' fate was sealed quickly in the second stanza. After Rosen led off with a missed shot, the Red Foxes' Adam Kemp got loose underneath and converted a dunk while being fouled. He made the freebie. Another Penn miss turned into a Bowie trey at the other end, and just like that Marist was up, 31-27. The Foxes never trailed again.
The teams traded baskets over the next several minutes -- Bernardini doing his part with a personal six-point run -- but with the score 37-35 Marist struck the decisive blow. The Red Foxes went on a 9-0 run that was punctuated by a three-pointer from R.J. Hall. That put Marist up, 46-35.
Penn got within five points on three occasions, and the Quakers' best chance to get closer came with about two minutes left when Marist's Kemp missed a layup. The rebound went to Hall, who inexplicably took it right back to the hoop instead of pulling it out to run some clock. Unfortunately, his indiscretion was rewarded when he was fouled going up for a shot. Hall made both free throws, setting off a parade of Marist foul shots down the stretch. The Red Foxes ended up going 24 of 27 from the charity stripe, while Penn was an abysmal 6-of-13.
Hall finished the game with 19 points, going 10-of-10 at the line, while Sam Prescott finished with 11 for the Red Foxes. For Penn, Eggleston complemented Bernardini and Rosen with eight points, 14 rebounds and three assists.
Penn played the game without two regulars -- Andreas Schreiber stayed behind in Philadelphia after suffering an injury earlier this week, while Rob Belcore was in a sweatsuit on the bench as he continues to battle migraines. In his place, freshman guard Steve Rennard saw his first major action and played 11 minutes. Bernardini wore a mask for the second straight game, and freshman Miles Cartwright also wore one at the start although he quickly discarded it after the game started.
Penn and Kentucky -- ranked 11th in the latest AP national media poll and 12th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll -- will tip off at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 3 in Lexington. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
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