Men's Basketball Falls To Columbia, 66-62

Box Score (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA - Saturday nightat The Palestra, the Penn men's basketball team found itself in a back-and-forth battle with Columbia, but ultimately came up short and fell to the Lions 66-62.

With Penn down fourand just40 seconds left, Zack Rosen hit a jumper to pull the Red and Blue within a pair. Penn got the ball back with a chance to tie or even take the lead after that, but Rosen was unable to hit a layup in traffic and the Quakers were forced to foul with four seconds left. Columbia's John Daniels hit both free throws to ice the game.

Rosen finished with 11 points, four rebounds and five assists for the Quakers, and was one of four players in double figures. Mike Howlett, playing his second game in as many nights after missing 11 contests due to injury, led the team with 14 points and added five rebounds.

The Quakers dug themselves into a 25-11 hole ten minutes into the game, and were victimized by Columbia senior Niko Scott's five three-pointers in that stretch. Penn fought back, though, behind the shooting of Darren Smith. The senior ended the Lions' run with a three and followed it up with two more from behind the arc as part of a 15-8 run to close the gap to 33-26 with just under three minutes remaining. The two teams exchanged baskets before the half, leaving the Red and Blue on the wrong side of a 35-28 score.

Four straight points by the Lions to open the second half pushed the lead to 11 before a Rob Belcore three ended cut it to eight at the 18:36 mark. The two teams traded buckets until a Justin Reilly jumper cut the lead to five with 13:37 remaining.

Penn pressed following the basket and it paid dividends, as Belcore made a steal at midcourt and drove the lane before getting fouled. The sophomore made the bucket and the freebie, and a steal and fast break dunk by Eggleston on the next possession tied the game at 42 apiece.

The dunk prompted a timeout by the Lions. They used the break to regroup, and promptly scored four straight. An Eggleston elbow jumper made it a two-point game, and he followed that up with a fast break dunk off a turnover to knot the score once again.

A pair of free throws by Columbia denied the Quakers their first lead, and the two teams traded points until a pair of Rosen free throws made it 50-48 with 7:04 left. Scott's seventh three of the evening made it 51-50, but Eggleston found Monckton back door for a slam to give Penn the 52-51 lead with just under five and a half minutes remaining.

The Lions responded with a jumper from Daniels, and that ignited a 9-3 run over the next 2:20 to stretch their advantage to 60-55. A three from Belcore put the Red and Blue back within two, but they wouldn't get any closer over the final 2:27.

Belcore finished with 13 points, four rebounds and four assists, and held Columbia'a top scorer Noruwa Agho to just five points on 2-of-10 shooting. Eggleston also reached double figures with 11 points and added three assists and two steals.

Scott led Columbia with a career-high 29 points, including 7-9 from downtown, while Asenso Ampim joined him in double figures with 12.

Penn falls to 4-16 overall and 3-3 in Ivy League play. The Quakers return for some midweek action when they host Princeton on Tuesday at 7 p.m.


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