Men's Basketball Goes Down to the Wire; Falls to Rider, 74-68 in Overtime

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Philadelphia - Senior Jan Fikiel came off the bench to score a career-high 21 points and classmate Tim Begley recorded his second-straight double-double, but it wasn't enough for the Penn men's basketball team as they fell to Rider, 74-68 in overtime Jan. 12 at The Palestra.

Fikiel opened the extra period with a three, his second of the game, to give Penn (4-7) a 65-62 lead. The Broncs (8-5) scored on their next two possessions to go up 67-65 with 3:31 remaining in overtime. A huge three from sophomore Ibrahim Jaaber put Penn up 68-67, with 2:42 remaining, but it was the last basketball the Quakers would score. Jerry Johnson who scored a game-high 23 points scored five of the Broncs' six points to end the game.

With 4:30 on the clock in the second half, Fikiel downed a three to tie the game at 57-57. The Quakers went up by three on two free throws from sophomore Ryan Pettinella and one from sophomore Steve Danley. After Johnson cut the lead to one, Begley put the Red and Blue up 62-59 on two baskets from the charity stripe. Rider’s Paul Johnson hit a trey with 1:30 to go in the second half to tie the score 62-62.

Both teams struggled early in the game as neither team scored until Jaaber hit a jumper three minutes into the game. The Quakers shot 32 percent in the half, while the Broncs hit 37 percent of their shots. Despite shooting 50 percent in the second half, the Quakers managed 39.1 percent from the field for the game.The Broncs put 40 percent of their shots, including 80 percent from the charity stripe.

Begley finished the game with 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. The Broncs had double-digit numbers from Steve Castleberry (15), Edwin Muniz (10) and Terrance Mouton (10).

The Quakers hit the road again on Jan. 15 when they travel to Siena for a 1 p.m. tip-off.

Written by Heather Palmer, associate director of athletic communications.