Men's Basketball Nips Brown in OT, 80-78

Box Score (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA - It is common in sports parlance to say that, when a visiting team emerges from a tight game with a win, they "escaped" from the home team's venue with a win.

Well, on Saturday night at The Palestra, it was the home team that did the escaping.

The team in question -- the Penn men's basketball team -- defeated Brown, 80-78, in overtime. That is the simple explanation.

The extended explanation? Oh, boy.

Well, Penn never led in the second half. And the Quakers tied Brown only twice in that stanza -- once at 65-65, and again when Conor Turley made a conventional three-point play with 46 seconds left to make the score 73-73. That is how regulation ended, and it capped a six-point Penn run.

Brown had a chance to gain the win, but could not inbound the ball after calling a timeout and got called for five seconds. That gave Penn the opportunity to finish it, and the Quakers had two great chances to do so. The first was an open three-pointer by Miles Cartwright that missed, and then -- after a great hustle play by Jack Eggleston punched the ball out to Zack Rosen near midcourt -- a jumper just outside the lane by Tyler Bernardini. Both missed, though, and for the second time in five games Penn fans were getting free basketball.

Eggleston knocked down a three-pointer to open the overtime scoring, and Penn never trailed after that. He scored Penn's next points with a dunk off a nice Rosen feed, before Adrian Williams knocked down his sixth trey of the game to make the score 78-76.

Penn upped the lead to two possessions on a beautiful offensive set that ended with Turley slipping wide open for a feed from Cartwright that led to another forceful jam with 1:08 to go. Andrew McCarthy scored what would prove to be the game's final points with a pair of free throws.

While the scoring was concluded, the drama was not. Penn ran down the shot clock, and Eggleston had a chance to ice the game with about 17 seconds left with a wide-open three. This time he missed, and Brown suddenly was in position to tie or win. Williams went for it from long-range, and when the shot missed Garrett Leffelman was there to get the board. Brown called timeout, but out of the break they threw the ball away. Just 1.5 seconds were left on the clock, and Penn threw a long pass down the court to ensure that if the Bears were going to steal the ball, they'd do it deep in their defensive end. That strategy worked, allowing the Quaker faithful to finally exhale.

With the win, Penn got itself back to .500 overall (8-8) and is now 2-0 after this opening Ivy League weekend. Brown fell to 7-11 overall, and 0-4 in Ivy play.

How could you not feel for Brown? The Bears entered the game without their leading scorer and senior captain, Peter Sullivan, who missed the first game of his career after a shoulder injury last night at Princeton. Despite that, they did all they could to leave The Palestra with a victory.

Brown was simply lights-out in the first half, dropping eight three-pointers -- five of them by Williams -- and going 16-of-29 overall from the field. Because of that, the Bears went into the break up 47-40.

The lead was still eight with just eight minutes to go, at 65-57, but Penn finally jolted the crowd to lift with an eight-point run for the first tie since 21-21. Bernardini (17 points) hit a layup, and then Dougherty made a nice move to draw a foul and made one of his two freebies. More than a minute went by before Eggleston hit a three, and after another Brown miss Bernardini got inside for yet another layup to tie the game at 65-65.

As quickly as Penn got the crowd back into it, Brown was even quicker to take them back out. McCarthy was the man of the minute, draining baskets on three straight possessions to push the Bears back up, 71-65, with 3:37 to play.

Eggleston got two of those back on a jumper, but more than a minute went by before anyone else scored -- and that was Brown's Leffelman on a jumper in the lane.

Eggleston hit a three, though, and that set the stage for Turley's offensive heroics.

Eggleston was simply outstanding in the second half and overtime, finishing the game with 25 points which tied a career high) and 12 rebounds. He also had three assists. Bernardini added six boards, three assists and three steals to his point total. Zack Rosen had 13 points, five assists and four rebounds, and Turley ended the night with 12 points. As for Cartwright, he was held in check on the scoresheet (5 points) but dished off eight assists and had a pair of steals.

For Brown, Williams finished the game with 22 points, while freshman guard Sean McGonagill was impressive with 12 points and 10 assists. Tucker Halpern finished with 11 points, five assists and four steals, while freshman Dockery Walker had eight points and 10 boards.

Penn is home again next weekend, hosting Dartmouth (1-3 Ivy) on Friday night and Harvard (4-0) on Saturday. Both games will tip off at 7 p.m.

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Penn-Brown Notes: Penn improved to 2-0 in Ivy League play for the first time since the 2007-08 season ... Penn won in overtime for the first time since a 62-55 win over Princeton on Feb. 17, 2009 ... It was Penn's first overtime game against Brown since March 4, 2006 (a 74-68 Penn win in Providence) ... Penn is now 5-3 in overtime games against the Bears ... Penn improved to 8-0 this season when making more foul shots than its opponent, and 4-0 when putting four players in double figures in scoring ... Penn fell behind with 11 minutes left in the first half and never led again in regulation ... This marked the second time this season Penn scored 80 points; the other time it happened was at La Salle, also an overtime affair ... Penn had a season-high 21 assists in the game ... Penn had more assists (21) than turnovers (12) for the fifth time in six games ... Penn's 1.75 assist/turnover ratio was its second best this season, behind only the 2.00 (8/4) in its win at Delaware on December 22 ... Senior Jack Eggleston had his fourth double-double this season and his 10th in a Penn uniform, with 25 points and 12 rebounds ... The 25 points matched a career high for Eggleston, originally set March 6, 2010 vs. Dartmouth ... Eggleston scored 17 points in a span of less than 12 minutes bridging the end of regulation and the start of overtime ... Eggleston made 11 field goals, the most by a Penn player in the Jerome Allen coaching era ... Senior Tyler Bernardini had 17 points, his seventh straight game in double figures ... Bernardini has scored 128 points in that stretch, an 18.3 ppg average ... Bernardini also matched a season high with three steals ... Junior Zack Rosen had 13 points, marking the 28th time in the last 30 games (and 39th time in the last 42) that he has scored in double figures ... Rosen also had five assists, his fifth straight game with five or more dishes ... Freshman Miles Cartwright was the only starter not to reach double figures in scoring, but he had a career-high eight assists (against just two turnovers) and played a team-high 42 minutes ... Freshman Fran Dougherty played 20 minutes off the bench and finished one point shy of his season/career high, with five ... The only other bench points came from senior Zack Gordon, who saw action for just the third time this season and drained a three-pointer in the first half ... Two other players who saw first-half action were senior Darren Smith (his first game action since Marist on December 29) and freshman Dau Jok (just his fifth appearance this season, and first since La Salle on January 12).

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