Men's Basketball Overcomes Rider in OT, 78-72

Box Score (PDF)

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. -After two games of watching Zack Rosen dominate, apparently a few of his men's basketball teammates had had enough.

Miles Cartwright, for instance. The sophomore had struggled offensively through Penn's first two games, but he exploded for 27 points Thursday night to lead the Quakers to a 78-72, overtime victory over Rider at the Broncs' Alumni Gym.

How about Tyler Bernardini? The senior drained 14 points and led all players with nine rebounds. Or Fran Dougherty (9 points, 8 rebounds)? Or Rob Belcore (8 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals)?

That's not to say Rosen was completely quiet -- he was big when he had to be. The senior guard did not take a shot in the first half, but finished the evening with 19. Penn needed every one of them.

The game was also marked by the emergence of Henry Brooks. The freshman is still getting his legs under him after injuring his ACL late in his senior year of high school, but his first four collegiate points came during the critical extra session.

The game was Penn's second straight overtime affair, and after losing four extra-session games in a row dating back to last season it was nice to see the Quakers finally win one. Penn and Rider have now played three times all-time, and all three have gone to OT. This was the first one won by Penn.

Penn is now 2-1 on the season, while Rider is 0-4.

Cartwright hit a jumper right out of the OT tip, but Daniel Stewart knocked down three of four foul shots over Rider's next two possessions to give the Broncs a 62-61 lead. Jeff Jones followed up with two free throws of his own, and it was 64-61.

Cartwright responded, driving the lane and getting fouled as he hit the shot to tie the score. Bernardini then feathered home a jumper from the right baseline to give Penn a lead it would not relinquish. After a Rider miss, Brooks hit his first two career points in style, twisting between a pair of Broncs defenders and laying the ball in uncontested.

It was still a three-point game with just over a minute to go when Brooks' other points came. This time he rebounded a missed three-point shot by Bernardini and calmly laid it back in to push the Quakers up to 72-67.

It got nervy in the final minute, especially when Jones drained a trey with 41.5 seconds left to make the score 74-72 Penn. That shot came on the heels of two missed free throws by Cartwright, but the Quaker sophomore responded almost immediately by hitting two more freebies. That seemed to take the wind out of Rider's sails, allowing Penn to escape with the victory.

The first half was itself a tale of two halves.

The first half made the Philly Hoop Group Classic look like a classic in name only. In the first nine minutes, Rider committed more than twice as many turnovers (7) as they scored points (3), and the Broncs' first field goal didn't come until the game was more than nine minutes old.

Unfortunately, Penn wasn't much better.TheQuakers went out to a 9-1 lead, but given every opportunity to put this game away early they were absolutely ice cold from the field (3-of-17 to start).

With the score 19-9 and five minutes left before the break, Rider suddenly broke out. The Broncs went on a 19-5 run the rest of the way, scoring on eight of their last nine possessions before halftime.

Penn came out on fire to start the second, however. Cartwright, who had the Quakers' last five points of the opening stanza, scored the first five of the second before Bernardini knocked down a trey to cap the 8-0 run that pushed the Red and Blue to a 32-28 lead that eventually became 36-31.

Rider fought back. Led by Jones, who hit a pair of difficult layups, the Broncs used an 8-2 run and took a 39-38 lead with 11:55 left.

Penn's drought continued through the midpoint of the second half, and Rider took advantage of Penn's misses to get out on the break for easy finishes to open up its lead to 47-41 with 7:56 left. Of particular note, Jonathon Thompson had a thunderous slam that woke up the crowd with 8:40 left.

Penn came back, and a familiar face led the way -- Rosen drained six of the Quakers' next eight points which put them up, 48-47, and then he had five more over the next few minutes to answer every Rider shot.

Bernardini finally ended the Rosen run with a superb drive and layup on the right side, and the score was 57-55 Rider out of the final media timeout with 3:40 left. Rider's Penn doubled that lead with 2:58 left when he converted both foul shots after a questionable charge/block foul was called on Dougherty, fouling him out.

A wild, up-and-downsequence with just over a minute led to Rosen getting an uncontested layup, making the score 59-57, and then after Rider ran the clock down Anthony Myles was unable to knock down a contested layup. Cartwright then went the length of the floor and hit a twisting, off-hand layup from the left side to tie the game at 59.

With the game clock and shot clock nearly identical, Rider wound it down to the end but Thompson was unable to hit a runner and the game went to overtime.

Stewart, a Philadelphia product, ended the game with 26 points -- a staggering 18 of them at the charity stripe, as he took 24 foul shots in the contest. Jones finished with 19 points, while Anthony Myles had 10.

Penn remains in Hoop Group action this weekend, hosting Robert Morris Saturday night at The Palestra. The Quakers and Colonials will tip off at 7 p.m.

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Penn-Rider Game Notes: Penn had lost four overtime games in a row, dating back to last season, before winning this game in extra time ... Penn and Rider have now played three times in their history, and all three games have gone overtime. This was the Quakers' first win ... After scoring a combined 12 points in Penn's first two games, sophomore Miles Cartwright had a career-high 27 points and tied a career best with three three-point baskets ... It was Cartwright's fourth game at Penn with 20 or more points, and his 18th double-figure scoring game ... Senior guard Tyler Bernardini led Penn with nine rebounds, one shy of a career high ... After scoring 53 points in Penn's first two games, senior guard Zack Rosen did not take a shot in the first half of this contest. He then scored 19 points after halftime ... Sophomore Fran Dougherty set a career high with eight rebounds and tied a career best with two assists ... Senior forward Rob Belcore played a career-high 41 minutes and tied career bests in rebounds (8) and steals (4) ... Freshman forward Henry Brooks scored his first four collegiate points, and they all came in overtime ... Classmate Camryn Crocker scored his first point on a foul shot, also in OT.

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