Men's Basketball Rallies Past Manhattan, 75-72

Box Score (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA - Needing a win badly, the Penn men's basketball team was able to overcome a spirited Manhattan squad on Tuesday night and win, 75-72.

On a night when Zack Rosen led five Quaker players in double figures with 20 points, it was the play of Tyler Bernardini and Marin Kukoc which proved to be huge. Bernardini started a game on the bench for the first time this season, but he was in when it mattered and he delivered. The senior scored five straight points to push Penn into an insurmountable lead.

Kukoc, meanwhile, entered the night with 11 career points. He ended this game with 11 more, draining a trio of treys and a big jumper late in the contest. Miles Cartwright (14) and Rob Belcore (10 points, to go with five assists and five rebounds) also stood out.

For the first time this season, Penn (4-4) changed its starting lineup, as freshman Henry Brooks and sophomore Cameron Gunter started in place of Bernardini and Fran Dougherty. To keep up with Manhattan's frenetic pace, Quaker head coach used 11 different players in the first half.

Penn held a 17-12 lead midway through the opening stanza, but Manhattan's up-and-down pace seemed to wear down the Quakers and the Jaspers 16-4 run to gain control of the game. Kidani Brutus was a particular thorn in the side, knocking down eight of his 13 first-half points in the run. Manhattan's lead was 39-34 at the break.

Penn got back level at 44-44 with about 14 minutes left in the second half when Rosen got a fast-break bucket over Brutus, was fouled, and hit the free throw. The teams traded buckets after that -- Rosen again for the Quakers -- and then Rosen scored yet again on the break with just under 13 minutes left to give the Quakers a 48-47 lead.

Liam McCabe-Moran gave control back to Manhattan, draining a pair of foul shots and then hitting a trey on the Jaspers' next possession to push their lead to 52-48.

After a few empty possessions on both sides, Dougherty got on the board with a nice post move after an offensive rebound to make the score 52-50. Penn stole Manhattan's next possession, before Belcore found Bernardini on the right wing and the senior drained a trey to push the Quakers back in front, 53-52.

George Beamon immediately put Manhattan (3-4) back in the lead, and then Brooks was called for a charge at the other end on an ill-advised drive. He avenged that only seconds later, though, getting ahead of the pack and finishing a nice feed from Rosen on the break to make it 55-54 Quakers inside of eight minutes.

The teams traded points for several minutes after that, every Penn point being answered by Manhattan. Kukoc hit a jumper to push the Quakers up 61-58, but Beamon hit a old-fashioned three-point play to make it 61-61. Penn got three shots at the basket on its next possession, ending when Cartwright drove for the layup and was fouled. He made the free throw to push the Quakers back ahead, 64-61, but Rhamel Brown took a nice feed inside and laid it in to make it a one-point game.

Brown was fouled on the play, but missed the free throw and the trouble was doubled when Bernardini was fouled on the ensuing rebound. He hit both shots at the other end to make the score 66-63.

Emmy Andujar made it a one-point game again with a nice double-pump, up-and-under jumper on the right block. Manhattan then stole the ball from the Quakers, but a three-point shot was no good from Beamon.

A key possession came just inside of two minutes. Dougherty was fouled but missed both shots. However, he rebounded his own second miss. Belcore then got a chance in the lane that was no good, but Bernardini soared to get the rebound and was fouled on the putback. He made both, and it was 68-65.

Manhattan hit a pair of free throws, but then Bernardini came up big again. After Penn worked the clock, Rosen found Bernardini open at the top of the key and the senior calmly drained the trey to give the Quakers a 71-67 lead with 1:11 left.

Manhattan's next possession was a wild one that saw the Jaspers take three three-pointers. All of them missed, however, and Cartwright was finally fouled as he ran the outlet. He hit both shots to make it 73-67 with 20 seconds remaining.

Manhattan got a late basket, but out of a timeout the Quakers got the ball to Rosen who was fouled almost immediately. The senior had hit 17 in a row over three games to that point, and he wasn't about to miss now. The Jaspers hit a three just ahead of the buzzer to set the final score.

Beamon, who missed Manhattan's last game, led the Jaspers with 16 points, while Brutus and McCabe-Moran had 13 each.

Penn returns to action this weekend, traveling to the Main Line to face Villanova in its second Big 5 game of the season. The Quakers and Wildcats will tip off at 7 p.m.

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Penn-Manhattan Game Notes: Penn snapped a three-game losing streak with the win ... For the first time this season, and the second time in the Jerome Allen coaching era, the Quakers had five different players score in double figures ... Penn set season highs in first-half points (34) and second-half points (41) ... Penn tied a season high with 17 assists (originally set in the Quakers' previous game), and also set a season low with eight turnovers ... Penn also set a season best in free-throw percentage (14-18, .778) and tied a season high in field goals made (27) ... Penn got 27 points from its bench, a season high; after getting 45 bench points in the first six games combined, the Quakers have 49 bench points in the last two contests ... Senior guard Zack Rosen scored 20 points, his fifth game with 20 or more points this season and the 19th such game of his career ... Rosen is now tied with Joe Sturgis for 15th on Penn's all-time scoring list with 1,292 points ... Rosen played all 40 minutes and moved into sixth place on Penn's all-time list in that category (3,253) ... Rosen has scored in double figures in all eight of Penn's games this season, the only Quaker to do so ... Rosen went 5-of-5 at the foul line and has now hit 19 free throws in a row over the last four games ... Senior Rob Belcore set season highs with 10 points and five assists ... It was Belcore's first double-figure scoring game since March 5, 2010 ... Senior Tyler Bernardini scored all of his 12 points in the game in the second half ... Bernardini is now tied with Paul Romanczuk for 26th on Penn's all-time scoring list with 1,179 points ... Sophomore Miles Cartwright scored 14 points, his third double-figure game this season, and tied a career best with three steals ... Sophomore forward Marin Kukoc had career highs in points (11), rebounds (4), assists (3), blocked shots (2), and minutes (33) ... Prior to Tuesday night's game, Kukoc had scored 11 points this season ... Kukoc and Belcore became the sixth and seventh different Penn players to have a double-figure scoring game this season ... Sophomore center Fran Dougherty tied a season high with 24 minutes of action ... Freshman guard Patrick Lucas-Perry scored his first collegiate points, a jumper just inside the three-point line in the first half ... Sophomore center Cameron Gunter and freshman forward Henry Brooks made their first collegiate starts on Tuesday.

Download: Penn-Manhattan Box Score.pdf