Men's Basketball Stuns Harvard, 55-54

Box Score (PDF)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -How to explain what happened at Harvard's Lavietes Pavilion on Saturday night?

The annals of the Penn men's basketball program are filled with great players, storied teams, and historic wins. On Saturday night, the Quakers added an indelible chapter as they stunned Ivy frontrunner Harvard, 55-54.

The win propelled Penn into a tie with Harvard in the loss column of the Ivy League standings; the Crimson are 10-2 now, while the Quakers are 9-2. Harvard will conclude its conference campaign next weekend with a road trip to Columbia and Cornell. Penn, meanwhile, will host Brown and Yale next weekend, then finish the regular season with archrival Princeton in central Jersey a week from Tuesday.

Zack Rosen has already had a season and especially an Ivy League campaign that has been beyond reproach. He added to his legend on Saturday night, scoring Penn's last nine points including a pair of free throws with 23.2 seconds left that found only net and turned a 54-53 Harvard lead into a 55-54 Quaker advantage.

With Lavietes in full throat, Harvard came down and looked for the winning shot. The first attempt came from beyond the arc out of the hands of Corbin Miller, who killed the Quakers two weeks ago in Philadelphia. This shot was off the mark. The ball went out of bounds and was given to Harvard.

Out of the inbounds, Kyle Casey got the ball on the left baseline. He drove. Tyler Bernardini -- he of the limited mobility -- shot across the lane and set his feet. Casey appeared to dip his shoulder. Bernardini went down. The whistle blew.


Penn struggled to inbound but had a timeout that Rob Belcore used. Out of the break, he threw a Hail Mary pass to half-court that Bernardini somehow skied above Casey and grabbed. He then threw it to Fran Dougherty, who held it at the foul line as time ran out. The celebration was on.

Penn's win ended Harvard's home win streak at 28, which was the second-longest in the country. Many in the crowd on Saturday night certainly expected No. 29. After all, it was Senior Night, and what better way to culminate the careers of Keith Wright, Oliver McNally and Andrew Van Nest than with a win and a share of the Ivy League title?

Penn? The Quakers limped into Lavietes having wonfour in a row, but all of them came against the Ivy's second division by a combined 15 points -- not exactly the stuffof champions. The team's second-leading scorer has been hampered by injury and was good for just 10 minutes last night at Dartmouth. Certainly the Red and Blue's good fortune had to turn, right?

The first half was an even affair until the end, when Harvard (24-4 overall) went on an 8-2 run that pushed a 22-20 lead to 30-22. The Quakers (17-11) were able to get two of those points back just before the halftime buzzer, as Miles Cartwright went the length of the floor to score in less than 4.3 seconds. He ended the half with six points, which matched Rosen as Penn's lead.

Harvard's lead was 49-40 with less than six minutes to play, and the way Penn's offense was going that seemed like it would be more than enough -- the Quakers had been scoreless in more than three minutes, and had just four points in a six-minute span.

Rosen ended the skid with a pair of free throws, and then a steal by Belcore led to a layup by Bernardini that missed but was tipped home by Henry Brooks.

Harvard had gone nearly three minutes without a point, but Wesley Saunders fixed that with a dunk off a nice feed by Brandyn Curry. However, Brooks came back with a jumper to make the score 51-46. Brooks then blocked a shot at the other end, and Rosen complemented the defense with one of his can-you-believe-it three-pointers. Just like that, it was a one-possession game with four minutes to go.

Casey was fouled by Rennard on Harvard's next possession - fouling the Quaker sophomore out of the game - but he missed one of the two foul shots and the lead was just three. Rosen missed a three, but then Bernardini stole the ball from Saunders and Rosen knocked down a fallaway in the lane to make it 52-51 with 2:27 to play.

McNally missed a trey, but Casey got the rebound over Brooks and then was fouled by the Quaker freshman as he went for the putback (ending Brooks' night). He made both, and Harvard's lead was 54-51 with 1:48 left.

Rosen quickly drove the lane and hit another precocious jumper in the paint, making it a one-point game. McNally had another chance at the dagger three as the clock went inside a minute, but again he missed.Cartwright got the rebound, and when the ball got down to the other end he launched a three that was off. However, Dougherty soared above a pair of Crimson players to snare the rebound. Penn took timeout with about two seconds separating the shot clock from the game clock.

As soon as the ball got in Rosen's hand, it was only a matter of time before he took the final shot. As it turned out, it was quickly -- and that seemed to catch Harvard off guard. Casey came to help late, and he hammered Rosen as the shot went up and out.

Rosen at the foul line? Please. Swish, swish for the final of his 20 points for the game, as he was the only Quaker to score in double figures. (Five other players scored at least five.)

Casey led Harvard with 12 points and six rebounds, while Saunders finished with 10 points.

Both of Penn's games next weekend will start at 7 p.m.


Penn-Harvard Game Notes: This was Penn's first one-point game of 2011-12; the Quakers are now 2-3 in such games under Head Coach Jerome Allen ... Penn snapped a six-game losing streak to Harvard and improved to 128-34 all-time against the Crimson ... Penn also snapped Harvard's 28-game home winning streak, which was the second-longest in the nation behind Kentucky ... Penn has won five games in a row, six of seven, and 10 of 12 ... Penn is 8-4 in road games this season (5-1 Ivy) ... Penn is 6-1 in games decided by three or fewer points, 7-1 when holding its opponent below 60 points, and 13-4 when shooting a better field-goal percentage than its opponent ... Harvard shot 44.4 percent from the field (16 of 36), becoming the 19th opponent this season to shoot below 45 percent ... Penn had fewer turnovers (16) than its opponent (20) for the eighth time in 10 games ... Harvard's 20 turnovers tied for an opponent high this season (also UMBC on Nov. 11) ... Penn set a season low with just 12 three-point attempts, and tied a season low with 41 field goals overall ... Penn tied teams lows in the Allen era with 17 rebounds and seven assists ... Harvard tied opponent lows in the Allen era with 16 field goals and 36 attempts ... Senior Zack Rosen was the only Penn player to score in double figures, the first time this season the Quakers have had just one double-figure scorer in a game ... It was Penn's first time winning a game when placing just one player in double figures in the Allen era (previously 0-3 in such games) ... Rosen scored 20 points, his second straight such game and 12th this season ... Rosen has led Penn in scoring in four straight games and 17 this season ... Rosen scored Penn's last nine points on Saturday, one night after dropping the Quakers' last 16 points at Dartmouth ... For the second time in as many night, senior forward Rob Belcore tied a season/career high with four steals ... Sophomore center Fran Dougherty scored six points and tied a season/career high with three blocked shots ... Freshman center Henry Brooks tied a season/career high with two blocks.

Record Book Watch: Senior guard Zack Rosen hadtwo assists, giving him 571 for his career which is the program's all-time record ... He has 156 assists this season, which is six shy of the single-season record shared by David Klatsky (2000-01) and Ibrahim Jaaber (2006-07) ... Rosen played 39 minutes, giving him4,010 for his career which is also a program mark ... Rosen has 1,638 career points which puts him fourth on Penn's all-time scoring list. (Keven McDonald is third, with 1,644 from 1976-78.) ... Senior guard Tyler Bernardini has 1,439 career points which puts him 11th on Penn's all-time scoring list. (Bruce Lefkowitz is 10th, with 1,443 points from 1984-87.) ... Rosen has 216 career three-point field goals which is fourth all-time. (Jeff Schiffner is third with 220 from 2001-04.) ... Bernardini has 196 career treys, which is seventh all-time. (Garett Kreitz is sixth with 199 from 1995-98.) ... Rosen has made 404 career foul shots which is fifth all-time. (Ernie Beck is fourth, with 419 made free throws from 1951-53.) ... Rosen has 149 career steals which is fourth all-time (Matt Maloney is third, with 157 from 1993-95), while Bernardini has 130 steals which is ninth (Paul Chambers from 1989-92 and Shawn Trice from 1992-95 are tied for seventh with 134.) ... Rosen has started 110 games in his career which is third all-time. (Jack Eggleston is second, with 111 starts from 2008-11.) ... Bernardini has made 100 career starts which is tied with current head coach Jerome Allen for seventh all-time (Michael Jordan and Geoff Owens are tied for fifth, with 101 starts each.) ... Bernardini has played 3,201 career minutes which is eighth all-time. (Langel is seventh, with 3,245 minutes from 1997-2000.)

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