Men's Basketball Survives Columbia in Overtime, 61-59

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PHILADELPHIA -With 1.5 seconds left in overtime, and the Penn and Columbia men's basketball teams tied at 59-59, the Quakers were inbounding the ball in front of their bench. During a timeout, Head Coach Jerome Allen drew up a play. As the players took the floor, everyone in the building assumed the ball would go to Zack Rosen.

Maybe that's why Fran Dougherty was so wide open.

Rosen made a move, but as it turned out it was a screen on Dougherty's man. Dougherty cut to the hoop. Miles Cartwright threw a perfect pass at the basket, where Dougherty caught it and laid it in all in one motion.

Five-tenths of a second were left by the time the ball went through. Columbia called a timeout amid the pandemonium, but what were the Lions going to do? A full-length pass ended up in the hands of Mark Cisco, who turned and shot. It was off. Penn won, 61-59.

So now the Quakers are alone in second place in the Ivy League, at 7-2, one game behind front-runner Harvard in the loss column. The Crimson are 9-1 after defeating Yale tonight in Cambridge, 66-51, pushing the Bulldogs to third place in the standings at 7-3.

Next weekend has suddenly become huge for Penn. There is a Friday meeting with Dartmouth, which finally broke through with its first Ivy win Saturday night (58-53 over Brown). If the Quakers win that game, they go into Harvard's Lavietes Pavilion with no worse than a shot at tying the Crimson in the loss column atop the Ivy standings.

Saturday's game will be remembered for its drama. However, the road to the finish was filled with potholes.

Penn (15-11 overall) got off to a quick start, scoring the game's first 10 points and leading 12-2 before the contest was four minutes old. What followed was a drought of epic proportions -- the Red and Blue scored just three points from the 16:30 mark to the 2:51 mark, a three-pointer from Marin Kukoc that almost perfectly split the skid. During that time, Columbia scored 18 and was up 20-15 after Meiko Lyles drained a three-pointer.

Steve Rennard finally got Penn back on the board with a backdoor, reverse layup, and then Rosen hit a jumper at the foul line to make the score 20-19. It was 24-21, Lions, at the half.

By comparison, the second half started with both teams on fire -- they combined for 22 points in the first four minutes. Things settled down a bit after that, and the score was 43-43 as the teams went to the eight-minute media timeout.

Out of that timeout, Mike Howlett put back a Rob Belcore miss to give Penn the 45-43 lead. Alex Rosenberg pushed Columbia (14-12, 3-7 Ivy League) back in front with a three-pointer from the right wing, but after empty possessions on both sides Cartwright drove for a layup that put the Quakers up, 47-46.

Chris Crockett knocked down a trey for the Lions, giving them a two-point advantage, but Rennard matched it to put Penn back in front, 50-49, with just over three minutes to play.

It looked like Penn might get the ball back when Cisco lost control, but the ball went to Meiko Lyles and he drove for a layup to give Columbia yet another lead.

Both teams had chances after that, asRosen missed a three-pointer and Cisco was short on a baby hook in the lane. Then Rennard knocked down his third three-pointer of the night from in front of the Penn bench for a 53-51 Quaker lead with 1:30 to play.

As the clock went inside a minute, Brian Barbour drove for a reverse layup that missed, but Cisco rebounded and was fouled on the putback. He made one of the two, and Penn's lead was 53-52.

Belcore got the shot on Penn's possession, but missed, and then Cisco was again fouled when Columbia tried to throw it in to him on the block. This time he made both, and with 31.6 seconds left the Lions were up 54-53.

Rosen had the ball to end regulation, driving around Lyles. He was fouled by Blaise Staab on the layup attempt, and with 2.2 seconds left he had two shots. Rosen missed the first, adding to the drama, but made the second to tie the game.

Columbia had a chance to win it in regulation, but Crockett was forced to take an off-balance three-pointer ahead of the clock and it was well short.

Columbia turned the ball over on its first two possessions of the extra session, and Penn took advantage with the first five points on foul shots by Cartwright and Howlett, and then a triple by Cartwright.

Crockett -- a thorn in Penn's side throughout the second half -- made up three of those points with a triple from the right wing, but his attempt to tie it (after Rosen missed a three) was off the mark, well defended by Belcore.

Rosen missed mid-range jumper along the right baseline with 1:15 left, but Dougherty corralled the rebound and Penn called timeout. This time the Quakers ran the clock down, and again Rosen got the shot. Again he missed, this time from the left elbow. Again, Penn got the rebound, this time Belcore with the honors.

With the chance to win it, Rosen drove the lane. However, instead of putting it up he dished back outside to Cartwright for the potential dagger three. It was off the mark, however. Barbour quickly worked the ball down the court and was fouled by Cartwright in front of the Columbia bench before he could get off a shot. With 4.2 seconds left, in a pressure 1-and-1 situation, the Lions' junior guard delivered, making both.

Penn called timeout after Barbour's freebies, got the ball inbounds and took 2.7 seconds to drive it down in front of its bench and called another timeout. That is when Coach Allen drew up the winning play.

Penn's game at Dartmouth on Friday will tip off at 7 p.m., and Saturday's game at Harvard will also tip at 7. The Lavietes Pavilion is already sold out for Saturday.

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Penn-Columbia Game Notes: Penn has won three in a row, four of its last five, and eight of its last 10 games ... Penn swept the season series from Columbia, defeated the Lions for the third straight time, and improved to 136-85 all-time against Columbia ... Penn swept the Cornell-Columbia home weekend for the 40th time in 53 attempts ... Penn improved to 2-1 in overtime games this season, and 45-45 all-time in such contests (23-18 at home) ... Penn is now 22-21 (14-4 at home) in Ivy League overtime games ... Penn improved to 5-1 this season when holding its opponent below 60 points ... Penn had exactly the same numbers from the field on Saturday as it did on Friday (24 of 48, 50 percent) ... Penn has shot 50 percent or better from the field eight times this season ... Columbia shot 40 percent from the field, becoming the 17th opponent to shoot worse than 45 percent against the Quakers ... Penn is 11-4 this season when shooting a better field-goal percentage than its opponent ... Penn was 10-of-19 from three-point land, making them 22 of 41 (53.7 percent) in the last two games ... Penn was just 3-of-6 at the foul line, the fourth time in six game the Quakers have been to single digits in free-throw attempts ... Penn has had more assists than turnovers in each of the last eight games (1.38 ratio during that stretch) ... Penn had more turnovers (15) than its opponent (12) for the first time in eight games ... Penn had a season-low three steals ... Senior guard Zack Rosen led Penn with 14 points, his 15th time leading the Quakers in scoring in a game this season ... It was Rosen's 24th double-figure scoring game this season and his 84th at Penn ... Rosen also led Penn with six rebounds, tyinga season high; it was his second time leading the Red and Blue in that category in a game this season ... Rosen had five assists, the 17th time he has had five or more dishes in a game this season ... Sophomore guard Steve Rennard set season/career highs with 13 points, three rebounds, three three-point baskets, and 37 minutes ... It was Rennard's second double-figure scoring game at Penn ... Sophomore guard Miles Cartwright tied a season high with five assists and scored eight points ... Senior forward Rob Belcore scored his 500th point at Penn.

Record Book Watch: Senior guard Zack Rosen hadfive assists, giving him 566 for his career which is the program's all-time record ... Rosen played 43 minutes, giving him 3,935 for his career which is also a program mark ... Rosen has 1,591 career points which puts him fifth on Penn's all-time scoring list. (Michael Jordan is fourth, with 1,604 points from 1997-2000.) ... Senior guard Tyler Bernardini has 1,435 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 211 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 394 career foul shots which is tied with Paul Romanczuk (1996-99) for fifth all-time. (Ernie Beck is fourth, with 419 made free throws from 1951-53.) ... Rosen has 147 career steals which is tied with Jordan is fourth all-time, while Bernardini has 128 steals which is ninth (Paul Chambers from 1989-92 and Shawn Trice from 1992-95 are tied for seventh with 134.) ... Rosen has started 108 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 3,166 career minutes which is eighth all-time. (Langel is seventh, with 3,245 minutes from 1997-2000.)

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