PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team was up 51-47 with 4:45 left in Saturday’s game at Brown.
Apparently, the Bears’ Sean McGonagill had had enough.
Brown’s only senior has never beaten the Quakers, going 0-6 in his first three seasons. On Saturday night, he took matters into his own hands, draining a pair of three-pointers on consecutive possessions that turned a four-point deficit into a two-point lead.
Penn never recovered. Brown’s run would extend to 12 points before the Quakers finally scored again, but it was far too little and far too late. Brown won by the score of 62-55.
So the Quakers are now 3-4 in Ivy League play after being swept on the road for the second time in two tries this season, and 6-15 overall. Brown, which lost to Princeton on Friday night, improved to 13-9 overall, 5-3 in Ivy play.
McGonagill’s treys came in a span of 28 seconds, and sandwiched a missed trey attempt by Tony Hicks. Miles Jackson-Cartwright then missed a trey attempt, and McGonagill attempted to plunge the dagger with another shot from beyond the arc. That missed, but Steven Spieth got the rebound. Another shot led to another offensive rebound, and eventually Spieth laid one in to make the score 55-51.
Steve Rennard missed a three-pointer, but Fran Dougherty got the rebound and was fouled. However, out of a timeout he missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and the Quakers were forced to foul Spieth. He made both of his shots.
Jackson-Cartwright missed another three-ball, and Penn again fouled Spieth who was again good on his shots. After that, it was academic.
This game was an evenly played affair throughout, with neither team holding more than a five-point lead at any time in the first half. In the second half, Penn used a six-point run to break open a tie game, but even that lead was gradual in its building (it took nearly three minutes to get the six points).
Norman Hobbie ended Brown’s nearly four-minute drought with a three-pointer -- they were his only points on this night --and then Cedric Kuakumensah answered a Hicks foul shot with a jumper. Jackson-Cartwright (5 points on the night) pushed the Red and Blue’s lead back up to five points (50-45) with their only three-pointer of the night, but Kuakumensah again scored for Brown to make the score 50-47. Dougherty had two foul shots, missing the second, and that set the stage for McGonagill.
McGonagill finished the night with four three-pointers and 15 points. Kuakumensah had 18 points, 10 rebounds to lead the Bears, while Spieth scored 12 points and added six boards.
Darien Nelson-Henry ended the night with 20 points, one shy of a career high, as he was a solid 9-of-12 from the field. The sophomore also had seven rebounds and blocked five shots, the most by a Penn player since Dec. 30, 2008 (Cameron Lewis vs. Campbell). Hicks finished the night with 16 points and five assists, while Dougherty had nine points and a team-high eight boards. Once again, though, the Quakers were undone by poor shooting outside the arc (1-13) and turnovers (22).
Penn is back at home for its next four games, starting next Friday and Saturday when Harvard and Dartmouth come to town. Both of next weekend’s games will start at 7 p.m.