Men's Basketball Topples Saint Joseph's, 84-80

Box Score (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers led by as many as 23 points in the second half and then held off a furious Saint Joseph's rally for an 84-80 win over their Big 5 rivals. Led by senior Tyler Bernardini's 24 points, four Quakers scored in double figures in front of a capacity crowd of 8,722 at The Palestra Saturday night.

The Quakers, who beat the Hawks for the second straight time for the first time since the 1999 and 2000 seasons, never trailed and improved to 10-9 on the year and 1-3 in the Big 5. Saint Joseph's fell to 12-8 overall and 1-1 against the Big 5.

In front of the second sellout crowd of the day at The Palestra -- Temple and Maryland had filled the old barn earlier in the day -- Penn and Saint Joseph's gave the fans a classic Big 5 tilt. There were technicals. There were runs. The Palestra was LOUD.

Penn scored the first five points and led 7-1 after less than three minutes, but Saint Joseph's responded and soon the game was tied, 14-14. The Quakers then scored the next seven points, as Fran Dougherty hit a pair of free throws and Bernardini followed up with a three-pointer and a steal and layup.

Penn's lead was 29-21 when Saint Joseph's went on an 8-3 run that put the score at 32-29. Rob Belcore hit a trey for the Quakers, but Carl Jones responded for the Hawks. With three minutes left in the first half, the score was 35-32.

At that point, Penn went on a run. A massive run. Bernardini got consecutive steals and layups, and then Dougherty followed a missed Rosen three-pointer and tipped in the rebound. Belcore ended the half with a three-pointer, and just like that the Red and Blue's lead was 12 (44-32) at the break.

The run didn't stop. Coming out of the locker room, Miles Cartwright drained a triple, and then after Halil Kanacevic hit a layup Penn came right back with another 10-point run (seven of the points coming from Bernardini). When the senior guard hit a jumper with just over 15 minutes left, Penn's run was 22-2 and its lead was 23 points (57-34).

Saint Joseph's has some athletes, though, and the Hawks weren't finished. It was still a 23-point game when Marin Kukoc drained a three-pointer, but then Saint Joseph's scored 10 of the next 12 points to stir its crowd to life. Henry Brooks briefly ended the run with a putback layup to make the score 66-49.

SJU kept coming. The Hawks scored 15 of the next 17 points every which way -- Ronald Roberts with an old-fashioned three-point play; Carl Jones with three from distance; Langston Galloway on a dunk. When Jones hit a jumper and made the free throw after he was fouled, Penn's lead was only four points (68-64) and just less than five minutes remained. The Palestra was rocking.

Penn collected itself. Zack Rosen was fouled and hit both shots. Then he missed a three-pointer, but Bernardini was fouled as he went for the rebound and made one of his two freebies. Kukoc stole the ball from Jones, and that led to a Rosen trey and the score was 74-64 with less than three minutes to play.

Saint Joseph's kept striking back, thanks mostly to Galloway (32 points). The Hawks got within four points twice in the final minute, and Chris Wilson made it a two-point game with just 1.0 second left. The ball got to Rosen who was fouled with 0.2 left. He sealed the win by hitting both of his free throws.

Rosen finished the game with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Cartwright and Belcore had 12 points each. For Saint Joseph's, Jones had 16 points to complement Galloway, while Aiken had 13 points and Wilson added 11.

Penn is now off until Monday, Jan. 30, when the Quakers begin their final Ivy League fun by hosting archrival Princeton. The Quakers and Tigers will tip off at 7 p.m. from The Palestra.

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Penn-Saint Joseph's Game Notes: Penn defeated Saint Joseph's for the second year in a row; the last time that happened was the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons; the last time it happened before that was when Penn won three in a row from 1977-79 ... Penn has won three games in a row for the first time since Feb. 18-25 of last season ... Penn has not trailed at any point of the last two games, and been tied just once (14-14 against SJU) ... Penn has reached 10 wins in a season faster than any other season since 2006-07 ... Penn scored 44 points in the first half, a high for the season ... Penn's 12-point halftime lead (44-32) was its largest this season ... Penn tied season highs for points (84, also against Marist) and free throws made (20, also against Rider and Delaware) ... Penn also had season highs in points in the paint (34) and fast-break points (14) ... Saint Joseph's set season highs by a Penn opponent with 48 second-half points, 12 three-point baskets and eight blocked shots ... Penn is 3-2 in games decided by four or fewer points this season, and is 6-1 when leading at the half ... Penn won for the first time in the Jerome Allen coaching era when an opponent scored at least 80 points (previously 0-9 in such contests) ... Penn placed four players in double figures in scoring, improving to 8-2 when putting three or more in double digits this season ... Senior Tyler Bernardini scored 24 points, his third game this season scoring 20 or more points ... Bernardini has scored in double figures in five straight games (17.4 ppg in that stretch) and 16 times this season ... Bernardini has led Penn in scoring four times this season (three other times he has tied for the lead) ... Bernardini also led Penn with six rebounds, the ninth time he has done that this season (two other times he has tied fo the team lead) ... Senior guard Zack Rosen scored 16 points, his team-leading 17th double-figure scoring game this season ... Eleven of Rosen's points came in the game's final 4:45 ... Rosen also had eight assists, his eighth game this season with at least eight dishes ... Senior forward Rob Belcore had 12 points, his seventh double-figure performance in the last 12 games (he had no such games in all of 2010-11) ... Sophomore guard Miles Cartwright also had 12 points, his ninth such game in 2011-12 ... Cartwright went 5-of-5 at the foul line, and has now hit 18 consecutive free throws over Penn's last eight games ... Freshman Henry Brooks had a season/career high with two blocked shots.

Record Book Watch: Senior guard Zack Rosen had eight assists in the game, giving him 533 for his career which is the program's all-time record ... Rosen has 1,469 career points which puts him ninth on Penn's all-time scoring list. (Current Head Coach Jerome Allen is eighth, with 1,488 points from 1992-95.) ... Senior guard Tyler Bernardini has 1,377 career points which puts him 13th on Penn's all-time scoring list. (Bob Morse is 12th with 1,381 points from 1970-72.) ... Rosen has played 3,664 career minutes which is fourth all-time. (Tim Begley is third, with 3,682 minutes.) ... Rosen has 194 career three-point field goals which is sixth all-time, while Bernardini is seventh all-time with 185 treys. (Garett Kreitz is fifth, with 199 treys.) ... Rosen has made 383 career foul shots which is seventh all-time. (Current Penn Athletic Director Steve Bilsky is sixth, with 388 made foul shots.) ... Rosen has started 101 games in his career, tied with Geoff Owens and Michael Jordan for fourth place all-time (Ugonna Onyekwe is third, with 105 starts from 2000-03.) ... Bernardini has made 96 career starts which is ninth all-time. (Koko Archibong is eighth, with 99 starts from 2000-03.)

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