Men's Basketball Wins on a Miracle, 51-50

Box Score (PDF)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Kevin Egee and his younger brother Steve have a lot of days ahead of them with their family. However, Kevin -- a senior member of the Penn men's basketball team -- will always have March 7, 2009 to hang on his younger sibling, a freshman on the Columbia squad.

That's because Kevin capped off Saturday night's game with a miraculous shot that gave the Quakers a 51-50 victory over the Lions. The win propelled Penn to 10-17 overall, 6-7 in the Ivy League heading into Tuesday's season finale with Princeton at The Palestra. Columbia finished the season 12-16 overall, 7-7 Ivy League.

With 3.2 seconds left, Columbia's Noruwa Agho hit the first of two foul shots to give Columbia a 50-48 lead. He missed the second, but while Penn was moving the ball up the court the referees blew the play dead and reset the clock from 1.4 seconds to 1.9. Penn inbounded the ball between the benches just beyond midcourt, and Jack Eggleston threw the ball across the court to Egee. Egee was standing on the Lion logo on the court when he received the ball, and with a Columbia defender in his face he stomped on the Lions' hearts when his rainbow shot found nothing but the bottom of the net as the final buzzer sounded. The shot touched off a wild on-court celebration by the Quaker players, who mobbed Egee as he ran full-throttle down the court in celebration.

It was Penn's first lead since 35-34 with more than 11 minutes left in the game.

The shot capped off a 15-point evening for the elder Egee. Eggleston finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, and Zack Rosen had his third straight 10-point outing.

In a taut second half that featured eight ties and seven lead changes, the Lions looked like they might run away with it after Penn's 35-34 lead. Agho hit a pair of foul shots with 11:31 to play, then Joe Bova got an offensive rebound and putback and Jason Miller dunked a K.J. Matsui feed to answer an Egee layup. That gave Columbia a 40-37 lead, and then Kevin Bulger followed a Matsui free throw with two jumpers to make it 45-37 with six minutes to go.

In a game that had so little scoring, that lead seemed like it might be insurmountable. But Eggleston hit a jumper with 5:54 left, dropped a foul shot about 40 seconds later, and then a little more than a minute later Brennan Votel converted a layup that made the score 45-42.

Columbia's next possession yielded a Bova free throw after yet another offensive rebound -- the Lions finished with 15of them -- but Rob Belcore got an offensive board off an Eggleston missed trey and was fouled. He made both foul shots to make the score 46-44. Miller was fouled, but missed both charity shots, and then Rosen was fouled and made both to tie the contest with 2:03 left.

Agho put Columbia back on topby hittinga free throw with 1:30 to play, and after Rosen missed a three-point shot Penn fouled Niko Scott and he hit both free throws with 59 seconds left to make the score 49-46.

Rosen was fouled near midcourt by Miller, and calmly drained both foul shots with 41 seconds left. Columbia ran the clock -- taking a pair of timeouts during the possession -- and it looked like Penn was dead when Scott's three-pointer was missed but rebounded by Agho. Penn was forced to foul, and Agho made the first but missed the second. That set up Egee's heroics.

Penn and Princeton will meet Tuesday night at 8 p.m., and the game will be televised live on the Comcast Network (formerly CN8). A reminder that, prior to the game, the Quakers will honor its senior class; festivities will begin at approximately 7:50 p.m.

Download: Penn27 (@Columbia).pdf