PHILADELPHA - The University of Pennsylvania men's basketball team did not wow anyone with its offense Friday night, but its defense was stingy (again) and that was enough to push the Quakers past Brown, 68-51, at The Palestra.
Penn (11-6, 3-0 Ivy) scored 11 straight points after surrendering the first bucket of the game and never looked back, building an 18-point halftime lead and extending it to as much as 29 (60-31) before Brown (6-12, 2-3 Ivy) was able to make the score respectable. The victory came despite a 38-percent shooting night by the Quakers, who offset that by hitting 19-of-23 foul shots and holding the Bears to 35 percent from the field whilecomingup with 10 steals -- the seventh time in the last 10 games they have reached double figures in that category.
"We had to a lot of adjusting early," said Ibrahim Jaaber, who celebrated his 22nd birthday Friday night. "We weren't moving the ball well enough. But we found our focus and got going; we just take our Ivy games one at a time."
Penn improved to 3-0 in the Ivy League for the 11th time in head coach Fran Dunphy's 17-year tenure, and won for the eighth time in the last 10 games. Perhaps most staggering, the Quakers are now 91-9 in their last 100 Ivy Leaguehomegames dating back to the 1991-92 season.
Jaaber led the Quakers with 18 points and also came down with six rebounds and three steals. Steve Danley dropped 14 points, while Brian Grandieri came off the bench to add 11. Mark Zoller saw a seven-game streak of double-figures scoring games snapped with six points, but he led all rebounders with 10 boards.
For Brown, Mark MacDonald had 13 points, while Keenan Jeppesen contributed 11 points and nine rebounds. Scott Friske also hit double figures for the Bears, with 10 points to go with six boards.
Friske put Brown on the board to start the game with a jumper, but Penn roared back with the next 11 points as four different players scored in the run. The Bears got back to 15-12 with a pair of three-pointers from Friske and Marcus Becker, but the Quakers responded with another 10-point run that pushed its lead to 13. Brown did not get within single digits after that, and Penn's final five-point push to end the half made the score 33-15 as the teams went to the locker rooms.
Jaaber knocked down a trey to start the second half, which set the tone for the next several minutes as Penn's lead hovered around the 20-point mark. A 13-2 Quaker run midway through the stanza pushed their lead to 29 (60-31) with eight minutes still to play, at which point Dunphy -- who collected win No. 301 -- began running fresh bodies into the game.
Penn's lead remained above 20 until the final minute, when Brown scored the game's final five points to make the final score 68-51.
Penn is back in action Saturday night, hosting Yale -- 66-49 losers at Princeton Friday night -- at The Palestra. Game time is set for 7 p.m., and the game willbe televisedlive on CN8.