PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men's basketball team engaged Colorado in a highly entertaining game for the first half Tuesday night at The Palestra, and the result was a 37-37 tie as the teams went to the locker rooms.
Unfortunately for the Quakers, they went ice cold during the second half, and the Buffaloes took advantage to earn a 78-60 win. After shooting nearly 44 percent from the field during the first stanza, Penn (2-1) went just 9-of-31 (29.0 percent) in the second half including 2-of-15 (13.3 percent) from three-point land. One of those treys came at the very beginning of the second half, accounting for Penn's first three points.
"In the second half, I thought Colorado did a good job of pushing the basketball," said Penn head coach Fran Dunphy. "On theother hand,we did a poor job of finishing plays when we had opportunities."
Colorado (3-1) jumped all over Penn to start the game, scoring nine of the game's first 10 points. However, the Quakers responded with an 8-3 run to draw within three, then reeled off 11 unanswered points punctuated by a three-pointer from Eric Osmundson that made the score 20-16 in the Quakers' favor.
Richard Roby -- under the watchful eyes of numerous NBA scouts Tuesday night -- led a five-point Colorado run that gave the Buffs back the lead, but after the teams traded buckets Penn went on another 11-point streak that pushed its lead to 33-23. Roby was again on display, though, scoring 10 points as Colorado climbed back to tie the game at the break. At the half Roby had 17 points and had missed just one of his 11 shots from the field (4-of-5 field goals including 3-of-3 three-pointers, 6-of-6 free throws).
"We had our chances in the first half to take the lead," said Dunphy.
The Buffs scored seven of the first 10 points in the second half to take a 44-40 lead, then extended that advantage to 50-42 as the Quakers missed several opportunities. Penn was within nine points with seven minutes left (57-48), but Colorado droppedseven of the next eightpoints to make its lead 15 (64-49), and Penn never got inside double digits after that.
"We're still a work in progress a little bit," said Dunphy. "We still should have played better in the stretches when we didn't perform well. We can't afford to miss layups and we can't afford to miss free throws."
Ibrahim Jaaber had another stellar night for Penn, coming up with a team-high 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. Steve Danley had 14 points, six rebounds and five asissts, while Osmundson finished with 11 points. Brian Grandieri once again led the Quakers in rebounding; the sophomore guard had seven boards to go with four assists and two steals.
Penn is back in action twice this weekend at The Palestra to close out a five-game homestand to start the season. The Quakers will host Navy Friday afternoon at 5 p.m., then takes on Temple as part of the Big 5 Classic Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.