PHILADELPHIA, Pa. 12/17/2012 – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team needs to win each game to have chance to win the Ivy Leagur championship. The journey returned home to the Palestra as the Red and Blue hosted the Big Red of Cornell. When the journey takes an odd turn, the players perceived as leaders, the top scorers need to carry you and put you in the right direction. In this game for Penn that would be Senior guard Zack Rosen and Sophomore guard Miles Cartwright who scored 25 and 22 as Penn stays alive in the Ivy League title hunt with a 73 – 66 win over Cornell. The top point getters stepped up, but Coach Jerome Allen would like to see his team in a position where they would not need the late game heroics.
“As much as I like them, I don’t want to rely on his heroics to win basketball games,” said Allen. “Sometimes, we put ourselves in a position where we have to work extremely hard to get the results that we want.”
The Quakers had a 35 – 29 lead at halftime.
Cartwright was steering as he scored 14 first half points. Penn lost control of the wheel as Cornell limited the Penn offense and tied the score at 42 with 14:48 to play. A 7 – 1 run gave the Big Red a 49 – 43 advantage at the 12:35 mark. That is when the Penn leaders rose to the occasion. Senior guard Zack Rosen found Sophomore forward Fran Dougherty underneath for a layup. Rosen made a jumper. On the next possession Senior guard Tyler Bernardini buried a deep three to give Penn a 52 – 49 lead at the 8:55 mark.
Still Cornell would not go away. The Big Red put together a 10 – 3 run to move in front 59 – 55 with 4:33 to play. Again, the Penn answered with Rosen leading the way hitting a long distance three. On the following possession Rosen came up with a steal and was fouled attempting a layup. Two made free throws later Penn led 60 – 59.
“Our backs were against the wall,” said Rosen. “We were down 4 and we had to get in there and grind it out. “We made two hustle plays. That was a big swing for us. We made plays down the stretch, but we put ourselves in a position that we don’t need to put ourselves in. Hopefully, we can correct that.”
After guard Chris Wroblewski made a shot from beyond the arc, Rosen drained another deep three to give the Red and Blue a 63 – 62 lead with 2:47 to play. After a Penn timeout Rosen got the ball again and was right on the mark with a three giving Penn space at 66 – 62 with 1:13 on the clock. Wroblewski canned two more free throws Rosen found Cartwright in the right corner, and his three put the Red and Blue ahead by 69 – 64 with 29 seconds to play.
“We look to him (Rosen) and know what he can do in late game situations, and make plays for us.” said Cartwright.
Rosen scored 13 of Penn’s last 21 points. Cartwright had 8, and Rosen assisted on his two three-pointers. In addition to his game-high 25 points Rosen dished out 6 assists, took down 5 rebounds, and had 3 steals. Senior guard Tyler Bernardini scored 9 points, and Senior forward Rob Belcore had 6 rebounds.
Guard Drew Ferry led Cornell with 17 points and 6 rebounds. Also in double figures were guard Johnathan Gray scored 15 points, had 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, while guard Chris Wroblewski put in 14 points.
Penn improves to 14 – 11 and is 6 – 2 in the Ivy League. The Red and Blue prepare for Columbia in the Saturday portion of this Ivy weekend. Cornell is 5 – 4 in the league, 10 – 13 this season.
“We played well, we just got beat by Zack Rosen and Miles Cartwright,” Cornell Coach Bill Courtney said.
Written By: Glenn Papazian