PHILADELPHIA, PA. 3/1/2014 – It was Senior Night for the University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team. The Red and Blue played a close game against the Yale Bulldogs and got to within two points at 65 – 63 with 25 seconds on the clock. The visiting Bulldogs closed the game out making 5 of 6 from the free throw line and forced a costly turnover late to get a 70 – 63 win at the Palestra.
For Penn guard Miles Jackson-Cartwright, an honoree, it was not a story book ending to his home court collegiate career, but was an experience he and his classmates will treasure.
“It’s all been a blessing for us to stick together, it meant a lot,” said Jackson-Cartwright. “Coming from California, this is a special place. I’m thankful.”
Jackson-Cartwright scored a team-high 20 points and handed out 7 assists. Senior forward Fran Dougherty scored 8 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Penn played well at the beginning and although trailing, they would stay in proximity to Yale (15 – 11, 9 – 3 Ivy League). Senior Night can be emotional. The Red and Blue wanted skill to carry them, not the energy of the evening. However, Yale closed the last 6 minutes of the first half with a 12 – 3 run to take a 33 – 27 halftime lead. The Bulldogs kept that lead until Penn made their charge over the last six minutes.
“It didn’t feel any different,” Jackson-Cartwright said. “We played hard. We lost focus at the of the first half and that carried over a little bit.”
Rebounding and giving up easy baskets on turnovers spelled the difference. The Quakers out-shot the Bulldogs 45.5% (25 – 55) to 38.2% (21 – 55). Yale out-rebounded Penn 40 – 29, 17 – 10 on the offensive boards. Penn Coach Jerome Allen made it a point of emphasis to attack the glass, but Yale stayed tough and won the rebounding battle.
“It was huge coming down the stretch,” said Allen. “They got the offensive rebounds. Rebounding the ball is a function of will.”
Also costly for the Red and Blue was a 23 – 2 edge for the Eli is points off turnovers. Penn had 13 turnovers. It was not a huge amount of miscues (Yale had 10), but the visitors made Penn pay for their mistakes.
“We had some struggles in the half court, so to get some easy points on turnovers was important,” said Yale Coach James Jones. “To turn them over and score was a great luxury for us.”
Yale forward Justin Sears scored a game-high 24 points making 8 of 15 from the floor and 8 of 10 from the free throw line. Guard Javier Duren scored 14 points and was a perfect 9 for 9 from the charity stripe. He was credited with 6 assists.
Sophomore guard Tony Hicks scored 15 points making a game-high three form beyond the arc. Sophomore center Darien Nelson-Henry also added 15 points making 6 of 8 field goal attempts.
The Quakers fall to 7 – 18 on the season and are 4 – 7 in Ancient Eight play. In addition to Jackson-Cartwright and Dougherty, Dau Jok, Cameron Gunter, and Steve Rennard made their final Palestra appearance as a collegiate player. Penn had three more games on the regular season schedule. The Red and Blue will make their final Ivy weekend road trip to Columbia and Cornell before finishing the season at Princeton.
Written By: Glenn Papazian
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