PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/2/2018 – It was back to the Ivy League for the University of Pennsylvania. After two Big Five contests the Quakers hosted the Brown Bears as part of the Brown – Yale weekend. Statistically, the game looked even. And the loud and thrilled crowd at the Palestra got that and more as Penn found a way to grind out a 95 – 90 win over Brown in overtime.
The lead changed twenty times in the contest, and five of those lead changes were in overtime. Someone was going to have to be resilient and outlast the opponent. Tonight, that team was Penn. How resilient?
“Very resilient,” said Quakers center Max Rothschild. “That’s what our team is about. We are gritty. We are starting to develop a chemistry out there. We are a tough team. When people hit us, we hit back. Today was a great example of what we can be as a team and what it takes to win in the Ivy League.”
“It’s a hard fought league games and there are times you have to be tougher,” said Penn Coach Steve Donahue.
“We had to get stops, and we did. We had to make foul shots and we did. I was proud of how hard we fought at the end.”
Brown had a one-point lead at halftime, but the Red and Blue got a lift when Woods hit a long three-pointer at the horn giving his team a lift. Woods scored 21 points and made 4 of 8 from beyond the arc.
“Anytime you can score on buzzer-beaters, it gives you momentum,” said Woods. “We came out in the second half with a lot of energy and poise. I think it showed.”
Penn got out and took a lead in the second half, but no lead was safe in this game. Brown held a 82 – 76 lead with just over three minutes to play. They did not score again in regulation. The Quakers scratched their way back making up the deficit at the foul line on four free throws by Darnell Foreman and two by Ryan Betley. Foreman’s two with 11.2 second on the clock sent the game to an extra five minutes.
“If we can defend without fouling, we had the chance to put the game away,” said Brown Coach Mike Martin. “Credit them. It was a six-point game with less than three minutes to go. They held us scoreless, ran good offense, got fouled, and made the free throws.”
In overtime the lead bounced back and forth until Rothschild made a hook shot with half a minute to play to give Penn the lead for good.
“I was trying to be aggressive and had confidence enough to knock it down,” Rothschild said.
Caleb Wood scored a team-best 22 points hitting 4 of 6 from deep. Betley added 16 and Rothschild 15 points. Forward AJ Brodeur scored 9 points, and pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds.
Free throws were a factor as Penn made 30 of 44 from the line, 2 more made free throws than made field goals. Brown was 12 of 19.
Bears guard Desmond Cambridge scored a game-high 29 points making 12 of 19 from the floor. Brandon Anderson, the second leading scorer in the league, added 18 points.
Penn stays undefeated in the Ivy League at 4 – 0, 14 – 6 overall. There is not time to dwell or celebrate. This is an Ivy League weekend, so the next game is a day away. The Red and Blue plays Yale, who was victimized in overtime at Princeton earlier.
“Ready for Yale,” said Woods. “This was a good win, but now we are on to Yale.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian