PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/3/2018 – The University of Pennsylvania needed its defense in the last few minutes against Brown. They needed the effort on defense for forty minutes and got it defeating the Yale Bulldogs 59 – 50 at the Palestra.
“Defense is what we are about, said Penn Coach Steve Donahue. ” Most of the second half we were a step ahead on defense. That was our point of emphasis this year to be better defensively. The guys are physical, they’re tough.”
The game turned in the second half. The Quakers were leading 43 – 40 with 11:19 remaining on a layup by Bulldogs guard Trey Phills. Yale would not score again for the next 7:23. Penn went on a 10 – 0 run to take control by a 53 – 40 score. The Red and Blue did not shoot well during the span, but did establish control. Penn closed out letting Yale no closer than seven points.
As a team Yale made 20 of 59 from the floor, but converted only 1 of 19 three-pointers.
The Quakers had many players contribute in many categories. Four players score in double figures led by guard Caleb Wood who scored 14 points and added 7 rebounds. Antonio Woods scored 13 points. Ryan Betley had 12 points and 6 rebounds. Max Rothschild scores 10 points and had 8 boards. Darnell Foreman scored 2 points, but had 5 assists and 6 rebounds. AJ Brodeur also had but 2 points but he led the team in rebounding with 9. Penn had a 44 – 35 edge in rebounds.
“It is making us a lot stronger,” said Woods about all of the contributions. from his teammates. “Our philosophy is next man up. If you come in and play two minutes or thirty six minutes, do your job, do what you are great at. Each person has a role and played their role to a ‘t’.”
Paul Atkinson scored a game-high 20 points and took down 13 rebounds. He shot 6 of 12 from the field and was a perfect 8 of 8 from the charity stripe.
Penn is alone in first place in the Ivy League standings at 5 – 0. Harvard trails by a game. The Ancient Eight season is not half over, but Penn is in a good position to make the Ivy League tournament. The team is solely focused on getting to the championship games in March at the Palestra.
“We are not finished yet and we haven’t done anything yet,” Woods said. “We are aiming for March 10th and 11th, playing on our floor for a trip to the tournament. That’s what we are playing for and doing it one game at a time.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian