NEW HAVEN, CT – The season ended for the University of Pennsylvania as the top seeded Harvard Crimson won a 66 – 58 tussle in the Ivy League Men’s semifinal game. Penn ends the season with a 19 – 12 record as this team wrote their story in the school record book.
“We wanted to bring Penn basketball back to where it was,” said junior forward AJ Brodeur who finished with a game-high 25 points, making 10 of 20 from the floor, and pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Quakers won the Big Five this year, but their goal of winning the Ivy League and the trip to the NCAA Tournament eluded them.
This was a tight game with the largest lead being 8 points either way. The score was tied at 51 with just under eight and a half minutes to play on a three by Penn guard Antonio Woods. With just over 7 minutes on the clock Quakers guard Devon Goodman picked up his 4th foul, a critical play according to Donahue. The foul came in the midst of a Harvard run of 5 straight field goals to pull in front 58 – 52 at the 5:55 mark.
“It was a hard fought game which is what this league has been all year,” said Penn Coach Steve Donahue. “Both teams were really going after each other. A couple of loose ones went their way, and they capitalized on them.”
Coinciding with the Crimson run, the Quakers went cold getting just two more field goals the rest of the way, both by Brodeur. Harvard posted their largest lead at the end.
“Basketball is a game of runs, and we were fortunate to have the last run that gave us the win,” said Harvard Coach Tommy Amaker whose team will play for the Ivy Championship.
The Crimson had two players in double figures. Bryce Aiken, who scored the last 6 points for his team, contributed a team-high 19 points and 4 assists. Noah Kirkwood scored 12 points. Kale Catchings pulled down 9 rebounds for Harvard who won the battle of the boards 36 – 30.
Goodman scored 11 points for the Red and Blue, the only other Penn player who scored in double figures.
Each team had 22 field goals and 7 three-pointers. The Crimson had 15 made free throws out of 19. The Quakers made 7 of 11 from the line.
The seniors played their last game for Penn, who will not be going to a post-season tournament. Max Rothschild, Antonio Woods, Jackson Donahue, Tyler Hamilton, Collin McManus, and Jake Silpe left their mark on Penn basketball. The underclassmen look ahead to the challenge of taking the Red and Blue to greater heights. And maybe another meeting with Harvard?
“We want to get back, and we will remember this and not disregard it,” Brodeur said. “It will fuel the fire to make us hungry for another Ivy League championship.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian