PHIALDELPHIA, PA. 2/14/2020 – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team is in the top-four in the Ivy League standings. They must stay there or improve to get a berth in Boston. But they are in a jumble of teams wanting to get there.
Brown is one of those teams. The Bears came into the game tied with the Quakers for third place. But no longer as Brown defeats Penn 75 – 63 at the Palestra. The Bears pass Penn in the standings.
“Give Brown credit,” said Penn Coach Steve Donahue. “They played with great energy. That was a factor. We didn’t play intelligently on defense and struggled to make shots on offense.”
Blame it on cold shooting at the close of the first half and well into the second half. The Red and Blue had an 11-point lead that melted to 6 at halftime.
With the Quakers leading 38 – 35 two minutes into the latter twenty minutes, Brown went on a 17 – 1 run over the next five minutes. The Red and Blue shot 1 of 11 over that time and missed 9 in a row. The streak ended when forward AJ Brodeur got a put-back cutting the deficit to 54 – 45 with 10:21 on the clock.
“That was huge,” said Brown Coach Mike Martin. “They missed some shots they were capable of making. We were scoring most every possession. A lot of it was Brandon and Zach.”
The lid coming off the basket gave the Quakers a lift. Guard Ray Jerome sank two straight threes getting his team to within five points.
Brown would have a response. Brandon Anderson, who had a game-high 31 points, one shy of his career-high, and scored 10 the last 12 points for the Bears keeping his team in the lead. Fellow guard Zach Hunsaker added 21 points and scored the last two for the visitors.
“Our senior guard were the difference,” said Martin. “Brandon and Zach in the second half were outstanding.”
“They were able to get to penetrate and get downhill,” Donahue said. “That doesn’t happen to us. We usually contain the ball. Both Anderson and Hunsaker got downhill. It exasperates the situation on defense when you’re not making anything on offense.”
In the second half Penn shot a cold 23.1% making only 6 of 26 shots, and 2 of 14 from three-point land. The Quakers were without Ryan Betley who was injured in the Columbia game.
Brodeur scored a team-high 19 points and pulled down a season-best 15 rebounds. This was the 10th double-double of the season for the senior forward.
Jordan Dingle added 16 points and Max Martz contributed 10 points.
The Quakers fall to 12 – 8 overall and 4 – 3 in the Ancient Eight. The Bears get to 12 – 8 and are 5 – 2 in the Ivy League. As of now Yale leads the league at 6 – 1. Brown and Princeton are tied for second a game behind. Penn and Harvard share fourth place. Yale visits tomorrow. Down to the second half in the league, every game jumbles the standings more and more. Each game is important.
“All I know is we have a conference tournament and to make it, every game is so valuable,” Donahue said. “It is the only league in the country where four teams make it, not everybody, and back-to-back. We have to prepare for Yale, a tough team.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian