Penn basketball blown out by Yale, 79-65
Quakers end the season splitting every Ivy weekend
March 9, 2013, 9:06 pm·
Amanda Suarez | DP
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The majority of Yale’s student body left the New Haven campus on Friday or early Saturday, long before tip-off at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
But the Yale seniors had a reason to stick around, as it was their last home game as Bulldogs. And they made the most of it.
Yale’s suffocating defense gave the Quakers fits in the second half and the Bulldogs took advantage, turning a one-point deficit at halftime into a 14-point victory, as they defeated the Quakers, 79-65.
With the loss, Penn (9-21, 6-7 Ivy) ends the year having split every Ivy League weekend, while Yale (14-17, 8-6) takes final possession of third place in the Ancient Eight.
The pace in the first half was frenetic, and both junior captain Miles Cartwright and freshman guard Tony Hicks took advantage, scoring eight and nine points respectively.
But the pace slowed down significantly in the second half, with Yale pressing and switching to a zone that the Quakers couldn’t solve.
“They just play harder than us,” coach Jerome Allen said. “They play hard, they get all the loose balls, they fight, they’re physical.”
Senior guard Michael Grace took full advantage of the stage on Senior Night with a three-point advantage for the Elis and 13 minutes to go. He scored five points in the following 20 seconds, and out of a Penn timeout, the Quakers’ offense started to crack under the pressure.
In the next 30 seconds, sophomores Cam Crocker and Henry Brooks each coughed up the ball. And following a Brooks foul, Yale’s lead ballooned to 10, an edge that proved to be too large for Penn to come back from.
“We always expect things to fall right into our lap,” Allen said.
With the crowd excited on Senior Night, the Bulldogs cruised home after that moment.
While Penn committed just 13 turnovers, the timing of the Quakers’ turnovers proved costly.
The Quakers additionally couldn’t keep the whistles silent the entire night and the Bulldogs took full advantage, hitting 29 of their 35 attempts from the charity stripe.
“It is what it is,” Allen said. “Refereeing, some good, some bad. You gotta play the game.”
Hicks played much of the second half with four fouls, and his offensive production suffered because of it.
After starting hot from the field, he cooled down significantly in the second half, finishing with just 16 points. Hicks made only two field goals in the second half.
Cartwright, who led Penn with 25 points at Brown, suffered the same fate partly thanks to the Bulldogs’ zone. He scored just four points in the final 20 minutes, all of which were free throws.
Freshman center Darien Nelson-Henry also joined Hicks and Cartwright in double figures with 10 points, but grabbed just three rebounds on the night.
Yale outrebounded Penn by a 38-24 margin.
Brooks had five of those boards for Penn and was a bright spot for the Quakers, scoring nine points on 4-for-6 shooting.
But after coming out and playing strong in the first half, the bright spots began to dissipate as the stanza progressed.
“In the second half, we didn’t have the same focus,” Allen said. “The same sense of urgency.”
The Quakers will finish their season Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Palestra against the Princeton Tigers, whose loss on Saturday at Brown knocked them out of contention for the Ivy League title.
“Penn basketball ekes by Brown, 66-64” : http://www.thedp.com/article/2013/03/penn-basketball-ekes-by-brown-66-64