Penn men’s basketball showed up big tonight, leading for all but a few seconds in its 77-74 victory over Big 5 rival La Salle. The Explorers gave the Quakers a scare in the game’s final minutes, but the Red and Blue made just enough plays to escape Tom Gola Arena with a win and end their four-game losing streak.
This was a total team effort for the Quakers with many strong showings, but the night belonged to Penn’s freshmen. Penn’s rookie trio of AJ Brodeur, Ryan Betley and Devon Goodman combined for 52 points — most of which came from Brodeur — and gave Penn fans plenty to look forward to for the next few years.
Darnell Foreman, G –5/10
It was an up and down game for Foreman, but he did just enough to help Penn come out with a win. While he provided good ball-handling and distributed the ball nicely to finish the game with six assists, he nearly threw the game away with an errant pass in the final minute.
Caleb Wood, G – 6/10
Wood was quiet for most of the game, but came up big with his three-point shooting. Seven of Wood’s eight shots came from behind the arc and he made the most of his open looks to knock down three treys for nine points.
Ryan Betley, G – 8/10
It’s hard to believe, but this was only Betley’s sixth college game. Betley didn’t shy away from the moment though, and showed that he was more than just a shooter in the process. Betley finished with three steals and also scored 13 big points despite going only one of five from three-point land.
Matt Howard, G – 9/10
Howard didn’t have his best scoring game, but boy, did he show up when it mattered. Howard crashed the boards hard all night to finish with 11 rebounds and not only did he knock down a big three with just over a minute left, but he also sealed the Quaker victory when he picked off La Salle’s final desperation pass in the game’s waning seconds.
AJ Brodeur, F – 11/10
This was a special performance. Brodeur started off the game hot with 14 first half points, but it only got better from there. Simply put, Brodeur dominated down the stretch. He finished the game with a career-high 35 points, including 13 in a row for the Quakers at one point, and also scored the biggest points of the game with two big free throws to put Penn up three with just two seconds left. Brodeur’s 35 are the most in a game for Penn since 1995.
Devon Goodman – 6.5/10
Getting extended playing time with Matt MacDonald out, Goodman made the most of his minutes. Goodman only scored four points, but wreaked havoc on La Salle’s defense with his aggressive dribble penetration that helped him finish with seven assists.
Tyler Hamilton – 5/10
While he ended the game scoreless, Hamilton found other ways to impact the game in his limited playing time. Hamilton drew a charge on his first play in the game and provided a nice athletic spark off the bench for the Red and Blue’s defense.
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