Toledo's three-point barrage proved too much to handle for Penn men's basketball on Friday afternoon.
The Rockets shot a season high 64.3 percent from beyond the arc, marching to an 85-73 victory over the Quakers. The loss snaps the Quakers' (9-5) four-game winning streak, dating back to December 4.
Penn led 37-33 at the break, which typically serves the Quakers well, as they came into Friday afternoon's contest 8-0 when leading at half. However, the resilient Rockets (8-5) rallied in the second half, scoring 52 of their 85 points in the final period.
"The second half was one of weaker, if not the weakest, defensive halves we have played this season," coach Steve Donahue said. "I think Toledo sensed that we were just playing okay and really took advantage of that in the second half."
Toledo's Tre'Shaun Fletcher led the way, as he has done throughout the season, scoring a game-high 21 points on 52.9 percent shooting. Jaelan Sanford and Nate Navigato also played large roles in the comeback victory, shooting 2-for-3 and 3-for-4 respectively from deep.
"I thought they were very opportunistic — each time we slipped down and missed the coverage, they knocked down their shots," Donahue said.
The Quakers missed several opportunities on the offensive end that they had been converting during their recent winning streak.
"I thought our guys came ready to play as always, but there were a couple instances of broken communication on defense and missed opportunities on offense," Donahue said.
Despite the loss, the Red and Blue received a standout performance from junior forward Max Rothschild, who finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, tallying his third double-double of the season. Sophomore guard Ryan Betley also played well, finishing with a team-high 20 points on 6-for-13 shooting.
Donahue commended his team's aggressiveness throughout the game, particularly that of junior guard Antonio Woods.
"Antonio is a guy we would love to continue to be aggressive and attack the basket when given the opportunity," Donahue said.
The game serves as a lesson for the rather inexperienced Quakers, as Donahue looks to pull the best out of his team.
"When a team plays well against us this season, we tend to rely on our defense to keep us in games as our offense gets going," Donahue said. "We have to do a better job of executing on offense even when teams are hot down the other end"
The Quakers now turn their attention toward an upcoming slew of conference opponents, as they look to solidify themselves as title contenders.
Their push for the Ivy League title starts next Friday, January 5, as the defending champion Princeton Tigers (7-7) visit the Palestra to kick off conference play.
The Quakers certainly have much to take away from their matchup with Toledo.
"There has to be much more growth throughout the team if we are going to compete for a championship," Donahue said. "We have to figure out, personnel wise, who can help us in certain situations, we need to guard better and we need to execute on offense consistently for 40 minutes."
The Red and Blue will look to slow down the Tigers, as they come into Friday's contest having won their previous two games and five of their last six, including an upset win at USC.
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