Finishing the job
The last two Penn games I attended - the men's basketball game at Princeton and this afternoon's men's lacrosse home game against UMBC had almost everything in common.
Something to prove: For the cagers, already in the NCAA tournament, it was their ability to win away from home and their case for a 14 seed. For lacrosse, it was backing up its new No. 20 national ranking against the No. 17 Retrievers.
Slow starts: The basketball team was without a point for the first 6:40 and managed five field goals and 11 turnovers in the first half. At Franklin Field today, the Retrievers dominated in all aspects of the game, winning five of six faceoffs in the first quarter and thoroughly dominating time of possession en route to a 7-2 halftime lead.
Big comebacks: For the second straight season, the basketball team erased an 18-point lead to take Princeton into overtime, with Ibrahim Jaaber's two free throws with 24 seconds left tying the game. The lacrosse team reversed every early game trend, outshooting the Retrievers 16-2 in the final period, dominating time of possession and scoring the last four regulation goals to send it into OT.
But I said that they had almost everything in common. The one big difference -- the lacrosse team finished the job.
After losing the faceoff of sudden death OT and surviving two UMBC shots, the Quakers called timeout and worked the ball to James Riordan who buried it unassisted to send the Penn bench spilling onto the field. But for the hoopsters, there was no magical ending for the Quakers, as the entire right side of the court opened up for the Tigers' Scott Greenman, who drove the length of the court and dished the ball to Justin Conway for an easy winning layup.
And while the basketball team will learn its destination for the NCAA tournament tomorrow and the lacrosse team is ranked in the middle of the Ivy pack, they had the week to remember.