Coach Steve Donahue of Penn men’s basketball is not keen on the phrase “must-win.”
In fact, in a past interview, he has described the phrase as “for the media” (guilty as charged) and “not what we focus on.”
However, with the Red and Blue (7-12, 0-6 Ivy) hosting two immensely important games against Columbia and Cornell this weekend, he had seemingly no choice but to use the vaunted expression.
“In terms of making the tournament, I think both of the games this weekend are must-win,” Donahue admitted.
Penn men’s basketball fell to its archnemesis Princeton, 64-49, in a high-stakes rivalry match that kept the Quakers rooted to the bottom of the Ivy League and solidified the Tigers’ grip at the top. Despite the packed crowd at the Palestra there to celebrate the Cathedral of Basketball’s 90th birthday, there was no celebration for Penn (7-12, 0-6 Ivy) and its players’ hopes of topping their fiercest rivals (13-6, 6-0) in the first match between the two during the school year since 2012.
In the most highly-anticipated game of the year, Penn men’s basketball fell to archrival Princeton, 64-49, to keep the Quakers languishing at the bottom of the Ivy League. In his postgame press conference Tuesday night, coach Steve Donahue lamented that his players really didn’t play that badly — they just aren’t good enough at their current level. With that in mind, here are our player ratings from Penn’s loss to Princeton at the Palestra:
I went to both Penn-Princeton men's basketball games this year, and they tell the story of our team's season. They tell the story of a team that had the ability to hang with the best of the league, but just couldn't put it all together. They tell the story of a squad that had ample opportunities to earn their way back into competition, but faltered when it mattered most.
On Tuesday, when Princeton storms into town to take on the Red and Blue, students from across the university will flock to the Palestra to view in-person the storied basketball rivalry matchup that the Ivy League has boasted every year since 1903. Several groups on campus are taking advantage of this valuable opportunity to give their members a break from the stresses of academics.
The last time we hosted you guys during a normal damn time of the school year to host one’s biggest rival (seriously, Ivy schedule-makers? FIVE years?), Penn won. That was also the last time we did these columns. So this game is pretty much in the bag.
What’s the exact opposite of the remarkable 5-0 start the Tigers are enjoying this season? And the opposite of an eight-game winning streak, with victories against the likes of Harvard, Dartmouth, Yale, and Brown?
When the Palestra hosted its first game all the way back in 1927, the 10,000-seat arena was one of the largest indoor stadiums in the world. Today, that capacity has been downgraded to a little over 8,000, but the thousands in attendance at the Penn-Princeton men's basketball game on Tuesday night will still get one of the highest-quality experiences in all of the sport.
On Tuesday, Penn men's basketball will face off against rival Princeton in the Palestra for the first time during Penn's school year since 2012. The game will celebrate the Palestra's 90th anniversary, as it will be the schools’ 236th meeting with each other. But before the Quakers and Tigers tip off in Tuesday's crazily anticipated matchup, take a look back at the last time the teams met during the school year in the rivalry’s 225th edition.
For the past 12 years, every game that’s tipped off inside the Palestra has been called by none other than Richard Kahn. But if you hadn’t noticed, he wouldn’t be offended.
Last November, Aaron Rodgers predicted his struggling team would “run the table”. At the time, Rodgers' Packers were 4-6, two games out of first place in the division. By season’s end, they had done exactly that. Penn men’s basketball team finds itself in a somewhat similar position.
It’s time to start thinking about the big picture.
These past two days have been demonstrative of Penn women’s basketball’s Ancient Eight dominance. But the team needs to be careful to not allow the Ivy League bubble obfuscate its awareness of the talent exhibited by the rest of the NCAA.
On its farthest road trip of the Ivy League season, Penn men’s basketball dropped two critical games to Harvard and Dartmouth, blowing an early lead in Cambridge before falling to the previously-conference-winless Big Green. After jumping out to a massive early lead, Penn basketball regressed substantially over the game’s final 30 minutes en route to a 69-59 loss to Harvard Friday night.
Every week, there's one star across Penn Athletics that shines bright enough to merit extra recognition. The decision is often tough, but for this weekend, the answer is clear-cut: no one at Penn shone brighter than women's basketball star Anna Ross.
Penn women’s basketball tallied a pair of wins over Harvard and Dartmouth on Friday and Saturday to take firm control of first place in the Ivy League. The Quakers (12-6, 5-0 Ivy) made easy work of them both, beating a Harvard team (16-3, 4-2) ranked 20th in the RPI by 20 points and a decent Dartmouth side (6-13, 1-5) by 30.
Penn men’s basketball’s trip to Cambridge was supposed to be the beginning of the Ivy League resurgence. Coming off a big win at La Salle, Quaker fans — and coach Steve Donahue — were hoping the momentum would continue. It did, just for about 15 minutes. Then came the collapse.
After jumping out to a massive early lead, Penn basketball regressed substantially over the game’s final 30 minutes en route to a 69-59 loss to Harvard Friday night.
Penn women's basketball beat a team ranked 20th in the RPI while hardly pulling out of first gear on Friday night, with a 63-43 demolition of Harvard taking the Quakers to the top of the Ivy League.
Penn women's basketball topped Harvard 63-43 in a highly-anticipated affair that never really lived up to its billing. Penn (11-6, 4-0 Ivy) locked the game down from the get-go and never gave the Crimson (16-2, 4-1) a chance to work their way back into the contest.
Harvard (11-6, 3-1 Ivy) has perennially been one of the toughest outs in the Ivy League, and with point guard Syani Chambers back after missing last season with an injury, they are firing on all cylinders again.