As the Penn men's basketball team went down by 14 points to Princeton with eight minutes remaining in last night's game, the first wave of Quakers fans -- who had at one time energized the Hall of Flags -- started heading for the doors. They knew the game, and the Quakers' season, was over. The exodus continued through the game's final minutes as the scoring gap grew. And by the time the final horn sounded, only a few Penn students remained. These lingering Quakers faithful could do no more than bow their heads in defeat as the picture before them showed Princeton students storming the court, celebrating their team's Ivy League title and NCAA tournament berth. About 200 Penn basketball fans who could not make the trek to Princeton's Jadwin Gym instead came to Houston Hall last night to watch Penn's final regular season game on the big-screen television in the Hall of Flags as part of a free event sponsored by the Kite and Key club, the UA and the Red and Blue Crew. As the crowed gathered before the 7:30 p.m. tipoff, some Penn fans were quite optimistic about the Quakers' chances for victory against a Princeton squad that had dismantled the Red and Blue, 67-53, at the Palestra on February 13th. "The key to this game is revenge," Wharton junior Jeffrey Morgan said. "We're gonna kick some butt tonight and then, after we win tonight, we're going to win again on Saturday night. We're going to the Big Dance." Other students in attendance, however, were not as confident. "Princeton is a tough team, especially when they play at Jadwin," College freshman Marc Alter said. Throughout the first half, the Red and Blue aficionados were glued to the TV as they watched the action unfold. Raucously cheering every Penn field goal("Klatsky's on fire!"), Quakers quality defensive effort ("Did you see that block by Onyekwe?"), and Tigers turnover ("Princeton sucks!"), the crowd created an atmosphere that was worthy of the Penn-Princeton game. "Although I wish that the game was at the Palestra," College freshman Daanish Ahmed said, "having this event, and being with such vocal Quaker fans, made the game exciting and a lot of fun to watch." But Princeton's second-half domination put a damper on any excitement that may have filled the room, and sent the Penn fans home reflecting upon this season and look ahead to the next. "I am disappointed that we couldn't win the conference," Wharton senior David Peretz said. "However, realistically, this was not one of Penn's strongest teams, as we were young and relatively inexperienced. "The future, however, is bright, as we do have some top young talent who will be able to lead this team in the years to come."Comments powered by Disqus
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