Greasy, melted cheese, mass quantities of red meat and a warm, toasted bun were all that Penn hoops fans craved as the clock wound down at the Palestra on Saturday night.
And they got what they wanted.
After the men's basketball team scored exactly 100 points in a decisive win against Dartmouth, hordes of fans descended upon Abner's for the restaurant's free cheesesteaks.
The possibility of free cheesesteaks is always in the back of Penn basketball fans' minds, as Abner's promises the local favorite to all in attendance whenever the Quakers score at least 100 points in a home game.
And on Saturday, the line stretched from Abner's around onto 38th Street's sidewalk toward Market Street as fans clamored for their very own piece of a rarely-experienced Penn tradition.
For many seniors in line, the 100-point game was a long-awaited dream come true. The last time Penn scored 100 points in a basketball game was a 100-58 victory over Lehigh on Dec. 7, 1996.
"I've been a season ticket holder for four years, and I've been waiting for this day for a while," Engineering senior Geoff Pelletier said.
"I would say this goes up in the top five games for me," he added, "just because of the last-second shot by [Penn forward Dan] Solomito. That was so key."
The senior's three-pointer in the game's final seconds was on nearly everyone's minds at Abner's.
"Solomito is a god," Engineering senior Amanda Wuest said.
College junior Brian Michael had similar words.
"Dan Solomito is the king," Michael proclaimed of the player who does not clock many minutes on the court for the Quakers. "He should play all the time now. The shot at the end was amazing."
Michael, also a season ticket holder, said that he and his friends often use cheesesteaks as a measure of how well a particular basketball game is going.
"Basically, we gauge all the Penn games by how many more points we need to get cheesesteaks," he said. "It's been like that ever since I've gone to the games."
"They scored 50 at halftime, so it was on everyone's mind," he added.
Michael said he was thinking that "at this pace, we can get 100 exactly, and that's what happened," he said. "Plus, it was a good Ivy League win, which we need."
The moment that John Budish and his friends saw the 100-point score, they realized they had to be quick to get their free cheesesteaks without waiting too long.
In fact, they beat the unexpected Abner's rush.
"We actually sprinted off the court, sprinted out [and] got into [the] car," the College sophomore said. "I think we were the first people here."
"The crowd was going crazy, and it was just great to see Penn score the 100 points," he added. "The whole crowd [was] just chanting for the cheesesteaks the whole time."
Despite the influx of customers at Abner's on Saturday, manager Mike Badlis was unfazed.
"We always have enough food," he said, adding that the restaurant is constantly prepared for the possibility of a 100-point game.
"We are excited," Badlis added. "We've been waiting for this for five years."Comments powered by Disqus
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