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Credit: Chase Sutton

Penn men’s basketball came into Friday night’s matchup against Columbia looking to get the bad taste out of its mouth from last weekend’s loss to Harvard. 

After struggling to shoot the ball for most of the game, the Quakers pulled away from the Lions, ending the night on a huge run and winning by a score of 74-62. Here are four takeaways from the showdown at Columbia:

Penn’s bench carried the day

A star was born tonight for Penn at Levien Gymnasium; his name is Devon Goodman. The 6-foot, 160-pound sophomore guard was the spark that the Quakers desperately needed to keep them in the game. 

Goodman came into the contest with Penn down 14-3 with 14:13 remaining in the first half, and as soon as he checked in, the tide began to turn. Goodman proceeded to score 18 points in the first half, shooting 6 for 8 from the field and 4 for 4 from three-point range. He kept it going in the second half and finished with a total of 23 points, five rebounds, and five assists. This showcase from Goodman comes after playing just 33 minutes the entire season prior this game.

Goodman was not the only one who helped to carry the load off of the bench. Senior guard Caleb Wood, a more familiar face before Friday’s game, had a performance that is becoming quite typical. Wood dropped 16 points, including a couple of huge threes down the stretch, to add to the bench scoring total of 40 points.

Ryan Betley was quiet, but that didn’t seem to be an issue

Sophomore guard Ryan Betley had an uncharacteristically minor role in the Quakers’ victory on Friday night. The team’s leading scorer on the season scored just two points, on a bucket which came off of a breakaway layup in the final minute of the game, after the game had essentially been decided.

On the bench for a key stretch of the second half, Betley seemed to not care that he wasn’t having the best night, personally. He and the rest of the players on the bench got more and more fired up as the Penn pulled away from the Lions late in the game.

Another important thing to note is that even though he was struggling shooting the basketball, Betley never showed any hesitation. The star guard from Downingtown, Pennsylvania continued to shoot the ball with confidence.

 It seems safe to say that he won’t have a whole lot of games like these. The fact that the Quakers still won with Betley struggling so mightily should scare the rest of the Ivy League.

The Quakers always play a full 40 minutes

It’s really difficult to beat the Penn Quakers. All year long, the Red and Blue have been in positions where they need to come up with big plays on both sides of the ball. As per usual, they made those plays tonight. Down by four with 7:18 to play, the game looked like a toss-up.

The Red and Blue, however, made the game theirs by coming up with big stops and locking down defensively. In the final stretch, Penn shifted the momentum in a major way, going on an 18-0 run while in the process, making Levien Gymnasium at Columbia sound like the Palestra.

Sophomore forward AJ Brodeur, along with Goodman and Wood, was a major benefactor during this onslaught, dominating in the low post and finishing with 14 points, five rebounds, and four assists.       

Penn moved the ball well

Even in a first half where the Red and Blue scored just 31 points, their offense did not look bad at all. They simply weren’t making shots. Becoming stagnant is an issue that essentially every team faces at some point during a game, but Penn moved the ball well and limited its mistakes.

The Quakers could have easily tightened up and lost trust in what they were running, but they didn’t. And sure enough, the shots finally started to fall in the last several minutes. Columbia, for its part, began to play more one-on-one basketball down the stretch, allowing Penn to key in on the main scorers of Mike Smith, Nate Hickman, and Quinton Adlesh.

In all, the Red and Blue totaled 19 assists and committed just nine turnovers. The Lions, on the other hand, turned the ball over 17 times, while assisting on just seven shots.