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Junior guard Devon Goodman leads the team in assists at the half with three and has yet to turn the ball over. 

Credit: Chase Sutton

Editor's Note: Penn men's basketball held on to beat Villanova, 78-75. Read the full recap here.

The Quakers are hanging tough against the defending champs.

Through one half of action at the Palestra, Penn men’s basketball leads No. 17 Villanova 32-28. Penn raced out to an early 14-2 lead, making it clear that the group could play with the Wildcats. However, Villanova found its form and went on a 15-0 run over several minutes to go up 17-14 on the Red and Blue.

But Penn promptly returned the favor with a 10-2 spurt of its own and found itself up 26-19 after a tip-in basket from freshman guard Michael Wang. The crowd has been a huge factor thus far, as every Villanova missed basket has been met with a roar from the home fans.

Junior guard Devon Goodman has been pacing the Penn offense, as he enters the second half with six points, three rebounds, and three assists. Junior forward AJ Brodeur has also put pressure on the Wildcats’ defense, with all six of his points coming from free throws. Both Goodman and Brodeur have committed two fouls.

For Villanova, guard Joe Cremo has been a spark off of the bench. The senior has six points, which came off of three consecutive interior baskets to cut the Red and Blue’s lead to two late in the half.

Just 20 minutes of action remain to see if Penn can hold on and spoil Villanova’s attempt at yet another undefeated Big 5 season. The Quakers haven't beaten the Wildcats since 2002.

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