It's neck-and-neck here at the Palestra after 20 minutes of action.
With the Quakers starting 0-2 in Ivy League play, the Quakers knew their matchup against Harvard would be an important game. Hustling on defense and pushing the pace up the floor on offense, the Red and Blue got out to a big early lead over Harvard. A steal and slam by senior guard Devon Goodman put the Quakers up 18-5 just five minutes in, and the Quakers led by 19 at 12:56 in the first half.
The Red and Blue's aggressiveness came back to bite them, as they quickly racked up personal fouls. Harvard entered the bonus early on, which helped them slow the game down and chip away at Penn’s lead.
The Crimson also dominated on the offensive glass, pulling down 10 offensive rebounds in the first half leading to nine second-chance points. The Quakers had just two offensive rebounds of their own in the opening period.
An emphasis for Penn this season has been shooting the three consistently and limiting opponents from getting open looks behind the arc. Harvard seemed to adopt this strategy initially, defending all the way out to the three-point line with all five players on the floor.
This left the paint wide open and the Quakers made the Crimson pay. Freshman guard Jordan Dingle got loose for two dunks as part of a blistering hot start for the Quakers who made 10 of their first 14 shot attempts.
Facing a 19-point deficit, Harvard needed a run to get back into the game. The Crimson scored the next nine points while forcing four Penn turnovers over a two-and-a-half minute stretch. The run would balloon to 18-3, with the Crimson eventually bringing their deficit all the way down to five points by the final media timeout of the first half.
Penn senior guard Ryan Betley was one of the hot-shooting Quakers, knocking down three-of-four from beyond the arc. His 11 first-half points led the team.
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