It's almost the same story for the Quakers six days later, but this time they kept it a little closer.
Visiting a hostile Jadwin Gym, Penn men's basketball was unable to slow down a fiery Princeton side, ultimately falling by a 63-58 score in its fourth straight loss to the Tigers. The Quakers found themselves down by as many as 16 in the second half, but mustered together a late rally that fell just short.
Senior forward AJ Brodeur led the Red and Blue (7-6, 0-2 Ivy) with another double-double, putting up 22 points and 13 rebounds in Penn's second defeat to the Tigers (6-8, 2-0) within one week. Senior guard Devon Goodman, who played all 40 minutes, added 15 points.
"I thought Princeton played really well and figured out what we were trying to do defensively," coach Steve Donahue said. "Nothing was going right but we continued to compete, and Princeton deserved to win."
Eager to shake off last weekend's lackluster performance, Penn raced out to a quick 10-2 start, although Princeton would tie the game at 10-10 by the first media timeout. But just after the midway point of the first half, the Tigers would get going once again.
"They made some adjustments, which was problematic for us, but we wrestled back control of the game," Princeton coach Mitch Henderson said.
With seven made three-pointers before halftime, four of which came from junior forward Ryan Schwieger, the home side looked to be coasting. But Penn's strong start kept them within eight points of the lead at 36-28 going into the break.
"Schwieger made some big [shots] on our bigger guys and set the tone, so they made us pay for the defense we were trying to run at that point," Donahue said.
Princeton would hit its stride for most of the second half, seemingly having an answer to every attempted rally Penn tried to put together. The lead swelled to 16 points before the Quakers began to slowly close the gap.
A turning point for the Red and Blue came when senior guard Ryan Betley dove for a steal which Goodman turned into a layup right before the final media timeout. With the score at 58-52, the smaller but still vocal Penn contingent roared to life behind the Quakers' bench.
Both sides traded layups and free throws, but Goodman would again make a big play when he nailed a late three-pointer inside the final minute to pull Penn within three at 61-58.
With the Quakers deciding not to foul with under 30 seconds on the clock, Princeton senior Jose Morales hit a layup — his only points of the game — and drew a foul inside the final 10 seconds to all but ice the game.
The Red and Blue continued to struggle from beyond the arc on Friday, making only five of 21 attempts at Jadwin (23.8%), two of which came in the first two minutes of play. In comparison, the Tigers utilized their prowess from distance to their advantage, going 11-of-26 (42.3%) from deep.
Although freshman guard Jordan Dingle had an off night with just four points after scoring 21 last week, Brodeur, Goodman, and Betley combined for 47 points to make up for it.
"I think it's a growing game for [Dingle] and something he's going to have to learn from, because this league is talented, but more than that it's usually older," Donahue said.
Brodeur, for his part, also held Princeton senior center Richmond Aririguzoh to eight points while also drawing fouls, limiting the impact of the Tigers' big man. However, Aririguzoh's 16 rebounds — six on the offensive glass — helped keep his team on course for victory.
With a disappointing start to the new year and Ivy League play, Penn will shift momentarily back to its nonconference schedule. The Quakers resume their season with a Big 5 matchup against Saint Joseph's next Saturday at the Palestra.