It seemed all too familiar for the Quakers. But not this time.
After struggling in the second half against Brown Friday night, Penn men’s basketball finished strong on Saturday and beat Yale by a score of 69-61 on an impressive second half.
With the game tied at 58 with just over two minutes left, senior forward AJ Brodeur sunk a three-pointer to take a lead late in the game. The crowd was having all of it.
After a defensive rebound, Brodeur found junior guard Eddie Scott in the corner on the ensuing sequence, and the junior drained another three. The crowd erupted.
A six-point lead with under two minutes left would prove to be too much for the Bulldogs to overcome, and the Quakers took that lead with them to the final buzzer.
The Red and Blue started the game on a roll, forcing a few quick turnovers to jump out to an early 8-0 lead. Penn kept that lead for the majority of the first half, leading for over 15 minutes and by as many as 10 points — a similar situation on Friday night against Brown.
With just under three minutes left in the first, the Bulldogs clawed back to take their first lead of the game, which they would take to halftime with a score of 29-27.
Penn would regain the lead with 10 minutes left in the game, but the second half was mostly back and forth — the largest lead of the half was only five points until the Red and Blue pulled away in the final minutes.
While the Quakers struggled in the second half against Brown on Friday night, Penn maintained its composure throughout Saturday night, finishing the game on a the game on a 16-3 run.
“We talked about it all day. If we get into those moments when we struggle on offense, just keep competing on defense, and we’ll get there somehow. We’ll figure it out on the offensive end,” coach Steve Donahue said.
It was a record-breaking night for senior forward AJ Brodeur, whose second field goal of the game put him first in program history in made field goals with 705. Brodeur finished the night with 19 points and eight rebounds.
“Honestly, I didn’t even realize I was close to [the record]. When I came [to Penn], I knew what kind of system I was getting into, and I knew this was a place where I could play my game. I really feel like this was the product of what I have been working for,” Brodeur said.
While freshman guard Jordan Dingle had another slow night, shooting just 1-of-7 from beyond the arc, Scott had a career night, scoring 18 points off of the bench.
“I felt like I put myself in the right position. I tried to play off of my teammates. When AJ got the ball down low, I would try to make a backdoor cut or space the floor and get an open three,” Scott said.
For Yale, junior forward Paul Atkinson led the way with 20 points on the night while junior guard Azar Swain put up 13 points.
Penn will leave the third Ivy Weekend splitting its two games. Every game from here on out will be crucial to the Quakers making the Ivy tournament in a few weeks. The team will take the road to Dartmouth and Harvard next weekend.
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