Quakeaways from Penn men’s basketball’s 84-72 win over Columbia

There haven’t been too many happy moments for Penn men’s basketball over the course of the last two-plus months. But the Quakers got one on Saturday night.

Penn cruised to a fairly stress-free win over Columbia at the Palestra, 84-72. The Quakers (11-17, 3-10 Ivy) roared past the Lions (13-13, 4-9) on the back of standout performances from the two players they expected were going to carry the team on opening night: senior guard Clark Slajchert and junior forward Nick Spinoso.

Spinoso scored a career-high 23 points on 11-for-18 shooting from the field, while Slajchert added 22 and finished with an eye-popping KenPom offensive rating of 163 points per 100 possessions while on the floor. He crossed the 1,000 points scored barrier late in the first half.

For once, it’s all happy Quakeaways.

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Penn women’s basketball edges Harvard, 69-67, clinches Ivy League Tournament slot

Penn women’s basketball has punched a ticket to Ivy Madness.
The Quakers clinched a slot in the Ivy League Tournament Saturday with a wild and crazy 69-67 win over Harvard at the Palestra. They’ll join the third-place Crimson, Princeton and Columbia in the tourney at Columbia’s Levien Gym March 15-16 to compete for a berth (or maybe two) in the NCAA Tournament.

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Quakeaways from Penn men’s basketball’s 87-81 loss to Cornell

Penn did just about everything right against Cornell on Friday night at the Palestra.

The Quakers came out with more energy despite having no postseason hopes, forcing eight turnovers in the game’s first eight minutes. They hit 15 three-pointers on 33 attempts.  They built a 14-point lead in the second half.

It still wasn’t enough.

The Big Red staved off a Quakers upset bid thanks to the efforts of AK Okereke, who backed up into an uncontested go-ahead three-point jumper with 2:12 to go that put Cornell up for good in an 87-81 win. Okereke finished with a team-high 18 points for Cornell (21-5, 10-2 Ivy).

Penn (10-17, 2-10) got two clean three-point looks to tie from star freshmen Sam Brown and Tyler Perkins in the final two minutes, but neither went down. It’s been that kind of season for the Red and Blue.

What did Penn fans learn from a game effort against one of the best teams in the Ivy League?

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Quakeaways from Penn men’s basketball’s 74-70 loss to Harvard

The dagger is officially in Penn’s season after the Quakers took a difficult-to-swallow road defeat at Harvard, 74-70.

Penn (10-16, 2-9 Ivy) completed a comeback from 17 points down in the second half after Clark Slajchert drained an open three from the right wing off an offensive rebound to tie the game at 62 with 5:45 to play.

But the Quakers were ultimately undone by a terrible break on a 50/50 ball when it mattered most.

With Penn down two points and the clock ticking below 3:45 to play, junior Nick Spinoso poked the ball free from Harvard’s Louis Lesmond in the post. Freshman Sam Brown dove but couldn’t come up with the loose ball. Instead, Harvard’s Malik Mack was able to recover it and swing the ball to Lesmond for an open corner three out of the scramble. Lesmond drained the shot to put the Crimson (14-10, 5-6) up two possessions.

Truth be told, Penn’s season effectively ended well before Saturday. That’s what happens when you lose eight games in a row during a 14-game conference season.

All that’s left to play for now is pride and future development. There’s plenty to rue about Saturday, starting with how …

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Quakeaways from Penn men’s basketball’s 82-69 win at Dartmouth

Penn’s long nightmare is finally over.

The Quakers snapped their eight-game losing streak in style on Friday with an easy win over Dartmouth, 82-69.

Penn (10-15, 2-8 Ivy) led by as many as 24 points in the second half and never trailed after the 12:20 mark in the first half.

The Quakers won on the road for just the second time all season and picked up their first win on the road against the Big Green (5-18, 1-9) in five years.

Penn’s postseason chances may be exceedingly slim — more on that later — but there were plenty of positive signs for the future and a bevy of happy Quakeaways for the first time in nearly two months:

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Quakeaways from Penn men’s basketball’s 71-64 loss to Brown

PHILADELPHIA — Brown struck the coup de grace on any realistic hopes Penn had of a miracle run to Ivy Madness on Saturday night.

The death blow at the Palestra came in the form of a killer 13-2 run after the Quakers had tied the game at 47 with about eight minutes to go in the game. The Bears’ Kino Lilly Jr. capped it off with a dagger three-pointer to make it 60-49 with 3:14 to play. Penn showed a bit of late life, but it wasn’t enough in what wound up being a 71-64 loss to Brown (7-17, 3-6 Ivy).

It is hard to believe that Penn (9-15, 1-8) has collapsed like this after a nonconference campaign that included a signature win over Villanova and plenty of indicators that the team was heading in the right direction.

But this is the bed the Quakers have made for themselves.

What could Penn fans take away from a miserable evening?

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Brown women’s basketball comes back to take crucial game from Penn in 61-59 win

In case you had any doubts, it turns out the Brown women’s basketball team is for real. And Kyla Jones is one of the biggest reasons.

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Quakeaways from Penn men’s basketball’s 76-62 loss to Yale

PHILADELPHIA — For about 12 minutes in the first half, it looked like Penn and Yale were gearing up for another classic battle Friday at the Palestra.

Then the Bulldogs flipped the switch. Yale used an extended 25-4 run at the end of the first half to take control of the game and never let the hosts back in it in the second half. Final score: Yale 76, Penn 62.


The catalyst for the decisive run came right at the under-eight media timeout for Yale.


Penn junior Nick Spinoso was called for a foul while trying to defend a transition layup attempt from Ivy Player of the Year candidate Danny Wolf, then got a technical foul for arguing with the referees. Wolf and Yale junior guard John Poulakidas sank four free throws on the other side of the break to give the Bulldogs their first multi-possession lead of the game.

Yale (17-6, 8-0 Ivy) and Penn (9-14, 1-7) are two teams heading in opposite directions. Yale has now won 10 games in a row and looks like a team that is justifying every bit of its lofty preseason expectations. The Red and Blue have now lost seven straight, the worst losing streak of Steve Donahue’s coaching tenure at Penn.

There’s not much to say about another generally miserable affair, other than …

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Penn women’s basketball tops Yale, 66-52

There was no mystery about the Penn women’s basketball mission this weekend: Travel to New England and beat their two rivals for the last spot in Ivy Madness. And they accomplished half of that mission Friday night in New Haven, never trailing in a convincing victory over Yale, 66-52.

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