PHILADELPHIA — Clark Slajchert took a quick dribble as Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard flew by, freeing the senior up for a wide open three from the wing he routinely hits.
If it went down, it would have pushed Penn to a 49-47 lead over the Associated Press No. 16 Wildcats with 15 minutes to play, completing a comeback from 16 points down.
The shot looked good but came up a little short. It was a microcosm of the afternoon for the Quakers, who gave Kentucky fits for the better part of 30 minutes in what wound up being an 81-66 loss.
Despite having the ball with a chance to tie or go ahead three times in the second half, Penn (6-5) never could quite get over the hump against the Wildcats. A 9-0 Kentucky run around the under-eight media timeout, capped by an open Antonio Reeves three, pushed the Wildcats’ lead from four points to 13 and put the game out of reach.
What could Penn fans take away from a solid showing against one of the most decorated programs in college basketball?
After taking a gut-punch loss to La Salle on Saturday, Penn responded by easily brushing aside Division III Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham on Wednesday at the Palestra, 111-57.
As is expected in a game against a Division III team, Penn could give regulars like Nick Spinoso, Tyler Perkins and Clark Slajchert light workloads. Slajchert scored 17 points on eight shots in just 15 minutes of action; he got virtually the entire second half off.
By the end of the evening, 14 different Quakers had scored. Penn also hit a program-record 21 three-pointers.
There aren’t many meaningful Quakeaways one can take away from a Division III tune-up game. But there’s certainly much to mull over ahead of Penn’s big-time game on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center against Associated Press No. 16 Kentucky.
Maybe these can be Palestra Ponderings on a possible path to victory instead.
John Calipari had a halftime message for his Kentucky Wildcats against Yale Saturday afternoon at Rupp Arena.
With his ‘Cats clinging to only a six-point lead, Calipari told them in no uncertain terms to get the ball inside to reigning Associated Press National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe.
Tshiebwe answered with 22 second-half points to lead No. 16 Kentucky to a 69-59 home win before a crowd of 20,264 over pesky Yale. The Bulldogs actually held a 35-33 lead with 17:26 left before Tshiebwe took over underneath. He finished with a season-high 28 points and added 12 rebounds.
Yale (8-3) played without its leading scorer Matt Knowling, who was out with a bicep injury.
The score was knotted at 6-6 early. Kentucky went on a 9-0 run consisting of three treys to grab a 25-13 lead. Yale then went on a tear highlighted by a Jack Molloy triple to cut the Wildcat advantage to 28-25. Kentucky (7-2) led by 33-27 at the half. Yale shot 40% in the first half and only trailed the physical hosts 20-18 in rebounds. Senior forward EJ Jarvis posted eight first-half points.
Yale rung up the first eight points of the second half, culminating in a John Poulakidas two from close range.
Calipari then shifted to a full-court press, and Kentucky finally succeeded in getting the ball inside to Tshiebwe. The Democratic Republic of the Congo native scored 12 straight points to give Kentucky a 53-47 lead which it never relinquished.
Yale received a far more even whistle than it did at Colorado or Butler, getting whistled for 13 fouls to 14 for Kentucky.
Yale coach James Jones called the outing ”a great effort by the team.”
Calipari called Yale a NCAA Tournament team.
”Harvard and Yale are going to be battling,” Calipari said. “They’re both really good teams.”
Molloy finished the game with a career-high 14 points, and Jarvis registered 12 points and seven rebounds.
Kentucky finished the game with a narrow 31-30 rebounding edge. Yale shot 43% for the game.
This was the second all-time meeting between Yale and Kentucky. The Wildcats beat Yale 79-58 in 1961, a year in which Yale won the Ivy League at 13-1 and received an NCAA bid.
Yale was supposed to play Gonzaga instead of Kentucky, but Zags coach Mark Few ran into a scheduling conflict because of a Gonzaga game against Kentucky and assisted in getting Yale a game at the latter.
It was the third of six straight road games for Yale. The Elis do not have a home game in December. They play at Fairfield in the brand new Leo D. Mahoney Arena on Monday night.
You can’t spot a power conference team a 22-7 lead on the road before 7,042 screaming fans and expect a good outcome. Yale didn’t get one Tuesday night at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, where Butler defeated Yale, 71-61.
Yale (8-2) did fight back and cut the Butler lead to eight at the 3:24 mark of the second half. But sharpshooter Simas Lukosius hit two dagger threes in the last minute to preserve the victory for Butler (7-3).
“It was a hard-fought game. Our guys didn’t go away,” coach James Jones said. “Those first 10 minutes we did a poor job of taking care of the ball.”
The Princeton Tigers entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 11 seed matched against the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats in Bloomington, Ind. Ivy Player of the Year Abby Meyers paced the Tigers with 29 points as her club thoroughly outplayed their SEC opponent Saturday, administering a convincing 69-62 beating to advance to the round of 32.
Far from being intimidated by the moment, the Tigers clearly rose to it.
No. 11 Princeton led No. 6 Kentucky for all but 2:18 in the first quarter, maintaining a single-digit, multiple-possession lead most of the game en route to a 69-62 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Assembly Hall in Bloomington Saturday.
The win is the Tigers’ second NCAA Tournament victory in program history and sets them up for a second-round clash with No. 3 Indiana at Assembly Hall Monday at a time to be announced.
NCAA Tournament – No. 14 Yale (19-9, 11-3 Ivy) vs. No. 3 Purdue (27-7, 14-6 Big Ten), Fri., 2 p.m. EST (TBS)
Yale’s third NCAA Tournament appearance in five opportunities begins in Milwaukee, where the Bulldogs will take on Purdue in the East Region. Yale was assigned the No. 56 overall seed in the tournament, resulting in this matchup at Fiserv Forum.
But since this is STILL March, as Jon Rothstein has noted – one without a NCAA Tournament – now’s as good a time as ever for Ivy Hoops Online’s contributors to reflect back on our favorite moments for Ivies in the Big Dance.
The No. 11 seed Princeton women’s basketball team gave No. 6 seed (and national No. 17) Kentucky all it could handle but came up just short in its first-round game at the Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C.
The Tigers were up by as many as nine points in the second quarter and up four at the half, but a 28-15 third quarter propelled the Wildcats into the lead and gave them enough of a cushion to withstand a late Tigers rally to claim the first-round victory.