It’s not often that a team manages to lose a game in which it goes on a 21-2 run, but Penn did just that on Wednesday night, dropping its Big 5 opener to Saint Joseph’s in overtime at the Palestra, 85-80.
The Quakers (5-5) dominated the Hawks for 25 minutes, but that simply wasn’t enough. Saint Joseph’s (3-3) clawed back from a 14-point second half deficit on the back of some ramped-up defensive intensity, using ball-side pressure to disrupt Penn’s dribble handoffs and passing. Couple that with some three-point shooting progression to the mean, and you have a recipe for a comeback.
Despite everything, Penn held leads with 77 seconds left in regulation, 1:55 left in overtime and 1:00 left in overtime. Even after giving up the lead for good, the Quakers had four possessions in the final 56 seconds of overtime with a chance to win or extend the game.
Three open looks from long range did not go down for Jonah Charles or Clark Slajchert, while a fourth chance was wiped away by a debatable charge call on sophomore swingman Eddie Holland III.
What did Penn fans learn from an excruciating defeat?