Penn learned the hard way just how far Cornell and coach Brian Earl have come on Friday night, dropping an 88-69 decision to the Big Red in Ithaca, N.Y.
The Quakers were disrupted by Cornell’s uptempo offense and ultra-aggressive defense from the opening tip, even though they matched the Big Red for roughly 30 minutes.
The game flipped when Cornell delivered an emphatic counterpunch to a shot which Penn fans likely thought could have carried the team to victory. Junior guard Clark Slajchert hit a tough three from the left wing through contact to give the Quakers a 56-55 lead with 11:51 to play — and arguably should have had an opportunity for a four-point play.
No matter. On the very next possession, the Big Red’s Greg Dolan drove through the lane, hit a layup and drew a foul on Penn forward Max Martz in the process. The foul, Martz’s fourth, forced Penn coach Steve Donahue to pull the man who had been his most efficient player thus far from the game.
By the time Martz returned to the floor, it was too late. Cornell used the and-one to ignite a game-deciding 17-4 run.
As Quakers fans reflect on Friday’s contest, they’ll find themselves haunted by some ghosts from the team’s past, which are detailed below: