Quakeaways from Penn men’s basketball’s 84-81 loss at Columbia

NEW YORK — Penn’s season is on the verge of flatlining after a pitiful defensive performance.

The Quakers squandered a golden chance to gain sole possession of the fourth and final spot in Ivy Madness in a dispiriting 84-81 loss to Columbia.

The coup de grâce came when freshman point guard Sam Brown lost the handle as he sprinted down the floor to try and get a look at a game-tying three before the buzzer sounded. But the Quakers have much more to regret than one possession.

Penn (9-10, 1-3 Ivy) allowed Columbia (10-7, 1-3) to score 1.35 points per possession, according to KenPom, the single-worst showing the Red and Blue have put up on the defensive end against any opponent all season.

The only saving grace is that Dartmouth managed to upset Brown, which creates a five-way logjam for fourth in the Ivy League. But right now, there’s little reason to hope that Penn can emerge out of that pileup. Not after how …

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Quakeaways from Penn men’s basketball’s 70-61 loss to Harvard

PHILADELPHIA — Penn picked a bad day to come out flat.

The Quakers dug themselves a 21-point deficit in the first half against Harvard thanks to stretches of stagnant offense and white-hot shooting from the Crimson. It proved to be too much to overcome in a 70-61 loss, despite a valiant comeback effort in the second half.

The loss isn’t fatal to Penn’s Ivy Madness hopes, but it ratchets up the pressure on the Quakers ahead of upcoming road games against Columbia and Brown. They’ll need to win one — if not both — of those games to feel good about their chances of reaching New York City.

There aren’t too many happy Quakeaways from Saturday. Penn (9-9, 1-2 Ivy) no-showed for 20 minutes against Harvard (10-6, 1-2) in front of a relatively full Palestra — including a packed student section. It wasn’t the type of product that will encourage those students to be repeat customers.

The Red and Blue have lots of questions to wrestle with ahead of next Saturday’s trip to Levien Gymnasium, starting with …

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Quakeaways from Penn men’s basketball’s 77-60 loss at Cornell

There was nary a Cornell player within 10 feet of Tyler Perkins when the guard set up in the right corner for an open three-pointer as Penn looked to get into its offense down just 36-35 to the Big Red with 17:13 to play.

Junior Reese McMullen spotted Perkins as he crossed halfcourt and rifled a pass with his left hand … that bounced just past the freshman and out of bounds.

It was all downhill after that for Penn, which fell at Cornell, 77-60, after the Big Red unloaded for 49 points in the second half after trailing by three at halftime.

Cornell (12-3, 2-0 Ivy) hit 10 threes in the second half after a rough shooting start, and its pressure defense did the rest. Penn (9-8, 1-1) committed 17 turnovers over the course of the afternoon.

The Quakers have plenty to ponder ahead of a pivotal Palestra showdown with Harvard on Saturday. They can start with how …

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Quakeaways from Penn men’s basketball’s 80-51 rout of Dartmouth

PHILADELPHIA — Penn men’s basketball stormed out of the gates of conference play on Saturday, using strong shooting across the board to pick up an easy win over Dartmouth, 80-51.

The Quakers (9-7, 1-0 Ivy), never trailed against the Big Green (4-10, 0-1) at the Palestra. A flurry of threes from freshmen Tyler Perkins and Niklas Polonowski pushed Penn out to a 23-9 lead, and the Red and Blue never looked back from there.

Playing without the services of leading scorer Clark Slajchert — who is still wearing a walking boot on his left foot after hurting his ankle against Houston last Saturday, Penn merely shot 50.9% from the field and hit 14 threes on 56% shooting from beyond the arc.

Not bad, huh?

The Quakers got contributions up and down the roster on Saturday, which leads nicely into how …

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Road to redemption: A look ahead to 2023-24 for Penn men’s basketball

Penn gets to benefit from Jordan Dingle’s dynamic scoring prowess again next season. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

March is defined by thin margins.

Penn’s season collapsed with the blow of a referee’s whistle with 90 seconds to go in its Ivy League tournament semifinal against Princeton. If Nick Spinoso’s charge on the Tigers’ Keeshawn Kellman in a one-point game had been ruled a no-call or a flop, would Penn have advanced?

Yale can ask itself a similar question. If August Mahoney — the third-best free throw shooter in the country — converted his one-and-one with 2:18 to go in a three-point game in the Ivy League Tournament final against Princeton, would the Bulldogs have completed their furious second-half rally?

Both those teams could only watch as Princeton went on to go on a magical run to the Sweet 16, the deepest an Ivy League champion has gone in the NCAA Tournament since 2010.

Plenty of Penn fans are probably still bitter, and could you blame them?

But a look at the Quakers’ returning roster indicates that fans’ high expectations for redemption in 2023-24 will be well-justified:

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Takeaways after Penn men notch first win of season at Drexel

Senior swingman Lucas Monroe snared 11 rebounds at Drexel Tuesday night, 10 of them on the defensive end. Defensive boards and turnovers sprang a strong transition game for Penn in a 64-59 win over their 33rd Street neighbors. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

After an 0-3 start, Penn is off the schneid.

The Quakers used a solid defensive performance to build a 15-point lead over Drexel early in the second half, and after wobbling a bit, made enough plays down the stretch to seal a 64-59 win over their next-door neighbors Tuesday night.

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Ivy hoops roundup – NIL gains and Olympic games

The NCAA’s new, long awaited policy of allowing players to use their name, image and likeness for commercial profit extends to the Ivy League, which says it has adjusted rules to allow players to take part in NIL activity.

Former Columbia Lions Tai Bibbs and Randy Brumant quickly signed a deal to advertise for GCDC, a Washington, D.C. grilled cheese bar, per Dafter having transferred from Morningside Heights to Howard to join former Columbia assistant coach Kenny Blakeney.

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