Ninety-five years after Penn opened up the Palestra with a win over Yale, this edition of the Red & Blue sought another reset Saturday against the team pegged to win the Ivy title in the conference preseason media poll.
One more year! Let’s get it 🐻🐻🐻 pic.twitter.com/uxxN41g0nK
— Ryan Betley (@RyanBetley) April 17, 2020
Penn senior guard Ryan Betley announced on Twitter Friday night that he will be spending his graduate transfer year at California.
Betley was Penn’s leading scorer during the team’s 2017-18 Ivy League championship season and was an effective sharpshooting wing for the Red & Blue. Betley averaged 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 30.9 minutes per game in 74 contests for Penn. From three-point range, Betley made 38.3% of his shots on his career.
Seth Towns is taking his talents back to Columbus.
The former Harvard forward and 2017-18 Ivy League Player of the Year announced Saturday night that he was committing to Ohio State as a graduate transfer.
A Columbus native, Towns noted his gratitude for his time with Harvard basketball, which consisted of two seasons in which he averaged 14.2 points and five rebounds. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound standout earned Ivy POY honors as a sophomore before suffering an injury down the stretch of the 2018 Ivy League Tournament final, an eventual loss to Penn at the Palestra.
Penn senior forward AJ Brodeur set three program records in his final game at the Palestra as the Quakers easily dispatched Columbia, 85-65, on a historic night at the Palestra to earn the No. 4 seed in the Ivy League Tournament.
The Red & Blue (16-11, 8-6 Ivy) nabbed their fourth straight Ivy League Tournament berth, knocking Brown (also 8-6 in Ivy play) on the strength of a Brodeur triple-double: 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Penn split the season series with Brown but held the second tiebreaker, a better record against league top seed Yale.
Brodeur’s triple-double was the first in program history, a feat that followed two more records from the Northborough, Mass. native.
With the game well in hand in the second half, the focus became whether Brodeur would pass Ernie Beck ’53 to become the all-time leading scorer.
After four months and 26 games, Penn’s chance at making its fourth straight Ivy Madness appearance now comes down to one final contest.
Following a closely matched 24 minutes, the Quakers used a 12-4 run, punctuated by back-to-back threes from Ryan Betley and Jordan Dingle, to create separation from Cornell and cruise to a 78-64 victory on Friday night.
Another wild night on the roller coaster that is Penn men’s basketball, so what else is new?
One night after losing a 10-point lead lead over the last 98 seconds at Yale, the Red & Blue faced a similar situation up nine at the 2:39 mark in a win-or-go home showdown against Brown. On this night, the Quakers would hold the line and defeat Brown, 73-68, to get back in the battle for the No. 4 seed in the Ivy League Tournament.
Whether it’s fair or not, we’re often defined in life by how we finish. How we finish relationships. How we finish jobs. How we finish thoughts.
For Penn at John J. Lee Amphitheater Friday night, the finish wasn’t worthy of the start.
Penn appeared to deliver the coup de grâce to Yale when senior guard Devon Goodman hit a three-pointer, his sixth of the night on seven attempts, to put the Red & Blue up 73-63 with 2:52 remaining.
Then the long nightmare casting a longer shadow over Penn’s Ivy League Tournament hopes began.
Three thoughts on Harvard’s 69-65 win over Penn Saturday night:
Penn’s 66-59 loss at Dartmouth Friday night managed to cobble together the shortcomings jeopardizing a fourth Ivy League Tournament appearance for the Red & Blue in as many years.
Senior guards Brandon Anderson and Zach Hunsaker combined for 51 points, including 39 in the second half, to lead Brown over Penn, 75-63, at the Palestra on Friday night.
Despite playing without All-Ivy wing Ryan Betley, who is weekend-to-weekend with a sprained left ankle, the Quakers (12-8, 4-3 Ivy) ran out to an 21-10 lead over the first 10:30 of the contest. The Red & Blue maintained an 11 point advantage, following a Max Martz layup with a minute to go, but a Hunsaker three and Anderson layup cut the Penn lead to 35-29 at the half.
The Bears (12-8, 5-2) came out of the locker room a different team.