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?