For the second straight night, Penn was forced to work overtime, but unlike Friday, the Quakers couldn’t find success.
With junior guard Bryce Aiken scoring 25 points, Harvard defeated Penn, 75-68 in overtime Saturday night at the Palestra.
With six games left, Penn (15-9, 3-5 Ivy League) is two games behind the fourth and final spot for the league tournament.
This was a gritty effort by Harvard (13-8, 6-2), which trailed, 61-55, with just 1 minute, 15 seconds left in regulation before forcing overtime.
“I thought we just kept plugging away,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said.
In overtime, Harvard extended its lead to 71-63 on an off-balance three-pointer by Justin Bassey with 1:46 left, and Penn would not cut the lead below five.
Bassey, a 6-foot-5 junior who entered the game averaging 10.3 points, finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Penn’s A.J. Brodeur, who had a career-high 36 points in the 71-69 overtime win over Dartmouth on Friday night, finished with a team-high 23 points, and junior guard Devon Goodman added 22.
This was the first meeting between the two since Penn beat the Crimson, 68-65, in the 2018 Ivy League championship game.
Goodman scored on a driving layup and later hit two free throws with 1:15 left in regulation to extend the Quakers’ lead to 61-55. Aiken hit a three to make it 61-58 with 1:01 remaining.
After a Penn miss and a jump ball that resulted in Harvard’s possession with 30.9 seconds left, the Crimson simply refused to quit.
Aiken missed a driving layup and teammate Chris Lewis was unsuccessful on the tip, but Harvard retained possession after a Penn foul with 18 seconds left.
Aiken missed a forced three, but teammate Noah Kirkwood rebounded and found Aiken, who tied it at 61 on a three-pointer with 5.3 seconds left.
Goodman’s out-of-control runner from just inside the foul line bounced off the rim to force overtime.
"I probably had a little more time to make a layup and I stayed aggressive and it didn’t’ fall,” said Goodman, who hit 8 of 13 from the field, including 4 of 5 from three-point range.
Outside of Goodman, Penn hit just 3 of 23 three-pointers, including just 1 of 5 in the extra period.
"For the most part, we drove it and kicked it and had wide open shots, but didn’t make them,” Penn coach Steve Donahue said. “The shots were there …”
Harvard has played all year without junior forward Seth Towns, last season’s Ivy League player of the year. He suffered a knee injury last March 11 that required surgery.
A school official said he has yet to be ruled out for this season.
Even without Towns, Harvard is a formidable team, certainly capable of challenging for the Ivy League title.
Harvard led, 28-26, at halftime. Bassey had 12 at intermission, while 6-10 Penn freshman Michael Wang and Brodeur each had nine for the Quakers.