Penn’s five-game winning streak came to a crashing halt Friday night with a 75-63 loss to Brown at the Palestra that could have a big impact on Ivy League tournament seeding.
The Quakers (12-8, 4-3 Ivy League) had little trouble rolling to a 35-29 halftime lead. In fact, it would have been a lot bigger had they not shot just 12-for-31 from the field, including 4-of-13 from three-point range.
But Brown (12-8, 5-2) dominated the second half, starting with a 21-4 run in the first seven minutes of the period. The Quakers didn’t hit a field goal for over eight minutes after a Devon Goodman layup 31 seconds in.
The Bears’ lead was 65-55 with three minutes to go. The closest Penn got after that was 65-59 just under a minute later.
Penn shot just 31.6% from the field, including 22.2% from three-point range. The Quakers took 27 threes and 30 two-pointers, and Penn coach Steve Donahue admitted his team settled for too many long-range shots.
AJ Brodeur finished the night with 19 points, but they didn’t come easily. He shot just 6-of-13 from the field, and 7-of-9 from the free throw line. He also had 15 rebounds and 4 assists — and the latter number would have been a lot higher if not for his teammates’ poor shooting.
Jordan Dingle had 16 points, but he also shot poorly, 4-of-16 from the field, including 3-of-12 from three-point range.
Brown was led by Brandon Anderson’s 31 points and Zach Hunsaker’s 21.
“It exasperates the situation on defense when you’re just not making anything on offense. We struggled moving the ball, and that’s unfortunately as bad as we’ve played on offense in a long time.” — Penn coach Steve Donahue.
“He was 3-for-6 at one point, and he missed his last six, and four he probably shouldn’t have taken. He’s just a freshman, he’s got to learn. I take responsibility as a coach, just because I never got us into a flow on offense.” — Donahue on Dingle’s three-point shooting.
It was no surprise that Brodeur got jammed in the paint a lot, but it still seemed that at times Penn was back to a bad habit of missing threes when inside shots might have gone in.
This loss had a pretty big impact on the Ivy League standings. It knocked the Quakers down from what could have been a tie for second place — and a shot at first Saturday night — into a tie for fourth with Harvard.
First-place Yale (18-5, 6-1) comes to the Palestra on Saturday (6 p.m., ESPN+) fresh off an 88-64 romp at Princeton on Friday. Harvard (15-7, 4-3) will host last-place Columbia after an 85-63 trouncing of fellow strugglers Cornell.
And since Harvard hosts Princeton and Penn next weekend, the Crimson could be poised to build a considerable lead in the race for the last Ivy League tournament berth.
There is one thing to look forward to Saturday night on 33rd Street: Brodeur is two baskets away from breaking Penn legend Ernie Beck’s program record for most made field goals in a career, 704.