DAVIDSON, N.C. - A late rally wasn't enough as Penn came up short against Davidson, 75-70, Thursday night in a nonconference game at Belk Arena.
Penn senior guard Tyler Bernardini had a team-high 16 points, and senior guard Zack Rosen added 14 points and five assists. But the high-scoring duo connected on just 10 of 27 shots against a solid Davidson defense. The game was rugged, with 51 fouls being called. Players on both teams struggled to get open looks.
The Quakers (6-7) never trailed in the first half, leading by as many as eight points before going to intermission ahead 33-30. They led despite Rosen and Bernardini connecting on just 3 of 15 shots over the first 20 minutes.
The game turned in the opening minutes of the second half, when Wildcats Tom Droney and Clint Mann keyed a defensive surge that forced turnovers on three straight Penn possessions that led to six straight points for Davidson (8-4).
The 6-0 run resulted in the Wildcats' first lead of the game, and turned into a 12-1 surge that gave the hosts a lead they would not relinquish.
With Droney and Mann keying the defensive effort, backup guard Chris Czerapowicz and junior guard Nik Cochran sparked Davidson on offense. Cochran scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, including several key buckets when the Quakers made mini-runs trying to close the gap.
Czerapowicz, meanwhile, came off the bench to score a career-high 23 points, including 16 in the first half when Davidson's leading scorer, De'Mon Brooks, was held scoreless.
The Quakers trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half, but a 9-0 run keyed by Rosen and Bernardini cut the Davidson lead to three twice in the game's final minute. A Brooks bucket inside and a pair of foul shots by Cochran sealed the win in the final seconds.