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Penn 62 Princeton 55 (OT).

Box Score

Postgame audio - Coach Sydney Johnson, Zach Finley & Patrick Saunders:

For the next few weeks, Freshman forward Patrick Saunders will remember his first Penn/Princeton game every time he looks in the mirror.

Saunders needed stitches under his right eye following the Tigers' 62-55 overtime loss to Penn, the recipient of an elbow to the face midway through the second half doled out by Quaker Conor Turley.

"It's Princeton/Penn," said Princeton head coach Sydney Johnson. "Maybe sometimes if no one gets hurt it's not a Princeton/Penn game."

The Tigers were the ones hurting at the final buzzer after dropping their fifth straight game to their rivals from Philadelphia.

Despite shooting 4-17 from the field, Tyler Bernardini led all scorers with 18 points, one of three Quakers in double figures. Bernardini was 9-11 at the free throw line.

Starting at forward for the Tigers, Zach Finley recorded Princeton’s first double-double of the season with 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Saunders added 11 points, nine rebounds and six blocks off the bench before fouling out.

Penn grabbed 18 offensive rebounds. Princeton committed 20 turnovers.

Finley got the starting nod in place of Kareem Maddox, as Coach Johnson looked to shake up his rotation. "We settled into a rut over the weekend where Yale and Brown imposed their will," Johnson said. "I just wanted to try and sneak [Zach] out there and see how we could start."

Despite this change, Princeton's night still started poorly. Penn opened up an early 9-2 lead when Bernardini used a high screen to find space on the wing for his only three point shot of the game.

Out of the first media time out, the Tigers responded with 13 straight. Douglas Davis connected on the side of the arc to bring Princeton within four and center Pawel Buczak backed down Jack Eggleston for two.

When Marcus Schroder drove and dished to Saunders for a triple, Princeton had its first lead at 10-9.

The run wasn't done. Finley took a Bernardini charge at one end and hooked one home at the other.

Dan Mavraides, Princeton's leading scorer in Ivy play, sized up a deep three - the assist to Finley - and the Tigers had gone up five. Penn coach Glenn Miller called a time out to try and slow down Princeton on offense.

Follwing the stoppage, with the shot clock about to expire, Penn freshman point guard Zack Rosen converted a three in front of Princeton's bench to tug the Quakers back within three.

In addition to Finley's start, another rotation change was freshman John Comfort moving up the depth chart. Comfort replaced Schroeder at the 14:18 mark of the first half and hit twice from outside. The second of these two shots, set up out of the post by Saunders, put Princeton in front 26-15.

Eggleston answered in the paint, getting position on Finley and drawing the foul.

The Tiger advantage stood at 11 with 5:51 remaining before the break. Carelessness with the basketball, needless fouls and two big shots by the Quakers allowed Penn to climb up within two.

Rosen freed himself on a crossover and rose up for a jumper to make the score 29-20.

Schroeder was called for a hold and Eggleston made both ends of a one-and-one.

Following two Finley free throws, Justin Reilly's turn-around jumper in the post changed the score to 31-24.

A lob by Comfort to Kareem Maddox was intercepted by Eggleston and Bernardini was fouled at the end of a Penn possession battling for an offensive board. The Quakers were within five after Bernardini's free throws.

Comfort lost the ball off his leg and back to the Quakers, allowing Penn to hold for the final shot. Rosen dribbled up top and passed to Eggleston, who found Kevin Egee drifting behind the arc in front of the Princeton bench. Egee's shot sailed through the rim as time ran out and Penn had survived to make it a game again.

"It was pivotal," said Johnson of the stretch before the end of the first half. "They were able to go into halftime feeling pretty solid. You could see their body language with about four and a half minutes [left]. It was not as confident, and then they got their act together and made it a two point game at halftime. That changed the outcome of the game, I think, from the standpoint of them feeling like they could compete all night. That hurt us".

The Tigers shot 10-18 from the field in the first half (55.6%), but were undone by 12 turnovers.

Princeton had one field goal in the last eight minutes of the opening frame and the Tigers' offensive nap continued as play resumed. Buczak could not finish and Bernardini tied the game on the break, laying home a Rosen pass. Davis double-clutched his way to the basket for two off glass to give the Tigers a 33-31 edge, but that would be the only Princeton bucket in the second half's initial 6:24.

Rosen stole the ball from Schroeder and drove to give the Quakers their first lead since 9-7. On Princeton's next possession Rosen picked off a pass from Buczak on the wing and had his second layup in a minute.

Buczak fouled Eggleston going up and Eggleston split at the line. Penn was now on top 39-33.

With the shot clock at two and Princeton inbounding under its own basket, the ball came to Buczak just inside the free throw line. Buczak's jumper hit high off the rim and Mavraides was able to flip the rebound home.

It wasn't enough to stop Penn's push. Center Cam Lewis began to have success inside. A drive by Eggleston was dished to Lewis for two. Eggleston found Lewis in the paint a second time and Penn was up seven.

Buczak recorded his fourth personal as Egee grabbed the rebound of an errant Bernardini three from around him. Johnson chose to leave Buczak in the game to box out with Egee at the line and Buczak fouled out one second later as he steamrolled Lewis trying to track down Egee's missed free throw.

Buczak's night concluded with 10:27 left to play.

A lob by Turley to Lewis was slammed home to send the Quakers to a 45-36 advantage. Sydney Johnson called time out.

Schroeder drove down the right baseline and threw a pass straight ahead to Saunders in the far corner for a much-needed three. The ball went back to Princeton when Turley was called for an offensive foul battling inside.

With Johnson screaming "Elbow! Elbow!" to the officials, the referees stopped play to review the severity of Turley's actions on the monitor at press row. The television replay confirmed what Saunders' bloodied face had suggested. After a long delay, the officials brought both coaches together and informed them that they were going to rule Turley's foul flagrant and eject Turley from the game.

Then things got weird.

Dan Mavraides went to the free throw line by himself to take two shots, while Saunders and Johnson conferred with the officials.

Mavraides was off the mark, but Johnson convinced the officials that since this was a flagrant foul and not a technical foul, it was Saunders who should be at the line because he was the one who had been elbowed by Turley.

The officials waved off Mavraides' just-attempted shot and put Saunders at the stripe in his place. Saunders connected twice, and after this lengthy pause the score was 45-41. The ball remained with Princeton.

Princeton's momentum looked to have been stopped when Schroeder tried an ill-advised drive into traffic and was blocked down by Rob Belcore.

Following a Mavraides steal, Finley took the ball in the post and dished over his head to Saunders cutting down the baseline. Saunders went up all alone but got caught under the basket and blew the layup.

Schroeder came up with a steal from Harrison Gaines and dished to Finley in transition to bring Princeton back within two.

Finley stole Eggleston's entry pass to Lewis, coming over his man to knock the ball away. At the opposite side of Jadwin Finley turned to his right posting Lewis in the block and banked it home while being fouled by the Penn big man, tying the score and sending Finley to the line following a media time out.

While Finley has improved to a 74.4% free throw shooter this season and was 4-5 at the line against Penn, he could not give Princeton the lead.

Mavraides held Eggleston posting with 4:05 to go, Princeton's 11th team foul. Both free throws were good.

Mavraides sent Bernardini to the line, forced to foul him before he could shoot as Bernardini blew by him on the left baseline.

Princeton was down four with just over two minutes on the clock.

Saunders blocked Bernardini's drive and Schroeder controlled while tightroping the baseline, fouled foolishly by Egee. It was Penn's seventh foul and Schroeder made the front end but missed the back end of his one-and-one.

Zach Rosen's jumper at the free throw line looked like it might ice things with 1:56 left, but fellow freshman Davis had a three point answer to make the score 51-49.

Davis stole Bernardini's pass down the baseline. Stepping in front of a dish intended for Rosen in the corner.

Mavraides faked a three and pulled up at the free throw line, his shot bounding high off the rim. Zach Finley had possession at the bottom of the ensuing scrum and fortunately for the Tigers the arrow was in their favor.

Johnson used his team's final time out to draw up a play with :36 left in regulation.

Schroeder inbounded to Davis, who dribbled from his left to his right and fired a no look pass to Finley bisecting the lane, who had his arms pushed down by Egee as he attempted to get a shot off, putting Finley at the line.

Finley made the first, sat through a Penn time out that they hoped might ice him at the line and then made the second to tie the score at 51.

Quaker ball. Chance to win. Rosen holding. Letting the clock run down. A pass to Bernardini. Dribbles to his right. Takes a contested jumper. Long. Rebound Finley. Pass to Davis. 80-footer at the buzzer hits the shot clock on top of the backboard. Overtime.

Princeton was looking for their first overtime win since defeating Harvard in February 2007.

Finley lost the tip to Lewis. Schroeder nearly disrupted Penn's initial possession of the extra frame with a steal, but Rosen controlled before Schroeder could get both hands on the ball. Eggleston tried a three that was short, but Egee tracked down the line drive.

Bernardini's layup on the left side with one on the shot clock was short off the rim, but Bernardini grabbed his own board and was fouled going back up. One free throw later and Penn was up one.

Davis's jumper at the top of the key with 2:51 to go went out of bounds and back to the Tigers on a deflection. Given a second chance, Davis could not connect from the perimeter.

Schroeder dove to try and snare a loose ball as it rolled out of bounds, but the ball stayed with Penn and before any time could run off the clock Davis was whistled for holding Ganies as he cut.

Both free throws were good and Penn led by three.

Mavraides flipped one up with his off hand under Lewis to bring the Tigers back within one, before Gaines found Rosen and Rosen finished Gaines' play with a three on the wing to make it a two possession game.

Davis had two turnovers in the final two minutes - a miscommunication with Finley as the former tried to find the latter going into the paint from up top and an offensive foul with under a minute to go as Finley tried to post up.

Penn made five of six at the line and the Quakers had won their third straight Ivy contest and their third game in five days.

It was a game of runs and counter-runs, of sloppy stretches and downright strange moments, but the result was the same as it has been each of the last three seasons.

When asked what bothered him most about Tuesday's game, Johnson summarized the night succinctly - "20 turnovers, 18 offensive rebounds, and Princeton lost to Penn."


-Princeton was 18-49 for the game from the floor (36.7%), their third straight game with 37% shooting. The Tigers went 8-18 from three (44.4%) and 11-16 at the free throw line (68.8%). Penn was just 19-57 on the night (33.3%), 4-15 from outside (26.7%) and 20-30 from the charity stripe (66.7%).

-Saunders' six blocks were the most by a Princeton player against a D-I opponent since Chris Young swatted six versus Brown in 2000. Zach Finley had seven blocks against Chaminade at the Maui Invitational last year.

-Kareem Maddox played just three minutes off the bench.

-Zane Ma was in uniform for the first time this season.

-In town for the week, Pete Carril sat on the Princeton bench watching Penn warm up about 45 minutes before the opening tip.

-Penn won while trailing at halftime for the first time this year.

David Lewis said,

February 17, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

Agonizing loss. 20 turnovers and 18 offensive rebounds for Penn were the difference. Why did Princeton have forwards bringing the ball upcourt when they have Davis and Schroeder in the back court? I remember in the South Carolina game seeing Maddox bringing the ball up and having numerous turnovers. It seems strange that we have one the best ball handlers we have had in years and we don't use him in obvious situations. Davis had a bad turnover in the first half and was yanked for the remainder of the half. Why didn't he go back in when the lead started to slip away at the end of the half? What about Maddox? I guarantee we don't give up 18 offensive boards if he plays his normal 25 minutes. I just hate seeing Princeton lose to Penn. The guy next to me was a Penn fan who had a shirt on that said "I root for anyone to beat Princeton....even if they are playing Iraq." Nice sentiment. Enough said.

Stuart Schulman said,

February 18, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

What little information I can find on flagrant fouls does not indicate that Turley will necessarily be suspended for the next game vs. Dartmouth. Could the Ivy office issue any further suspensions, and are they likely to do so?

Jon Solomon said,

February 18, 2009 @ 3:37 pm


While a flagrant foul carries an automatic ejection, league officials must decide whether a player's intentions should lead to further punishment.

There have been a few cases in Big 10 play this season where a team has decided to suspend a player for one game and the league has agreed with this decision, but there are also cases where punishment was handed down by the conference, not the team.

In the SEC a flagrant ejection is not the same as a "fighting ejection," which carries an automatic suspension.

While I will admit that I did not see the play when it happened live, I do not think additional punishment will be handed out.


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