Zack Rosen scored 25 points and Miles Cartwright added 22 to lead the Penn Quakers (14-11, 6-2 Ivy) over the Cornell Big Red (10-13, 5-4 Ivy) 73-66 in an Ivy League thriller.
The game started out back and forth. Miles Cartwright scored six points early to give Penn a 6-4 lead with around 16:28 left in the first half. However, missed layups and turnovers plagued the Quakers early. Both teams shared three pointers, and traveling violations for the next five minutes.
Both teams failed to make stops, as Penn led Cornell 27-23 with five minutes left in the half. It went back and forth for the rest of the half, and a Miles Cartwright buzzer beater gave Penn a 35-29 lead at the break.
Cartwright led all scorers with 14 points, and Cornell guard Drew Ferry had 11 points.
The half was clearly controlled by Penn. The Quakers shot 5/8 from beyond the arc. Zack Rosen and Miles Cartwright controlled the tempo, and ran fundamentally sound half court offense. However, there were too many turnovers, for the Quakers and Cornell. Too many traveling violations, charges, and errant passes. The 17 total turnovers plagued both teams in the first half.
Cornell jumped out to an 13-7 run to tie the game at 42 minutes. The Big Red continued their momentum behind Drew Ferry and Jonathan Gray, who had a combined eight points in the first seven minutes of the second half. Cornell improved their lead to six points after a layup.
Fran Dougherty and Zack Rosen scored back-to-back layups cutting Cornell's lead to two points. A missed three pointer and a pair of missed foul shots doomed Cornell in their next two possessions. Rosen ended up tying the game at 49 apiece with a short jumper. Tyler Bernardini then struck gold, with a massive three pointer that put the Palestra crowd on it's feet. Penn was leading 52-49.
A Wroblewski layup finally ended the Quakers run. However, Miles Cartwright hit his fourth three pointer of the game, giving Penn a 55-52 lead with six minutes to play. Drew Ferry tied the ballgame at 55 with a banked-in three. Shonn Miller slammed it home in transition to give Cornell a little 7-0 run and take the lead 59-55 with 4:20 remaining.
Rosen nailed a three with 3:50 left, and Shonn Miller picked up his third foul after Rosen stole a pass. Rosen made the foul shots, but a NBA three pointer by Cornell guard Chris Wroblewski gave the Big Red the lead.
As usual, the other senior guard answered. Rosen made an "even longer" three to answer Wroblewski's with 1:50 to play.
Then, Rosen made one of the biggest three pointers of the season. Rosen's three gave the Quakers a 66-52 lead with a minute to play. He had 11 straight points for Penn down the stretch.
Wroblewski also made a pair of free throws.
Can you guess what happened next? Yet another three. This time by Miles Cartwright, his career-high fifth of the game. That sealed the deal for the Quakers, as they defeated the Big Red 73-66 in a thrilling game.
After the game, Coach Allen was content with the victory. "We put ourselves in an extremely hard position to win the game."
Concerning Cartwright's play, Zack Rosen said "Miles is the reason we won the game. Didn't defend at all. Miles helped us out. We need to come back tomorrow night with more urgency, more focus, better execution."
How good is Zack Rosen?
Rosen nailed numerous NBA range three pointers in the victory over Cornell. When asked what he thought after his first three to give Penn a four point lead, Rosen said "Thank God. I practice and work at those threes, and Coach [Allen] trusts me."
On the other side of the ball, Cornell head coach Bill Courtney wasn't shocked by Rosen's 25 point night. "Well, I'm glad I don't have to coach against him again. He was tremendous. I couldn't believe he took that shot."
Rosen scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half, "We did a good job defending him for 36 minutes. He's so crafty with the ball."
The Quakers take on Columbia tomorrow. Coach Allen said that his team needs to get more stops, and rebound better. "We need to finish our defensive possesions. You win a basketball game by making stops and scoring. That's it. We had too many careless turnovers."
Tyler Bernardini played only 22 minutes, and did not start. "Tyler has had health issues. He toughed it out tonight. I applaud him for that.
For Rosen, "This Is It." The senior has only a handful of games left with the Quakers, and would like to finish with an Ivy League title.
Cornell visits Princeton tomorrow night.