Rosen’s 29 Points, Early Second Half Spurt Lead Penn Men’s Basketball Past Delaware, 69-60
December 7, 2011
Photos Courtesy of Chris Mlynarczyk (Hagins) and Mark Jordan (Lewis)
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Penn senior guard Zack Rosen scored 29 points and the Quakers used a 17-2 run early in the second half to defeat the University of Delaware, 69-60, in men’s basketball non-conference action Wednesday night at The Palestra.
Rosen, who entered the game leading the Ivy League and ranked 12th in the nation with 21.3 points per game, also dished out a game-high eight assists and hit all 12 of his free throw attempts as Penn evened its record at 5-5 on the season. Guard Tyler Bernardini contributed 16 points, six rebounds and four steals for the Quakers, while Rob Belcore added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Delaware, which fell to 3-4 on the season and has now lost all four of its road games, was led by freshman Kyle Anderson who poured in 13 points. Junior forward Jamelle Hagins (at right) recorded his fourth consecutive double-double with 11 points and 10 boards, while freshman guard Khalid Lewis (at left) reached season-highs with 10 points and seven assists.
Junior Josh Brinkley was the fourth Blue Hen in double figures as he chipped in with 10 points. However sophomore guard Devon Saddler, who entered the game as the second leading scorer in Division I at 24.7 points per game, was held to just six points and sat out the final 13:19 of the contest. Saddler, who had led Delaware in scoring during each of the first six contests of the year, also had his streak of 20-point games snapped at five.
“You have to credit Penn, I thought they were well-prepared tonight and did a nice job,” said sixth-year Delaware head coach Monté Ross. “We weren’t sharp offensively, and had too many turnovers in the early part of the first half. We had a few communication gaps during their second half run that gave them some easy baskets, and they did a better job running their sets that we did tonight.”
Despite their slow start the Blue Hens ended the game shooting 44.2 percent from the field (23 of 52), but went just 4 of 14 from behind the arc and only 10 of 17 from the free throw line. Delaware limited the Quakers to 36.8 percent shooting for the game (21 of 57), but Penn knocked down 5 of 9 three-pointers in the second half and finished the contest 20 of 23 from the charity stripe.
Penn jumped out to 9-2 lead as the Blue Hens opened 1 of 5 from the field with six turnovers, before a breakaway dunk by Saddler and a basket inside by Hagins pulled UD within 9-6 with 12:26 left in first half.
The Quakers responded with four straight points and led the rest of the half, going up 26-20 at the 2:10 mark on a three-pointer from the top of the key by Rosen. But Jarvis Threatt drained a three-pointer from the left corner and Lewis converted a dunk in transition as the Blue Hens pulled to within 26-25 at the break.
Delaware took its first lead of the game when Saddler opened the second half with a bucket but Penn quickly answered with a 9-0 run, taking a 35-27 lead on a Bernardini three-pointer with 17:06 remaining. Anderson hit a jumper to make it a six-point game but the Quakers countered with eight consecutive points, including five by Belcore, to extend the spurt to 17-2 and take a 43-29 advantage at the 12:53 mark.
The Quakers were still up 14 at 48-34 but four points by Hagins, two free throws by Brinkley, and a fast break layup by Lewis got Delaware within 48-42 with 7:27 remaining. However Steve Rennard drilled a three-pointer for Penn, his first points of the season, and after a basket by Brinkley, Rosen scored twice as the Quakers went back up double digits at 55-44 with 5:12 to play.
Delaware would not go away, as inside baskets by Hagins and Brinkley cut the Quaker lead to 55-48 with 4:26 on the clock. But on Penn’s next possession Bernardini hit a big three-pointer from the right wing before Rosen added two free throws to make it a 60-48 game with 1:52 left.
The Blue Hens answered with a three-pointer by Anderson, and following a steal, a layup by Lewis to pull within 60-53 with 1:29 on the clock. Another triple by Anderson made it a six-point game with 51 seconds left, but Delaware would get no closer.
The Blue Hens return to action on Saturday with a 1 p.m. game at Delaware State in this year’s edition of the Route 1 Rivalry.