Penn outlasts Harvard in game of runs, wins Ivy League title, 68-65

PHILADELPHIA — When the #IvyMadness dust settled, there was only one team remaining. And for the first time since 2007, the second-seeded University of Pennsylvania (24-8, 12-2 Ivy) men’s basketball team secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament with a 68-65 win over No. 1 Harvard (18-13, 12-2) in the Ivy League Tournament.

Powered by a double-double from AJ Brodeur and a 24-0 run across two halves, the Quakers won their first ever Ivy League Tournament title and, in the process, became the first team to ever knock off the tournament’s top seed.


After the Crimson logged the opening score, Darnell Foreman put together a personal 6-0 run to give the Quakers the lead out of the first media timeout. The senior guard put up 11 of Penn’s first 13 points, matching Harvard’s total scoring through seven minutes of play.

A trio of early treys for the Crimson kept the game tied at the under-12 break, followed a seven-minute scoring drought for the Red and Blue that led to a double-digit deficit. Brodeur finally broke through for Penn, scoring on consecutive possessions to give the offense some life. Ryan Betley and Caleb Wood followed suit, getting on the board and the deficit to single digits as Harvard coach Tommy Amaker was forced to call a timeout to regroup with 3:20 left in the half.

But the Quakers were not ready to go quiet. Foreman hit a jumper and a long three once action resumed, then baskets by Betley and Brodeur made it a 10-0 run for the Red and Blue.

They weren’t done.

Foreman hit a contested three from way downtown just before the buzzer, sending the Quakers to the locker room on a 13-0 run, with a 34-32 lead, and a Palestra crowd threatening to blow the roof off.

Penn held Harvard scoreless the final 3:06 of the first half and hit seven of its final eight field goals to go into the break shooting 43.3 percent from the floor led by Foreman’s 19 points.

Out of the break, the Red and Blue weren’t ready to let up. Brodeur netted three straight baskets followed by two buckets from Betley that made it 24 unanswered points for the Quakers. The Crimson finally put an end to the extended run after almost eight minutes between the two halves, giving Penn a 45-32 lead in the process.

Harvard attempted to claw its way back, exchanging baskets before going on a 6-0 run to make it 48-41 at the under-12 timeout. After neither team was able to gain much ground, Wood found Brodeur inside for a layup to bring the Quakers’ lead back out to 10 with 7:56 to play.

The lead didn’t stay that large for long as the Crimson used a 13-0 run to take its first lead of the half and go up 58-55 with 5:06 to play. Two free throws from Wood got the Red and Blue back on the board and he tied it up at 60 one possession later after Harvard sunk a pair of their own from the charity stripe.

After a Harvard missed three, Wood took the ball again, sinking a three from deep as he was fouled to make it 63-60 at the 3:42 mark. Out of the final media timeout, he missed the free throw but forced a miss at the other end to keep it a three-point game.

Betley converted an old-fashioned three-point play on the ensuing possession to make it 66-60 and that’s where it stood into the final minute. A trey and two free throws for the Crimson made it 66-65 with 14 seconds to play and forcing them to send Betley to the line. He sank them both and Harvard couldn’t respond, sealing the 68-65 win and the Ivy championship.


The NCAA Tournament! The Quakers will find out their first-round opponent and location during tonight’s Selection Show. Later this week, they will make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007.

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