PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's basketball team used a decisive run midway through the second half and knocked off Quinnipiac, 74-63, in an opening-round game of the CBI Presented by Zebra Pen on Wednesday night at The Palestra.
In the first postseason game hosted by Penn since 1978, the Quakers earned their first postseason win since 1994 and just their second since 1980.
The win moved the Quakers to 20-12 on the season, its first 20-win season since the 2006-07 team went 22-9. Penn advances to the quarterfinal round and will meet Butler -- an NCAA Tournament finalist the last two years -- Monday night at 8 p.m. in The Palestra. The Bulldogs advanced with a 75-58 win over Delaware Wednesday night in Indianapolis.
The first half was defined by runs on both sides. Penn used an eight-point run to turn a 6-5 deficit into a 13-6 lead. Quinnipiac responded a short time later with a seven-point streak to turn a 15-9 deficit into a 16-15 lead. Zack Rosen figured in 12 of Penn's 14 points after that to push the Quakers back out in front, 29-20. It was a 34-30 game at the half.
It was still 39-36 early in the second when Penn went on the decisive run. Rosen started it with a three-pointer, then Henry Brooks followed a Rosen miss with an offensive rebound and putback. Miles Cartwright got the lead to double digits for the first time in the game with a pair of free throws, and then Rosen fed Cartwright for a layup and hit his own shot. Just like that, the score was 52-36.
The lead eventually bulged to as much as 61-42, when Rob Belcore knocked down a trey.
Quinnipiac still had a run in it. The Bobcats moved to a full-court press, then fell back into a zone. That seemed to bother Penn, and before you knew it the score was 61-51 with just under five minutes remaining.
Belcore ended the stretch with a three-pointer from the right corner, although he was answered almost immediately by an Evan Conti layup and then a Jamee Jackson free throw. The Bobcats then had two chances to draw within single digits, but came up empty. Sophomore Marin Kukoc then salted the game away with a trey inside of two minutes.
Rosen ended Wednesday night's game with 16 points and dished off nine assists without a turnover. Cartwright was the game's high scorer, with 23 points; he also filled the box score with a career-high nine rebounds and a season-best six assists. Belcore ended the game with 14 points.
For Quinnipiac, Zaid Hearst had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. James Johnson scored 16 points, while Conti scored 14 and Ike Azotam scored 12 to go with eight boards.
Penn-Quinnipiac Game Notes: Penn won for the eight time in nine games, the ninth time in 11 contests, and the 13th time in 16 games ... Penn reached the 20-win mark for the first time since the 2006-07 season and the 29th time in program history ... Penn played the game without seniors Tyler Bernardini and Mike Howlett, both of whom did not dress ... Penn tied a team high in the Jerome Allen coaching era with 13 three-point baskets, and tied a season low with just seven turnovers ... Penn's 19/7 assist/turnover ratio was its best in a game this season ... Sophomore guard Miles Cartwright had his third 20-point game of the season, and first since Feb. 17 at Cornell ... Cartwright led Penn in scoring, snapping a streak of seven straight game where senior guard Zack Rosen led the Quakers in scoring ... Cartwright also set a season/career high with nine rebounds, added a season best with six assists, and tied a season/career high with five three-point baskets ... Cartwright went 5-of-6 on three-pointers for the second time this season (Feb. 17 vs. Cornell); that is tied for the best performance beyond the arc by a Penn player in the Allen coaching era ... Cartwright led Penn in rebounding, with nine; it was just the second time this season he has led the Quakers in that category in a game this season (also Nov. 14 vs. Temple) ... Rosen scored 16 points, his 16th straight game and 30th time this season in double digits ... Rosen had nine assists without a turnover; in the previous five games, he had just 10 assists and 17 turnovers ... Rosen became the program's single-season leader in assists ... Senior forward Rob Belcore scored 14 points, his 12th double-figure scoring game in the last 25 contests ... Freshman forward Henry Brooks tied season/career highs with two blocked shots and 24 minutes played ... Sophomore guard Marin Kukoc scored eight points, his best output since scoring nine at Duke on Jan. 1, and tied a season/career high with three assists ... Sophomore center Fran Dougherty scored eight points for the third time in the last four games.
Single-Season Record Book Watch: Senior guard Zack Rosen has played 1,219 minutes this season, the program's single-season record ... Rosen has 170 assists, the program's single-season record... Rosen has made 32 starts, tying a single-season record originally set in 2001-02 by Koko Archibong, Tim Begley, Jeff Schiffner and Ugonna Onyekwe ... Rosen has scored 591 points, which is sixth on the single-season list and the most by a Penn player since Tony Price scored 633 in 1978-79 ... Rosen has 74 three-point baskets, tied for seventh with Jeff Schiffner (2002-03) and the most since Tim Begley hit 76 in 2004-05 ... Senior forward Rob Belcore has 58 steals, fifth on the single-season list and the most since Ibrahim Jaaber had 90 in 2006-07.
All-Time Record Book Watch: Senior guard Zack Rosen had nine assists, giving him 585 for his career which is the program's all-time record ... Rosen has started 114 games in his career which is the program's all-time record ... Rosen played 38 minutes, giving him 4,158 for his career which is also a program mark ... Rosen has 1,712 career points which puts him third on Penn's all-time scoring list. (Ugonna Onyekwe is second, with 1,762 points from 2000-03.) ... Senior guard Tyler Bernardini has 1,456 career points which puts him 10th on Penn's all-time scoring list. (Current Head Coach Jerome Allen is ninth, with 1,488 points from 1992-95.) ... Rosen has 224 career three-point field goals which is third all-time. (Matt Maloney is second with 244 from 1993-95.) ... Bernardini has 199 career treys, which ties him with Garett Kreitz (1995-98) for sixth all-time ... Rosen has made 414 career foul shots which is fifth all-time. (Ernie Beck is fourth, with 419 made free throws from 1951-53.) ... Rosen has 153 career steals which is fourth all-time (Maloney is third, with 157 from 1993-95), while Bernardini has 132 steals which is ninth (Paul Chambers from 1989-92 and Shawn Trice from 1992-95 are tied for seventh with 134.) ... Bernardini has made 101 career starts which is tied with Michael Jordan and Geoff Owens are tied for fifth all-time ... Bernardini has played 3,275 career minutes which is seventh all-time. (Jaaber is sixth, with 3,569 minutes from 2004-07.)