Game 25: Harvard – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (W. Hoops)

Good Bad & Ugly

 

 

 

 

 

Penn’s six-game winning streak came to an end tonight as the Quakers (15-10, 8-3 Ivy) fell to the Crimson (17-8, 8-3 Ivy), 67-54. With tonight’s loss, Harvard and Penn are now tied for second place in the Ivy League standings.

THE GOOD: Penn’s resilience with a young team.

After a difficult first half where the Quakers fell behind by as many as 20 points, Penn proved that it would not go down without a fight. The Quakers showed some spark at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half. Though Penn’s offense went cold again and the Quakers ultimately let the game get away from them at the end of the second half, the resilience of Penn’s team after a bad first half is a good sign. For Penn’s younger players, such as freshman guard Keiera Ray, to maintain their stamina and focus despite an uphill battle and large deficit shows promise for the future as the team matures.

THE BAD: Penn’s first half.

Penn struggled to get on the board at the start of the game, and this was a foreshadowing of what was to come for most of the night. In the first half, Penn only made 21% of their shots, including going 2-13 from three. Even more troubling was Penn’s defensive efforts which are usually the strongest asset of their game. The Crimson outrebounded 24-15 in the first half. Though Penn got within six by the middle of the second half, the energy the Quakers expended on keeping the game within reach in the beginning ultimately led to their inability to keep up with Harvard.

THE UGLY: The possible loss of Penn’s postseason berth.

Barring any major upsets, tonight’s Harvard loss may have sealed Penn out of any postseason action. Though both the Quakers and the Crimson are tied for second place, Penn still has to face first-place Princeton in its last game of the season. In their first meeting, the Tigers whooped Penn, handing them a 30-point loss, 77-47. Though the Quakers have improved since then, beating Princeton may be too tall an order. By comparison, Harvard’s remaining schedule should be a walk in the park, facing last-place Columbia twice and Cornell once.

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