Penn v. Harvard postgame presser

After Penn's 75-72 victory over Harvard Saturday night, coach Jerome Allen spoke about the sense of desperation and urgency he saw in his team. Top scorers Tony Hicks and Darien Nelson-Henry talk about their performances and what it meant to play in a big-game atmosphere in a packed and energized Palestra.

Game 28: Harvard – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Good Bad & Ugly

FULL RECAP // BOX SCORE 

What a difference a night makes. After fizzling away Friday night against Dartmouth, the Quakers were back with a vengeance, getting the underdog victory over Harvard, 75-72. In a league of upsets, a truly dominant team has yet to emerge, though the Crimson had come into the weekend looking like the cream of the crop of the Ivy League, before being swept by Princeton and Penn. In front of a crowded Palestra, despite it being spring break, the Quakers avenged a loss in Cambridge from earlier this season, and just like the second matchup against the Crimson last year, came away with the win.

THE GOOD: The freshmen

The rookie Quakers — Darien Nelson-Henry and Tony Hicks in particular — controlled the court tonight and led Penn to its win. Nelson-Henry brought in 18 points on the night on an 8-for-13 performance from the field, which was in addition to 11 rebounds — three of which were offensive — and three steals. Hicks, who led the Red and Blue in scoring, went 9-for-17 to rake in 24 points for the Quakers as well as three steals, four boards and a team-high five assists.

THE ALSO GOOD: The Quakers’ defensive effort

Though the Crimson went on a run in the second, Penn kept Harvard to 26.1 percent shooting in the first half. Though four Harvard players scored double-digits, including a 20-point performance — 10 of which came from the free throw line — from sophomore forward Wesley Saunders, the usual executers were kept to low shooting percentages. Sophomore center Kenyatta Smith was limited to 2-for-7 shooting, senior guard Christian Webster went 5-for-14 and freshman guard Siyani Chambers was kept to 1-for-5 in his 40 minutes of play.

THE BAD: Fouling

The most memorable of the fouls was junior forward Dau Jok’s unnecessary last-second foul as Chambers was bringing down the ball to finish off the first half. But this was just one of many. The Quakers quickly went over the limit in both frames. In the first half, Penn made it to the bonus with seven minutes and 25 seconds left, reaching 12 in the frame, while in the second it reached this point with nine minutes and 59 seconds left after jumping to six quick fouls beforehand and 13 total in the second half. It seemed as though there was constant whistling coming from the referees. The Crimson raked in 24 points on 33 opportunities at the charity stripe.

THE UGLY: Three-point coverage down the stretch

Though the Quakers maintained the lead throughout the game, a win started to look questionable as Harvard started making shot after shot from beyond the arc. The Crimson went 8-for-11 from three in the second half, after just going 2-for-10 in the previous stanza. The Crimson were notching almost every opportunity for a trey during this frame, with junior guard Laurent Rivard leading the way, going 4-for-4 from beyond the arc during the second half. In the final five minutes and 41 seconds, the Crimson brought in 15 points from three-point shooting, including notching two in the final 13 seconds. Harvard actually outscored Penn, 46-37, in the second half but the Quakers had built up a big enough cushion in the first to maintain the lead until the final buzzer.

Has Yale already ended the Quakers’ volleyball season?

Last weekend, the Penn volleyball team beat Princeton. Now what?

The Quakers are tied with Harvard for third place in the Ivy League Standings, one game behind Princeton and three games behind undefeated defending champion Yale. Now beginning its second pass through the Ivy gauntlet, Penn not only must win but has to do what all teams hate doing: Hope its opponents will lose.

Unfortunately, this does not seem to be a very realistic proposal. Not only has Yale yet to lose a single game to an Ivy opponent, they have only lost two sets in the Ivy season — one to Brown and one to Dartmouth, the two teams tied for last place in the Ivy League rankings. The Bulldogs are opportunistic and excel against competitive teams that have given them problems in the past, like Princeton. Their offense thrives, even against strong defensive back rows like Penn, and is ranked third in the nation in both kills and assists per set.

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Kyle Casey, others to withdraw from Harvard amidst cheating scandal

UPDATE (6:37 p.m.) — The Boston Herald is reporting that Harvard basketball co-captain Brandyn Curry is also expected to withdraw from the university today and miss the upcoming basketball season.

8:39 a.m. — News broke early this morning that Harvard basketball captain Kyle Casey is set to withdraw from Harvard this year. He is implicated in a cheating case with about 130 other students from a Government class last semester. A student told The Crimson more than half of the 279-person class played a varsity sport, though not all of them are necessarily being investigated.

Investigations began by Harvard's Ad Board in late August, when it was determined that students had collaborated on the Government 1310 take-home exam.

While the investigations could take until November, athletes involved have been advised to withdraw from the university for the term or year in order to save eligibility. Multiple sources have told SI.com that Casey is choosing to withdraw, and additionally Brandyn Curry and another unnamed basketball player are involved in the case and under review.

The football team is "preparing for the worst," an unnamed player told The Crimson.

The deadline to withdraw is today, so stay tuned for more updates as we will surely see some recognizable names save themselves a year of eligibility. Those who do not withdraw and are later found to be guilty -- no matter at what point during the season -- will lose a year of eligibility. Wins could be vacated from a team if a player is later deemed ineligible.

Harvard knocked out of NCAA by Vanderbilt in first round

Earlier this season, many thought the Harvard Crimson had a legitimate shot at advancing deep into the NCAA tournament — at least deeper than usual Ivy contender.

Not yet. In its first tourney appearance since 1946, Harvard fell, 79-70, to SEC tournament champion Vanderbilt in Albuquerque, N.M. The Crimson played Vandy close through much of the first half, but the Commodores pulled away before the break, thanks to a 13-0 run. Harvard was able to narrow the deficit to five with just a minute and a half left, but couldn't close the gap.

BOX SCOREVanderbilt 79, Harvard 70

Crimson sophomore Laurent Rivard led Harvard with 20 points. Forwards Keith Wright and Kyle Casey scored eight and 13 points, respectively. Wright added nine rebounds. Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins scored 27, shooting 7-for-12.

It will still be a banner season for Harvard. The Crimson cracked the Top-25 rankings for several weeks, and captured their first-ever outright Ivy League title.

Penn basketball to host Quinnipiac in CBI postseason game Wednesday

Penn men's basketball missed out on its shot at an Ivy playoff and the chance to play for an NCAA tournament bid last week in a crushing loss to Princeton — but the Quakers will have at least a chance to end on a better note.

After missing out on a bid to the National Invitational Tournament, the Quakers will host a game in the College Basketball Invitational Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against Quinnipiac out of the Northeast Conference. The Bobcats lost to eventual NEC champion Long Island in the conference semifinals. For Penn it is the program's 25th post-season appearance, but just second outside of the NCAA tournament.

Quinnipiac beat Yale, 68-62, in November. The other common opponent between the Bobcats and Quakers this season is Robert Morris, which lost to Qunnipiac twice this season by narrow margins. Penn beat RMU by six in the fourth game of the season. The Bobcats have an RPI of 155, compared to Penn, which sits at 98.

If Penn advances, it would play the winner of Delaware-Butler. The Quakers beat Delaware by nine earlier this season. Butler is the two-time NCAA tournament runner-up. The quarterfinal game would be Monday, March 19th.

Princeton will also play in the CBI, traveling to Evansville, in a bracket that also features Wofford and Pittsburgh. You can view the full CBI bracket here.

Earlier in the day, Harvard heard its fate during the NCAA tournament selection show. The 12th seeded Crimson travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to face Vanderbilt, a five-seed in the East region. The Commodores beat No. 1 overall seed Kentucky earlier Sunday to capture the SEC title. Should Harvard advance, they will likely face No. 4 Wisconsin in the next round.

No Ivy teams made the NIT, though Princeton was considered a bubble team for that tournament. Philadelphia's lone representative in the NCAA tournament is fifth-seeded Temple, which will take on the winner of California/Southern Florida in the Midwest region. La Salle and St. Joseph's will both represent the Big 5 in the NIT, facing Minnesota and Northern Iowa, respectively. Drexel, which barely missed the cut for the NCAA tournament, will also play in the NIT against Central Florida. Yale will also get another chance to play, facing former Princeton coach Sydney Johnson at Fairfield in the first round of the College Insider Tournament (CIT). The Stags lost in the MAAC conference finals last week.

On Friday, Penn Athletics emailed basketball season ticket holders informing them that the Quakers would play in a postseason tournament, hosting a game at the Palestra Wednesday if the Quakers didn't make the NIT. The email offered an exclusive presale to season ticket holders, adding the general admission tickets would go on sale Monday.

CBI host teams pay a substantial sum to play the game on their home court. According to this piece from Hamptonroads.com, it costs $35,000 to host a first-round matchup. Teams recoup costs in ticket and concession sales, as well as eliminated travel costs. Chairback seats will cost $20, general admissions will be $12 and student tickets will be $5. Penn needs only to sell about 3,000 tickets $12 to make back the entrance-fee cost. That shouldn't be a problem for Penn, which averaged about 4,400 per home game this season.

The Red and Blue Crew will sell student tickets to the game on Locust Walk Tuesday and Wednesday.

Jerome Allen post-game transcript

Since the video of Jerome Allen's meeting with the media was almost completely inaudible, here is the transcript of his quotes:

Jerome Allen
To battle last night, and then to come back tonight with the right focus, and to pay attention to details, and to be somewhat locked in, and the things you try to accomplish is just a testament to just their desire.

On Harvard’s defense in the second half:
We said regardless of what’s going on, let’s trust one another, let’s play for one another and continue to defend. When the ball’s not going in the basket, if you defend, you’re still giving yourself a chance to win.

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Jerome Allen greeted by the Penn band after the game

The Penn Band greeted every each and every player as they exited the locker room.

Jerome Allen Postgame Interviews

We know you probably can't hear anything, but we'll do our best to post a transcript tomorrow during the day.

Game 28: Harvard — The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

The Good: A comeback win against a quality opponent. Penn has played to its competition all year. It has had close losses against teams that are good, but beatable (ie Temple) and they play poorly against teams they should crush (ie Dartmouth). Today, however, the Quakers played poorly, especially in the first half, but still managed to pull off a victory. The win says a lot about their character and hopefully they can carry this momentum to the end of the season.

Also Good: Zack Rosen. The man can straight-up play. It might be beating a dead horse by this point, but he really carried the Quakers offense this weekend. Rosen, struggled from the field, only shooting 6-for-14, but with the game on the line he demanded the ball and he delivered.

Also Good Pt. 2: This will go along with the bad (see fouls), but the Quakers played solid defense all game long. The numbers won't reflect it, but Rob Belcore was guarding Kyle Casey or Steve Moundou-Missi the entire night, giving up almost 50 pounds to Casey. Henry Brooks and Fran Dougherty were active and disruptive all game and even collected a couple of blocks each.

The Bad: Inability to create offense. Penn could only score 22 points in the first half. They left runners hanging, they were sloppy with their shot selection, and they missed wide-open looks. The Red and Blue played much better in the second half, but still need to find a way to make up Tyler Bernardini's missing production.

The Ugly: Fouls. Penn committed eight fouls in the first half and 12 in the second. The problem was the Quakers committed many of the fouls early and often. In the second half, the Crimson were in the bonus midway through the period. Both guard Steve Rennard and forward Henry Brooks, fouled out. Harvard shot 26 free throws for the entire game, dwarfing Penn's 11 free-throw attempts. (Note: Penn hit 11 of their 12 FTs; Harvard hit 20 of 26)