Fans all around the league were joking and laughing as Penn had stumbled in the most humiliating manner. The “worst” team in the league was spanking the Quakers on its home floor. The Palestra was silent.
Princeton 53, Penn 35. 7:35 to go.
There was a small group of Ivy aficionados who remained uneasy. They remembered what CN8 would later remind all those who tuned in: Feb. 9, 1999 at The Palestra. The Quakers led the Tigers 40-13 only to lose 50-49. A 37-9 run closed out quite possibly the wildest game in Ivy history.
Here, Penn guard Tim Begley drew a foul on the Quakers’ next possession and got to the free-throw line. An unexciting 1-of-2 trip hardly hinted of any pulse Penn might have had left. But Penn guard Eric Osmundson snatched the rebound off a missed three-pointer by his teammate Ibrahim Jabber, hit the layup, and drew a foul. After a quick Princeton turnover, Osmundson was at it again, nailing a three-pointer while getting body-checked by Tigers forward Andre Logan.
The Palestra came back alive. The rest of the league shifted a bit in its seats.
A minor setback, that was all.
Princeton 53, Penn 43. 6:38 remaining.
Tigers center Judson Wallace—who carried his team on his ailing back all night—drew a foul from Jaaber. Wallace nailed both. Out of view of the CN8 cameras, a large plastic lid was then placed on the hoop.
Penn center Jan Fikiel hit a layup. On the subsequent possession, the first shoe dropped. Wallace picked up his fourth foul.
Forward Steve Danley went 1-of-2 from the line, and Fikiel nailed a big three from the corner.
The Palestra was going nuts. The rest of the league cringed.
Princeton 55, Penn 49. 4:20 left.
The Tigers moved the ball down the floor at a deliberate pace. They worked the ball around for 34 seconds. Finally, Princeton center Mike Stephens missed a three. On their next possession, the Tigers bled the shot clock dry before guard Scott Greenman launched a trifecta. Nothing.
Logan grabbed the offensive board. 30 more seconds later, Stephens fired up a jumper. Clank.
Danley furthered Penn’s cause by sinking a free throw and converting a layup on the subsequent possession.