PHILADELPHIA—With the Harvard men’s basketball team down by two and just over 20 seconds left on the clock, freshman Bryce Aiken dribbled into the paint where he was fouled to put the Crimson in the bonus. He would make both to tie the game and give Penn one last possession.
For the second time in as many nights, though, Harvard could only watch as a last second shot decided the outcome of a game. The night before it was junior guard Amir Bell for Princeton. On Saturday night at the Palestra, it was sophomore guard Jackson Donahue for the Quakers.
Off the pass from freshman guard Devon Goodman, Donahue took a deep three just a step away from the Penn bench. The shot would hardly move the net as the Quakers would punch their ticket to the conference tournament on their home court next week.
“I thought both teams competed and played exceptionally hard and then Donahue just made an incredible shot there to win the game,” head coach Tommy Amaker said. “A lot of credit to their team and congratulations to Steve and their program for finishing in the top four.”
DIFFERENT ROAD, SAME ENDING
While yesterday’s heartbreaker saw the Crimson outrebound the Tigers and freshman Seth Towns drop a career high 26 points, Saturday’s matchup was a lot of the opposite.
With Towns in foul trouble early, the Crimson lost some of its scoring and rebounding on the court early on. The freshman—who came in averaging 8 rebounds per game over the last three games—earned two fouls within the first three minutes of the game.
With Towns on the bench early, the Crimson struggled to match up with a tall Penn squad. In the first half, the Quakers outrebounded Harvard 18-13 and 5-2 on the offensive glass.
The lack of size also gave Penn the advantage inside as Harvard fouled the home team early and often. The Quakers would go to the line for 10 free throws in the first frame and would convert on all of them.
While the Crimson looked solely to Towns yesterday, Saturday night was a significantly more balanced effort. At the half, freshman forward Robert Baker had eight points, Aiken had another eight, co-captain Siyani Chambers had seven, and senior forward Zena Edosomwan had another eight.
“I thought our kids, especially Zena in particular, played hard and had a sense of spirit about him and competed and played at an exceptionally high level as a veteran, senior player,” Amaker said. “I thought just being here at the Palestra, it always gives you a sense of excitement, this is a historic place and a lot of basketball has been played here.”
The balanced effort would continue into the second half as Aiken, Chambers, and Edosomwan would carry the offensive load for Harvard. Aiken finished with a team-high 17 points, Chambers added 12 and six assists, and Edosomwan would finish the night with 15 points and 4 rebounds on 7-of-10 shooting from the field.
“[My teammates] are just doing a good job,” Edosomwan said. “I know with Siyani and Justin and Seth and Bryce driving or making plays that if I do what I do, set a good screen and roll, that they’re going to find me. My job is to just focus and finish it.”
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