Updated Feb. 8 at 9:45 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA, PA.—Following a thrilling 53-52 win against Princeton on Friday, the Lions (14-9, 3-3 Ivy) were unable to keep up with Penn (6-13, 3-2 Ivy) in a 68-60 loss.
Penn, coming off a 90-83 win against Cornell, remained unbeaten at home.
The Quakers were in control from the beginning, taking the lead five minutes into the game and not giving it up again. With Penn starters Miles Jackson-Cartwright and Darien Nelson-Henry held to zero and three points respectively, forward Fran Dougherty was the driving force behind the Penn offense, putting up 19 points in the first half alone.
“Honestly, I think my teammates just got me the ball in the right spots,” Dougherty said. “They did a great job of getting me the ball down low in spots where I could score.”
Penn was able to find the hoop on 15 of 22 field goal attempts, while Columbia sunk a mere nine of 21 in the half.
Penn's lead was never seriously threatened, as it pulled ahead 22-12 with eight minutes left in the first half thanks to a three by guard Steve Rennard.
The second half went much the same way as the first, as Penn began to further solidify its lead. Dougherty continued his impressive play, ending with 23 points, and was helped out by guard Tony Hicks, who put up 13 for the Quakers.
“Penn came out and had a game plan, and they stuck to it,” Light Blue head coach Kyle Smith said. “They obviously made a conscious effort to put the ball inside. And I think we're decent at being able to defend around the rim with our length and our size, but they got the better of us.”
The Lions were able to inject a little drama into the final minutes of the game, pulling within 66-60 with a minute to go, a night after overcoming a five-point deficit in the final 65 seconds. Yet the Lions could not pull off another comeback, missing shots and committing turnovers.
“They got the ball where they wanted in the post and were able to deliver,” Smith said.
The Lions were without sophomore guard Grant Mullins, who was injured in the second half at Princeton, and so had to dig deeper into the bench than they have recently. First-years Kendall Jackson and Conor Voss saw action, as did junior guard and captain Steve Frankoski.
“Grant is the primary ball handler on our team, so since he was out, Isaac and I had to step up and handle the ball more,” sophomore guard Maodo Lo said. “With Grant out you just want to make sure you distribute the ball more and you involve the team because that's what Grant does.”
Junior forward Alex Rosenberg led the Lions in scoring with 17 points, while Lo added 16 of his own.
With the loss, the Lions conclude a 2-3 road stretch.
“The league's really tough,” Smith said. “You've got to bring great effort and play well to win on the road—and get a little lucky.”
The Lions will next be in action at home against Harvard on Feb. 14.
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