Feb. 12, 2010

* Courtesy of Penn Athletics

PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers got a career-high 24 points from Jack Eggleston, including 15 in the second half as they took down defending Ivy Champion Cornell, 79-64 at the Palestra on Friday night.

The Red and Blue shot a season-high 56 percent from the field, including 11-21 from downtown to clinch the upset over the 22nd ranked Big Red as the team virtually led from start to finish.

Sophomore Zach Rosen showed why he is one of the Ivy League's top players, shooting 6-12 on his way to 22 points, six assists and just one turnover. The Penn defense held Cornell to just 33 percent shooting in the second half and limited big man Jeff Foote to just three second-half points.

Penn opened the game determined to avoid the early deficits which had plagued them in the past, playing the Big Red to a 4-4 tie over the game's first four minutes.

A Darren Smith fast break layup broke the tie and following a Foote dunk the senior dialed up a three for the 9-6 lead. The two teams traded buckets over the next four minutes, as a jumper by Eggleston made it 16-13 with 11:01 left in the half.

Cornell wasn't going down quietly, as they scored seven straight to take a 20-16 lead over the next three and a half minutes. A triple by Rosen ended the run and brought Penn back within one.

The Big Red stretched their lead back to four, on a Chris Wroblewski three with 4:14 left, but Penn outscored the 8-3 over the final minutes of the half, to go into the break with a 32-21 advantage.

In the second the Quakers came out firing, scoring the first ten points of the half, pushing their lead to 42-31 at the 15:34 mark. Eggleston had a hand in five of those points with a layup and a three, while sophomore Mike Howlett added a jumper and a Rob Belcore triple made up the remaining five.

Cornell was unable to regroup following a media timeout and Penn took advantage, as Zach Rosen hit two free throws and added a shot from behind the arc to extend the Red and Blue lead to 47-31 with 14:41 left.

Foote ended the scoring drought at the 14:09 mark for Cornell, making one of two freebies on an intentional foul call down low against Howlett. Ryan Wittman then ended the possession with a three to narrow the Quaker lead to 47-35.

Penn came up empty on its next possession and a pair of free throws by Louis Dale cut it to 47-37 with 13:44 remaining. However, Rob Belcore answered the call, hitting a deep trey as the shot clock expired to push the lead back to 13.

An 8-2 run by the Big Red trimmed the lead to seven over the next two minutes, before a layup by Reilly ended the run. Foote responded with a dunk on the next possession, however a three by Eggleston and a Reilly layup following a nice pump fake made it 59-47 with 8:40 left.

A 9-2 Cornell run cut the lead to five with just under seven minutes left, however that would be as close as they would get as Penn once again showed its resiliency, scoring seven straight. Jon Jaques ended the run at the 4:01 mark, but the damage has been done as the Quaker lead stood at 68-58.

A twisting tip-in by Howlett pushed the Red and Blue advantage to 68-56 and four straight by Eggleston over the next minute and a half gave Penn an insurmountable 74-58 lead.

Wittman hit a three with 2:03 left, however that was the last gasp for the Big Red as Rosen hit five of seven free throws to ice the game.

Howlett came off the bench following an 11 game absence and contributed nine points and nine boards, while Belcore added ten points, four rebounds and two assists.

Cornell seniors Ryan Wittman and Louis Dale had 16 points apiece to lead their team, but shot just 6-19 from downtown. Dale added eight assists and two steals.

Penn improves to 3-2 in the Ivy League with the victory and returns to action in the Palestra Saturday night when it hosts Columbia at 7 p.m.