PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/21/2014 – Turnovers have been a problem for the University of Pennsylvania this season. It was most evident in this loss to Harvard. Penn held a lead five and a half minutes in, then turnovers became costly. The Red and Blue committed 20 in the game. Harvard made Penn pay for their mistakes getting a 24 – 2 advantage in points off turnovers and cruise to an 83 – 63 victory at the Palestra.
“It’s the same thing over and over again,” said Penn Coach Jerome Allen. “You’re not going to win many basketball games turning over the basketball at the clip we do.”
The Crimson held a 12-point halftime lead, then doubled the lead in the first ten minutes of the second half. The Quakers would get no closer than 19 points, and that was late in the second half. Penn could not generate much on offense as Harvard would get steals, 13 in the game, as seven players would register a theft. The turnovers allowed Harvard easy points, and never let the host team establish a flow. Guard Brandon Curry led the visitors with 4 steals.
Penn had no answer for Harvard sophomore point guard Siyani Chambers who got inside the Quaker defense to hand out 10 assists to go along with his 9 points.
“We shared the basketball and Siyani Chambers with 10 assists was the catalyst for making us play in an efficient manner,” said Harvard Coach Tommy Amaker.
For the game Harvard (21 – 4, 8 – 1 in the Ivy League) shot 50%, and had 17 assists on 26 baskets. Forward Steve Moundou-Missi scored 14 points while fellow front-court mate Kyle Casey had 12 points. Guard Laurent Rivard made three from beyond the arc on his way to 13 points.
The Quakers did get some inside baskets from senior forward Fran Dougherty who led all-scorers with 15 points making 6 of 9 from the floor. Sophomore guard Tony Hicks contributed 13 points while senior guard Miles Jackson-Cartwright had 1o points and a team-best 5 assists.
Penn falls to 6 – 16 on the season and 3 – 5 in the Ancient Eight. Allen feels there is time to salvage something positive from this season.
“We play for Penn, but sometimes struggle to be a team,” Allen said. “I wasn’t given this opportunity to be mediocre or to be sub five hundred. It’s my responsibility to right the ship. I don’t look for excuses. It has been frustrating. It has been disappointing. We have six games left. It’s my responsibility to make sure everyone stays connected to what they are playing for.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian