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Resilient Big Green Fall in Final Seconds on Three-Pointer at Penn

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Freshman Jvonte Brooks     By Joseph Raymond
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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Dartmouth battled back from a 15-point deficit on Saturday night, only to have Quaker senior point guard Zack Rosen drain a long three-pointer with 3.4 seconds left to lift Penn (13-11, 5-2 Ivy) to a 58-55 triumph over the Big Green. Freshman Jvonte Brooks posted a double-double for the second straight night, tallying a season-high 18 points while grabbing 10 rebounds to lead Dartmouth (4-20, 0-8 Ivy).

With the score tied at 55 and 22.8 seconds to play, Rosen brought the ball up the floor and held for the final shot. Dribbling to his right with the clock winding down, the Big Green defense proved to be difficult to shake, so Rosen heaved up a three-point attempt from 27 feet that somehow found its way through the iron with 3.4 seconds left. Dartmouth head coach Paul Cormier called his final timeout to set up a play to get a shot to tie the game, but the pass that went three-quarters the length of the floor was just too high, allowing Penn to run out the clock.

Dartmouth trailed by six, 55-49, after Henry Brooks floated in a short jumper for the Quakers with 3:49 remaining. After the Big Green turned the ball over, Penn returned the favor much to the chagrin of Penn head coach Jerome Allen, who was a bit too vociferous in his protestations, earning a technical foul in the process. Jvonte Brooks, who was 12-of-14 from the line, converted one of his two free throws, then sophomore Tyler Melville buried a three from the corner to bring Dartmouth within two at 55-53 and 2:42 on the clock.

The score went unchanged until Brooks was fouled in the post by Penn’s Marin Kukoc, his fifth, with 22.8 seconds to go. Brooks calmly knocked down the two foul shots with a rabid Quaker crowd reaching a crescendo, knotting the score at 55. That merely set the stage for Rosen’s heroics.

“I thought everyone on our team showed great resiliency this evening,” said Cormier in a postgame press conference. “We got down 15 but kept battling to give ourselves a chance to win the game. Brooks was terrific and has just gotten better as the season has progressed.”

At the outset of the second half, Penn extended its five-point lead to 11 with three quick scores. Freshman John Golden gave Big Green fans a reason to jump out of their seats with a two-hand jam, but by the time six minutes had expired in the second stanza, the Quakers were ahead by 15 points at 45-30.

But after Penn’s offensive outburst in which it hit 8-of-9 field goals, the Dartmouth defense clamped down and held the Quakers to just three points while the Big Green offense, meanwhile, poured in 18 points in nearly a seven-minute span. Senior Jabari Trotter started the run with a layup and Brooks drained a pair of free throws. After a Rosen jumper, junior R.J. Griffin drilled a trifecta and classmate Matt LaBove sank a 13-foot baseline jumper, bringing Dartmouth deficit back to single digits at 47-39.

Melville then scored six of the next nine Big Green points, including the layup to tie the score at 48 with 7:25 to play. Rosen answered almost immediately with another jumper, and two minutes later, Tyler Bernardini — who led Penn with 15 points — cashed in with his third three-pointer of the night for a 53-48 Quaker lead. Another two minutes and Dartmouth was on its way back to tie the score.

Rosen began the game with a three-pointer, but the Big Green took the lead within two minutes and stayed in front until Fran Dougherty sank a free throw to tie the game at 12 with 10:32 left in the half. The two sides traded buckets before Kukoc popped a trey to take the lead and keep a 15-2 Quaker run going. The Big Green rallied to within three, only to have Miles Cartwright take a blocked shot coast-to-coast just before the buzzer sounder to put Penn up 27-22.

Dartmouth dominated the boards all night, grabbing 32 rebounds to just 20 for the Quakers, but turned the ball over 19 times. Although the Big Green hit just 16 field goals in 36 attempts (.444), they managed to get to the free throw line 23 times, sinking 19 (.826). Penn was just 2-of-5 at the line and shot the same percentage from the floor, just with eight more field goals and hit twice as many three-pointers with eight triples.

Dartmouth, which is suffering its longest losing skid in Ivy play in 45 years, begins a four-game homestand on Friday when Yale (16-6, 6-2 Ivy) comes to Hanover for a game at 7 p.m. Penn plays host to Cornell (10-12, 5-3 Ivy) on that same night at the same time.