Ryan Betley (above) had a career-best 22 points as Penn beat Cornell 82-63 on Sunday afternoon. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
Penn played its most complete game of the season, running away from a mistake-prone Cornell early for its second consecutive Ivy League win, 82-63.
The Quakers took advantage of a Big Red squad that didn’t seem quite ready for the 1 PM tipoff almost from the outset. Five points by freshman Ryan Betley kick-started Penn to a 9-0 lead at the first media timeout, and it was only downhill from there. Cornell didn’t score until five minutes had passed, and the team from Ithaca made only one of its first 12 shots, turning it over nine times before the midpoint of the opening half.
Despite Cornell’s struggles offensively, Penn was only able to take a 15-5 lead over the opening 10 minutes, leaving the door open for a potential Big Red run to get right back in the game. Instead, it was the Quakers who came up with a flurry: a 3-pointer by Jones and run-out layup by the 6-7 junior pushed the lead to 15, and freshman Devon Goodman followed with a triple to make it 23-5; by halftime, the advantage was 42-14.
Cornell came out hot to start the second half, getting that lead down to 19 before Penn re-asserted itself and pushed the advantage to 30 midway through the period.
Betley, a 6-5 shooting guard out of Downingtown West (Pa.), had the best game of his college career thus far with a game-high 22 points. He was feeling it all game long, knocking down his first shot attempt (a 3-pointer) two minutes in, his first of five long-range makes on the afternoon. For the game, Betley shot 7-of-12 (5-10 3PT) and made three of his four free throws, adding in eight rebounds. Fellow freshmen A.J. Brodeur (15 points, five blocks) and Devon Goodman (13 points, four assists) also had terrific games; Goodman set new career marks in points, rebounds (three), steals (three) and minutes (29).
2: The win is the second straight in Ivy League play for Penn, which beat Columbia 70-62 on Friday, after losing its first six games in league play. The Quakers will need to win almost all of their remaining six games if they want to have a chance at making the inaugural Ivy League playoff at the Palestra in March.
50: It was a banner day for the Quaker freshmen, who combined for exactly 50 points in the win. Betley, Brodeur and Goodman were all standouts for Penn, and it looks like that trio will be a big part of the program moving forward. The three shot a combined 18-for-30 from the floor and had a total of 15 rebounds as well.
0: Combined minutes for juniors Matt MacDonald and Caleb Wood and sophomore Jake Silpe. All three have been starters at various points over this season, but this was the second consecutive game where none of them played; neither MacDonald nor Silpe have played since a Jan. 14 loss to Brown.
23: Cornell committed nearly two dozen turnovers, leading to 25 points the other direction.
Penn (9-12, 2-6 Ivy League) @ Brown (11-13, 2-6) -- Fri., Feb. 17, 8PM