Thursday, March 15, 2018

Penn’s Upset Bid Falls Short in KS

(Photo: Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports)
No. 16 Penn stood tall to the very end against a very good Kansas team that swept the Big 12 and captured it’s, NCAA record, 14th straight Big 12 title.

Despite hitting 11-of-29 from distance, the Quakers struggled mightily from the line converting just 4-of-12 in the second half as Kansas pulled away 76-60.

Devonte Graham poured in 29 points on 24 shots with six assist and six rebounds. Lagerald Vick finished with 14 points, while Svi Mykhailiuk and Malik Newman both finished with 10 respectively.

“I think they were probably even better than what I thought they would be watching on tape. I knew we'd have a hard time guarding them.” Kansas head coach Bill Self said.  “And if you told me before the game that they'd only get 60, I would say that we had an unbelievable defensive game.”

Penn got out to an early 21-11 lead with 8:01 left in the first half. Soon after, Graham scored nine of the teams next 14 points and the Jayhawks took the lead and never gave it back. Penn had it’s chances in the second half, but the Quakers couldn’t convert at the line or stop Kansas’ guards defensively. But the disparity at the line was the most glaring con for the promising Quakers.

“I do feel foul shots were a big part of this, and this unfortunately was part of our DNA this year,” Penn head coach Steve Donahue said. “We were able to overcome it. But if you're going to beat a team like Kansas in this environment, you just gotta make 'em.”

Kansas put Penn on the line 14 times throughout the entire game, and the Quakers only came away with five points, while Kansas converted on 15-of-17 shots from the charity stripe with 12 of the 14 coming in the second half for the Jayhawks.

AJ Brodeur finished with 14 points on 16 shots and nine rebounds, while Caleb Wood scored 14 on 12 shots. Antonio Woods and Darnell Foreman both finished with 10 for the Ivy League champions.

“I think we did a pretty good job in cutting them off and taking away that lob to not allow those easy dunks or easy layups at the rim,” Broderick said. “But they were still able to take advantage of those ball screens, whether it was on the three or being able to get to the rim on the weak side.”

Kansas advances to the round of 32 and will take on Seton Hall, who pulled away late from NC State.

Find me on Twitter @MitchellDeAnte


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