Penn’s Late Rally Topples Brown, 79-74, Despite Obi Okolie’s 23 Points

Penn’s Late Rally Topples Brown, 79-74, Despite Obi Okolie’s 23 Points

Philadelphia, Pa. – Senior center Darien Nelson-Henry's 19 points paced five Penn players in double figures as Quakers pulled away in the game's final two minutes for a 79-74 win over Brown at the Palestra.


Brown falls to 7-16, 2-7 in the Ivy League, while Penn improves to 10-12, 4-4 in Ivy play.


"This was a tough loss tonight," said Brown head coach Mike Martin.  "We really competed well.  We finished the first half strong after being down by 12 points. (Darien) Nelson-Henry presents a lot of problems for our interior defense and he opened up Penn's outside game."


The Quakers knocked-down 12 treys on 27 attempts, while Brown converted 8-of-26 treys.


Brown freshman Obi Okolie (Ajax, Ontario) was sensational with slashing moves to the basket, scoring 13 of his career high 23 points in the second half on sizzling 9-of-13 shooting from the field.


Senior forward Cedric Kuakumensah (Worcester, MA) posted a double-double for the tenth time this season with 14 points and a game high 10 rebounds for the Bears. Junior Steven Spieth (Dallas, TX) just missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds.


Nelson-Henry dominated the paint for the Quakers, scoring his 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field on a series of inside moves. He added a team high rebounds. Jackson Donahue came through with 16 points, Sam Jones had 15 points and Matt Howard chipped in with 14 points for the Quakers.  Darnell Foreman posted a double-double for Penn with 11 points and 10 assists.


Brown trailed by as many as 12 points in the opening half, 40-28, with 2:45 remaining.  Kuakumensah scored five points in a 7-0 Brown run to end the half and cut the Quakers' lead to 40-35 at intermission.


The Quakers led by as many as eight points in the second half, 61-53, following a Donahue trey with 9:59 left in the game.


Spieth's backdoor lay-up with 5:32 remaining cut the Quakers' lead to 66-65, and his two free throws tied the game, 67-67, at the 5:19 mark.


Howard's layup with 4:32 remaining gave the Quakers the lead for good, 69-67.


Tavon Blackmon (Upper Marlboro, MD) converted one-of two free throws with 2:48 left to cut the Quakers lead to one point, 69-68.


Jones connected on a trey to give the Quakers a 72-68 lead with 1:42 left and Foreman hit two free throws to give Penn control of the game and  a 74-68 lead.


Brown returns to the hardwood tomorrow evening, February 20, to face Princeton at Jadwin Gym in Princeton, NJ.  Tip-off is 6:00 pm.