It is always exciting when the Big 5 gets together for a game at the “Cathedral of College Basketball”, The Palestra and that is what we had on Tuesday night as the Penn Quakers hosted the Number 17 ranked & defending champion Villanova Wildcats. Villanova came into the game with 8-2 record and off a win over Saint Joseph’s on December 8, while the Quakers entered battle with the Wildcats also 8-2 and off a win over Miami on December 4.
In the first half Penn came out with a purpose and would jump on the Wildcats and took a 14-2 lead with 12:28 left. Villanova would rally back and they would take a 15-14 lead on 3 pointer by Eric Paschall with 9:49 left. The Quakers would answer the Wildcats run and take a 32-28 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Wildcats would not go away that easily as Penn would pick up where they would left off in the first half as they would make things hard for the Wildcats. Penn would have lead up to 10 and also two separate leads of 9. Phil Booth would make some big shots down the stretch to keep the Wildcats in the game.
A Sold out crowd of 8,033 would see an upset as the Penn Quakers take down Villanova 78-75 and it also ends Villanova 25 game win streak in the Big 5, Penn first win against the Wildcats since 2002.
Upset at the Palestra:
With the win, Penn goes to 9-2 on the season and their next game is December 22 at New Mexico while Villanova falls to 8-3 on the season and look to get back to their winning ways as they take on Kansas on December 15 at Kansas.
Collin Gillespie: 21 points, 4 rebounds
Phil Booth: 198 points, 2 steals
Saddiq Bey: 13 points, 3 rebounds
AJ Brodeur & Antonio Woods each with 16
Michael Wang: 14 points
Villanova Coach Jay Wright:
Penn Coach Steve Donahue: