Nov. 24, 2007
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Brian Grandieri scored 18 points, Tyler Bernardini had 15 and Harrison Gaines had 12 to lead Penn to a 71-67 victory over Navy on Saturday night in the third-place game of the Independence bracket at the Philly Hoop Group Classic.
Justin Reilly added 10 points for the Quakers (2-4), who shot 55 percent in the second half to overcome a lackluster first 20 minutes and rally past the Midshipmen.
Greg Sprink led Navy (2-5) with 22 points. Kaleo Kina scored 12 points and Chris Harris added 11.
Bernardini's jumper with 3 minutes left gave Penn the lead for good, 56-55. Jack Eggleston stole the ball at midcourt and went in for a driving layup, and Grandieri then made it two straight steals and fed his swipe to Bernardini for an easy basket and a 60-55 Penn lead.
Navy had plenty of open looks but failed to convert in the final few minutes, allowing the Quakers to hold on for their seventh straight win in the series.
Neither team scored for the first four minutes and they were tied 6-all at the 10-minute mark. The Quakers didn't reach double digits until Reilly sank a couple of free throws that made it 16-11.
The performance might have dropped Penn's approval rating to an all-time low for Gov. Ed Rendell.
"It's going to be a long year," said Rendell, who attends most Penn home games and popped by press row at halftime to chat with Quakers radio analyst Vince Curran.
Bernardini and Reilly hit the first two 3-pointers of the game to spur the Quakers to a 14-2 run and put them up 37-29. But the spurt was short-lived and Sprink's 3 made gave the Midshipmen a 47-42 lead.
Navy held the lead until Grandieri's two free throws with 5:04 left gave the Quakers a one-point lead. The Midshipmen led for the last time, 55-54, on two Harris free throws with 3:14 left.
Navy led 26-23 at halftime and combined with Penn to shoot 17-for-58 from the floor and 1-for-16 on 3s.