Penn’s chances to earn one of the four Ivy League playoff berths suffered a major blow.
Maka Ellis’ layup off an inbounds pass with 0.4 seconds left in overtime gave Columbia a 79-77 win over Penn during Friday’s Ivy League game at the Palestra.
Penn is now 15-10 and 3-6 in the Ivy League and two games out of the fourth and final playoff berth with five games remaining. The Quakers host Cornell on Saturday in a must-win situation since the Big Red currently hold that fourth spot at 5-4.
“Now our back is to the wall and we have to figure out how to play Cornell the best we can to win the game," said Penn coach Steve Donahue, whose team is 1-3 in Ivy League overtime games this season.
Columbia is just 7-16, 2-7, but the Lions have played much better than their record indicates.
Earlier this month, the Lions lost a 72-70 home decision to Penn.
Penn scored the first five overtime points, on an Antonio Woods close-range shot and then a three-pointer by Devon Goodman, making it 77-72 with 1 minute and 23 seconds left. After Ellis hit a three to cut the lead to 77-75, Woods then had his shot blocked near the basket. Columbia’s Peter Barba tied the score on a layup with 32 seconds left.
After a Penn timeout, Goodman missed a driving layup and at the other end Penn tipped the ball out of bounds with 1.3 seconds remaining.
Gabe Stefanini inbounded under his basket to Ellis, who got free and scored an off-balance layup for the game-winner.
On the ensuing inbounds pass, Penn’s Max Rothschild found Goodman, whose runner from inside half court didn’t come close and the Lions had scored the upset.
Woods led Penn with 16 points while 6-foot-3 sophomore Stefanini had 20 points for Columbia.
The Quakers trailed by eight points with less than 8 minutes left in the second half but finished regulation strong.
Penn’s AJ Brodeur’s three-point play had tied the score at 70 with 1 minute and 33 seconds left in the second half. Columbia’s Quinton Adlesh missed a forced jumper and Brodeur gave the Quakers a 72-70 lead on a driving layup with 49 seconds left. Stefanini hit a runner to tie the score with 33 seconds remaining.
Penn didn’t call a timeout. Brodeur shot an air ball on a three-point attempt. Rothschild’s follow was ruled no good due to a shot-clock violation.
That gave Columbia the ball under its basket with 3.2 seconds left. Stefanini’s shot from just inside half court could only hit the backboard, forcing overtime.
Penn’s two leading scorers, Brodeur and Goodman, combined for two first-half points, but the reserves kept the Quakers in the game. For the second straight week, junior guard Ray Jerome had a career-high scoring effort. He finished with 11 points, including nine in the first half, hitting 3-of-5 three-pointers.
Last Friday, Jerome scored a then career-high six points in an 82-79 overtime win over Dartmouth.
In the first half, Penn’s bench outscored the Lions’ reserves 20-10 in the first half.