AJ Brodeur scored 16 points as Pennsylvania surprised No. 17 Villanova 78-75 on Tuesday night, the Quakers’ first win over the Wildcats since 2002.
Penn fans stormed the Palestra court after Villanova’s Phil Booth missed the tying three-point attempt and set off a regular-season celebration not seen in Philadelphia in years. And with good reason — the national champion Wildcats (8-3) had won a city-record 25 consecutive games against Big 5 rivals Temple, St. Joseph’s, La Salle and the Quakers.
Penn’s student section started rocking the bleachers with minutes left, and the Quakers avoided a late scare.
Penn coach Steve Donahue, who led Cornell to the Sweet 16 in 2010, might have another blooming Ivy League power. Penn (9-2) last defeated Villanova at the Palestra on Dec. 5, 2001 and hadn’t beaten them at all since Dec. 10, 2002. The Wildcats hadn’t lost a city series game since Temple beat Villanova 76-61 on Dec. 5, 2012.
Penn has been hot even after losing last season’s top scorer Ryan Betley to a season-ending knee injury in the opener. The Quakers held 35-22 edge on the boards.