Cougars Come Up Short Against Penn, 69-67
November 29, 1997
CAGUAS, Puerto Rico -- Paul Romanczuk scored the final five points for Pennsylvania to lead the Quakers to a 69-67 come-from-behind victory over Washington State in the consolation round of the of the San Juan Shoot Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars (2-2 overall) lost their second heart-breaker of the tournament despite shooting a season-best 63.2 percent from the field. The Ivy League Quakers (2-1 overall) outrebounded WSU 32-28 and held the Cougars to just two offensive rebounds.
"I was pleased with our execution when we passed the ball more than three or four times (per possession)," said WSU head coach Kevin Eastman. "But it wasn't the offensive end (that hurt us) as much as the defensive end. Our perimeter guys continued to get caught on screens and we were out of position at times."
Penn committed only a single turnover in the third and fourth quarters while the Cougars attempted only 15 shots in that 20 minute stretch.
Romanczuk, who finished with 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds, made the second of two free throws with less than three minutes to go in the final period to tie the game at 65-65. Chris Crosby followed that with a back-door cut basket at 2:12 to give the Cougars their final lead at 67-65. Another Romanczuk free throw cut WSU's lead to a single point.
Crosby turned the ball over at the 1:30 mark and Romanczuk followed with a go-ahead basket and a chance to complete a three-point play. He missed the free throw attempt, but Carlos Daniel was whistled for a lane violation and Romanczuk sank the added attempt.
On the Cougars next possession, point guard Blake Pengelly penetrated the lane, but threw an errant pass off the hands of Kojo Mensah-Bonsu. Pengelly redeemed himself as he defended an air ball attempt from 3-point range by Penn's Michael Jordan, who led all scorers with 16 points.
After a WSU timeout with 17 seconds, Daniel got the ball in the mid-high post, spun towards the center of the lane and lofted a 12-foot shot over two Quaker defenders that missed.
Daniel had 15 points and Crosby, who hit all four of his shots and both free throws, added 11 points. Leif Nelson, who made his first start in place of Steve Slotemaker, finished with 11 points and five rebounds.
Additional Quotes From Washington State Head Coach Kevin Eastman - "Quite
frankly, Penn didn't create turnovers as much as we just turned the ball
over. My guess would be that 60 percent of our turnovers were unforced errors."