The date Friday was the 12th, yet it seemed like Friday the 13th with the madness of mid-major upsets in college hoops. In Ivy League play, the 4-15 (3-2 Ivy) Penn Quakers added a spark to an otherwise dismal season with the upset of the year over the 20-4 (6-1 Ivy) Cornell Big Red 79-64 in Philadelphia. Meanwhile in Niagara, New York the MAAC was shaken up as well. The 14-13 (7-8 MAAC) Niagara Purple Eagles upset the 21-5 (14-1 MAAC) Siena Saints 87-74 to snap the nation's longest overall winning streak at 15, along with an impressive 18-game streak against MAAC opponents.
Penn, who started the season 0-10, found its rhythm from the outside, shooting 56 percent from the field, 52 percent from 3-point range and 82 percent from the foul line. Leading the Quakers effort was sophomore guard Zack Rosen who posted 22 points, five assists and three steals. Cornell standout Jeff Foote had 10 points, 11 rebounds and blocked 3 shot despite being double-teamed by the Quaker defense throughout most of the game.
Niagara was led by senior leaders Tyrone Lewis and Bilal Benn, who had 24 and 15 points apiece. Lewis grabbed 11 rebounds as well, notching his 10th double-double of the season. As a team, the Purple Eagles shot a season-best 54 percent from the field and put up an impressive 48 points in the second half to put the game away.
Cornell, nationally-ranked at #22 going in to Friday's game, will certainly drop out of the top-25. Both upsets snapped the momentum of Cornell and Siena's respective winning streaks while potentially compromising each team's bid for at-large births in the NCAA tournament. The losses will not help the team's arguments as they each still lack victories over RPI top-50 opponents. Tournament bids are still attainable through automatic births as conference champions.