Penn wins third straight Ivy title, heads to NCAAs

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Mark Zoller had 22 points, 17 rebounds and six assists, and Pennsylvania beat Yale 86-58 on Friday night to claim its third straight Ivy League championship and become the first team to secure a berth in the NCAA tournament.

Ibrahim Jaaber had 13 points and seven assists, and Steve Danley 11 points for the Quakers (20-8, 11-1), who won their eighth straight game and claimed the Ivy title for the fourth time in five years.

"We had to treat this like a championship game, and we had confidence in ourselves," Zoller said. "We thought we were the best team in the league, and we wanted to prove it tonight."

Eric Flato and Ross Morin each had 11 points for Yale (13-13, 9-4), which dealt Penn its only Ivy League loss, 77-68 on Feb. 3.

The Quakers hit seven of their first eight shots and opened the game with a 24-2 run. Zoller hit a 3-pointer to give Penn a 31-9 lead midway through the first half.

"We got on them early and played terrific defense," Zoller said. "We got some fast-break baskets, and it seemed like everybody was making shots and making plays."

The Bulldogs closed to 40-27, but Penn countered with a 9-2 run and held a 49-29 halftime lead.

Yale never got closer than 15 points in the second half.

Penn took its biggest lead at 77-46 with 6:56 left.

Zoller, Jaaber and Danley are seniors who have won three straight Ivy crowns and are looking forward to the NCAA tournament.

"This is our senior year, so I would say that this one is so much sweeter," Zoller said.

The title is the Quakers' first under coach Glen Miller, who this season replaced longtime Penn coach Fran Dunphy, who now coaches crosstown-rival Temple.