A.J. Brodeur

AJ Brodeur reaches 1,000 career points in Penn loss to Toledo

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USA Today Images

AJ Brodeur reaches 1,000 career points in Penn loss to Toledo

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TOLEDO, Ohio — Jaelen Sanford scored 15 points, Nate Navigato added 14, and Toledo picked up its 10th straight with a 77-45 victory over Penn on Saturday, ending the Quakers' six-game win streak.

Willie Jackson grabbed 16 rebounds and scored eight points, and Luke Knapke had 10 boards and nine points for the Rockets (12-1), who held Penn to 31-percent shooting.

Navigato's layup amid an 8-0 run broke open back-and-forth play and Toledo led 30-25 on Marreon Jackson's jumper with 2:44 left in the first half and 34-27 at halftime. Navigato hit back-to-back 3-pointers amid a 12-4 run for a 48-34 Toledo lead with 14:42 to go, and the Rockets won going away.

AJ Brodeur had four steals, blocked three shots, grabbed seven rebounds and scored 19 points for his 1,000th career point for Penn (10-3), becoming the 41st player in program history to hit the milestone. Bryce Washington added nine boards.

A.J. Brodeur scores 27 points as Penn tops Fairfield for 3rd straight win

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A.J. Brodeur scores 27 points as Penn tops Fairfield for 3rd straight win

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AJ Brodeur scored a career-high 27 points with 10 rebounds, Matt Howard scored 19 on 8-of-12 shooting and grabbed nine boards and University of Pennsylvania beat Fairfield 74-68 on Friday.

Brodeur, who made 12 of 18 from the field, scored 20 in the second half.

Howard and Brodeur scored five points apiece during an 11-2 run that made it 50-46 with 13 minutes to go and Penn (6-5) led the rest of the way.

Howard converted a 3-point play and Jackson Donahue hit a 3-pointer during an 8-2 run that gave the Quakers a 58-50 lead with 8:46 remaining. The Stags pulled within three with five minutes left, but would get no closer as Brodeur answered with a 3-point play and Jackson Donahue hit another 3 to make it 69-60 with 1:49 to play.

Tyler Nelson hit five 3-pointers and led Fairfield (5-5) with 21 points. Jerry Johnson Jr. scored 13 and Curtis Cobb added 11 points. The trio, however, combined to make just 14 of 48 (29 percent) from the field. Amadou Sidibe grabbed 14 rebounds.

Freshman A.J. Brodeur leads Penn to 29-point rout of Lafayette

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Associated Press

Freshman A.J. Brodeur leads Penn to 29-point rout of Lafayette

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Steve Donahue has been coaching long enough to know there are always doubts as to how players adjust to the college game.

But as he heavily recruited A.J. Brodeur, the Penn coach began to realize he was looking at as close to a sure thing as there can be. 

So far, he’s been right.

On Wednesday at the Palestra, the Penn freshman continued his torrid start to his college career, exploding for 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists to lift the Quakers to an 81-52 rout of Lafayette.

“I’ve known A.J. since 9th grade,” Donahue said. “I probably saw 100 to 200 of his games. And I was pretty sure we were getting a really good basketball player that was going to fit and really help us build this program.”

Brodeur was actually relatively quiet in the first half, scoring six points as he dealt with Lafayette double-teams. And the Leopards, who never led, pulled within one at 24-23 near the end of the first half.

But the 6-foot-8 forward helped key a 10-0 spurt with two buckets to help the Quakers gain a comfortable nine-point halftime cushion, before accounting for half of the team’s points during a 16-0 second-half run that put things away.

For the game, Brodeur shot 10 for 13 for the field while Lafayette center Matt Klinewski, one of the Leopards’ top players, shot 1 for 10 and finished with four points.

“He’s so much bigger than us,” said Lafayette coach Fran O’Hanlon, who was an assistant at Penn alongside Donahue in the early 1990s. “Matt couldn’t really handle him.”

A lot of players have struggled to handle Brodeur so far this season, no matter the competition level. Just this past Saturday, the Penn freshman scored 17 points against Temple while outdueling Owls star Obi Enechionyia for much of the way.

But although he’s hit double figures in six of his first seven games, including a career-high 23 in his collegiate debut vs. Robert Morris, Brodeur isn’t entirely satisfied yet.

“I’m definitely happy with the way I’ve been playing,” Brodeur said. “Obviously there’s always room for improvement. My game is still not where I want it to be or where I need it to be for us to be a championship team this year.”

Whether or not Penn (3-4) can contend for an Ivy League championship remains to be seen, but it certainly is promising that all three of their wins have been by lopsided margins — something that rarely happened under previous coach Jerome Allen. 

And the Quakers showcased a lot of balance and defensive tenacity against a young Leopards team Wednesday, finishing with 21 assists and 10 steals with 11 different players scoring.

Guards Jackson Donahue and Jake Silpe, last year’s starting backcourt, combined for 23 points off the bench. And senior Matt Howard took over the game in the first half, skying for rebounds, getting his hands in the passing lane and, at one point, throwing down a ferocious one-handed dunk after starting the break with a steal.

Howard, who’s endured three straight losing seasons, finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, four steals and three assists.

“He’s been through ups and downs for three years,” Donahue said. “I think he finally feels that he can really be the best player on the court and help us win games — which probably hasn’t happened before. I think that’s what you saw at the beginning of the game.”