PHILADELPHIA – After a frustrating loss at Lafayette on Saturday, the University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team faces arguably its most daunting challenge of the young season. The Quakers’ Wednesday opponent, Big 5 rival Villanova, is coming off a championship at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament -- beating No. 2 Kansas and No. 23 Iowa along the way -- and jumped accordingly, all the way to No. 14 in this week’s Associated Press poll.
GAME 7 - PENN (2-4) at #14/19 VILLANOVA (7-0)
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 * 8 p.m.
The Pavilion (Villanova, Pa.)
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Justin Kutcher, Ronnie Thompson)
Radio: WXPN 88.5 FM (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)
The Penn-Villanova Series
*The Wildcats lead the series, 42-18, and have won 10 in a row over the Quakers dating back to the 2003-04 season.
*Villanova won last year’s game at The Palestra, 68-55, despite 16 points from Miles Jackson-Cartwright (including a 10-of-10 performance at the foul line) and 12 from Steve Rennard. Four players hit double figures for the Wildcats.
*The last time Penn played Villanova when the Wildcats were ranked 14th by the Associated Press, the Quakers won. (Of course, that was in 1971 and Penn was ranked fourth itself at the time.) All-time, Penn is 2-1 against teams that were ranked 14th in the AP poll at the time of their matchup with the Quakers...
2/8/1969 - at Penn 91, #14 Columbia 81
1/23/1971 - at Penn 78, #14 Villanova 70
11/17/1999 - at #14 Kentucky 67, Penn 50
The Quaker Notemeal of Note
*Penn has shot better than 50 percent in each of the last two games, going a combined 62-of-117 against Niagara (34-62, .548) and Lafayette (28-55, .509).
*After being outrebounded in each of its first four games, Penn has outrebounded its last two opponents (43-30 vs. Niagara, 33-32 vs. Lafayette).
*Penn is 2-0 on Tuesdays (0-4 all other days) and 2-0 against MAAC schools (0-4 against all others) so far in this young season.
*Penn has four players averaging double figures in scoring, but has not had more than three double-figure scorers in any game so far this season.
*Through the first six games, four different players have led Penn in scoring. (Fran Dougherty, Miles Jackson-Cartwright, Tony Hicks, Darien Nelson-Henry) and all four have had at least one 20-point game.
*Hicks is the only Penn player to score in double figures in each of the Quakers’ first six games this season.
*After recording 14 rebounds combined in Penn’s first four games, Dougherty has 17 in the last two contests.
Notemeal From Lafayette
*Penn shot 14 of 15 at the foul line, a season-best .938 percentage, and tied a season best with six three-point baskets.
*Penn fell to 13-11 in games decided by three or fewer points in the Jerome Allen coaching era (3-3 in one-point games; 6-6 in two-point games; 4-2 in three-point games).
*Penn lost for the first time this season when leading at the half. (The Quakers were up 38-37 at the break); previously the Red and Blue was 2-0 in such games.
*Senior Fran Dougherty scored 26 points, his season high and five shy of the career high he put up last year against Fairfield; Dougherty also had nine rebounds, leaving him one board short of his fifth career double-double.
*Sophomore Tony Hicks hit four three-pointers, a season high and one shy of his career best.
*Sophomore Darien Nelson-Henry tied a career high with three assists.
*Senior Steve Rennard scored his first points of the season, on a pair of free throws.