PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team was buried under an avalanche of Saint Joseph’s three-pointers during the first half of Saturday night’s game at The Palestra. The Quakers fell to the Hawks, 85-68.
Saint Joseph’s was simply unbelievable from beyond the arc in the opening half, draining 13 of its 15 attempts from beyond the arc. After Chris Wilson missed the Hawks’ second trey attempt, SJU went 12 of 13 the rest of the half.
The three-pointers really didn’t start to become a factor until the midway point of the period. Saint Joseph’s was up 19-14, then got three points the conventional way (basket and a foul shot) before Papa Ndao, Langston Galloway and Halil Kanacevic knocked down trifectas within a span of 54 seconds. That made the score 31-14.
If there were any doubts about which way this game was headed, they were laid to rest by a stunning 21-0 run by the Hawks over the last six minutes of the half. (The first 15 in the run came on three-pointers.) Amazingly, it could have been worse -- SJU’s DeAndre Bembry had the ball to end the half, but it was stolen from him by Dau Jok and then Tony Hicks (team-high 15 points) hit a trey at the buzzer to make the score at the break 57-23.
Hicks was joined in double figures by senior guard Steve Rennard (13 points) and freshman Dylan Jones (10). Darien Nelson-Henry had eight points, while both Miles Jackson-Cartwright and Fran Dougherty had seven.
Penn is off next week until Saturday, when the Quakers hosts NJIT in their final non-conference game of the 2013-14 season. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. as the second half of a doubleheader; the women host NJIT at 5 p.m.
Game Notes: Penn tied a season high in assists (22) and tied a team low in turnovers (10) … Penn got 31 points from the bench and 16 from the freshman class, both season highs … Penn set season lows in free throws attempted (10) and rebounds (25), and tied a low in free throws made (6) … SJU set opponent highs in the Jerome Allen coaching era in 3-point baskets (16) and 3-point FG percentage (.667) … Penn’s 34-point halftime deficit was its largest this season … SJU scored 57 points in the first half, one shy of an opponent high in the Allen era … SJU’s 21-point unanswered run was the longest by an opponent this season … The Hawks also set opponent season highs in field goals (31), field-goal percentage (.564) and assists (24), and opponent lows in free throws made (7), free throws attempted (12) and blocked shots (1) … SJU became just the third Penn opponent to shoot better than 45 percent from the field in a game this season … Sophomore Tony Hicks had 15 points, his team-high 11th double-figure scoring game this season and 26th at Penn … Hicks has led Penn in scoring in four straight games (18.0 ppg during that stretch) and six times overall this season … Senior Steve Rennard tied a career high with 13 points, his first double-figure scoring game this season and his fourth at Penn … Rennard also tied a career best with three 3-point FG … Freshman Dylan Jones had 10 points for his first double-figure scoring game at Penn … Jones also set season/career highs in rebounds (5) and minutes (15) … Jones led Penn in rebounding in the game, becoming the fourth different player to lead the team in that category this season … Freshman Matt Howard tied season/career highs in points (6) and rebounds (3) and set a season/career best in assists (2) … Senior Fran Dougherty tied a career high with two steals … Senior Miles Jackson-Cartwright (7 points) now has 1,231 points for his career which is 23rd in Penn history; he passed Dave Wohl (1,226 from 1969-71) on Saturday. Phil Hankinson (1971-73) is 22nd with 1,236 points; Barry Pierce (1991-94) is 21st with 1,245 points; Jack Eggleston (2008-11) and Matt Maloney (1993-95) are tied for 19th with 1,248 points each.