PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men's basketball team gained its third win of the season, and the program's 1,700th, on Thursday night at NJIT. There is no time for celebrating, however; Saint Joseph's is on the docket Saturday evening at The Palestra. The Quakers and the Hawks will renew their Big 5 rivalry at 5 p.m.
The Penn-Saint Joseph's Series
*The Quakers and the Hawks are meeting for the 81st time in men's basketball. Saint Joseph's leads the series, 46-34.
*Penn has won the last two meetings in this Big 5 rivalry, taking an 84-80 decision last year and a 73-61 victory two years ago. Prior to that, Saint Joseph's had won five in a row.
*The last time Penn won two in a row against Saint Joseph's, prior to this current streak? The 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons. The last time the Quakers won three in a row over the Hawks? Try 1977-79.
Some of Penn's less experienced players have shown signs of finding their way and growing into the college game recently. Some examples...
*Junior Dau Jok entered this season with nine career points and seven rebounds; he entered last Saturday's La Salle game at 37 career points and 29 career boards; in the last four games, he has scored 32 points and snared 24 rebounds.
*In his last five games, freshman Tony Hicks has 56 points (11.2 ppg).
*In his last seven games, freshman Darien Nelson-Henry has 67 points (9.6 ppg); after scoring a combined 16 points in his first six games, "DNH" has scored seven or more points in seven of his last nine appearances.
*After averaging just 1.9 rebounds per game in his first nine appearances for Penn-remember, he missed all of last year due to injury-sophomore Greg Louis has had four or more boards in six of the last seven games. (In the outlier game, he had three.)
*After averaging 2.8 points per game in Penn's first eight contests, Louis has averaged 6.4 ppg in the most recent eight.
Penn has played the last six games without junior captain Fran Dougherty, and he is not expected for tonight's game. So what are they missing?
*He leads the Ivy League in overall rebounding (8.8 rpg), and is third in both scoring (15.7 ppg) and field-goal percentage (52.5).
*He led Penn in rebounding in each of the first eight games this season; in his absence, four different players have led the team in boards.
Quaker Notemeal From NJIT
*The win was Penn's 1,700th as a program; the only other NCAA Division I programs to reach that milestone to date are Kentucky, Kansas, UNC, Duke, Syracuse, Temple, St. John's, UCLA, Notre Dame, and Indiana.
*Penn won a road game for the first time this season; previously the Quakers were 0-7 in such games.
*NJIT scored 53 points, made just 13 field goals, shot 27.7 percent from the field, and had 24 rebounds -- all opponent lows for this season.
*Penn is now 3-3 in games decided by one point in the Jerome Allen coaching era.
*Penn is 13-0 under Coach Allen when holding its opponent under 55 points.
*Penn outrebounded NJIT, 41-24, its largest margin in the Allen coaching era.
*Penn set a team low in the Allen coaching era by taking just 10 three-point shots.
*NJIT made just 13 shots, an opponent low in the Allen coaching era, but had 17 steals which was an opponent high in that same period.
*Freshman Darien Nelson-Henry had his first collegiate double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds; he is the third different player to have a double-double this season (also Dougherty and Louis).
*Nelson-Henry is also the fourth Penn player this season to have a double-figure rebounding game (Dougherty, Louis, Jok).
*Nelson-Henry has scored in double figures in three straight games (13.3 ppg).
*Junior Miles Cartwright had 12 points for his team-leading 10th double-figure scoring performance this season and 43rd at Penn ... Cartwright also tied a career high with nine rebounds.
*Sophomore Henry Brooks tied a career high with two blocked shots, and finished one shy of his season/career high with five rebounds.