PHILADELPHIA - Utilizing a full-court pressure defense and alternating its many options in the backcourt, La Salle put away the Penn men's basketball team on Saturday with a pair of runs -- one in each half -- and pinned a 74-57 decision on the Quakers at Tom Gola Arena in Penn's second Big 5 contest of the season.
Penn turned the ball over 21 times on Saturday, 15 of them in the first half alone. Despite those issues, the Quakers were down just 20-18 with a little more than eight minutes left before halftime when Greg Louis grabbed the rebound off a Tony Hicks miss and threw down a dunk.
As it turned out, that would be Penn's last field goal for more than five minutes as the Quakers missed seven straight shots and turned it over three other times. La Salle took advantage, scoring 12 unanswered points to jump out to a 32-18 advantage. Dau Jok finally ended the skid with a three-pointer, but the guard-centric Explorers (10-3) would not be threatened again. Their lead was 10 (36-26) at the break.
Ramon Galloway scored the first four points of the second half to push La Salle in front by 14, hitting a pair of free throws and then stealing the ball for a dunk. Henry Brooks got two of those points back with a jumper, but Tyreek Duren drained a three-pointer and the Quakers never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way. Duren would score 13 points in the half -- all of them coming in the first eight minutes of the period -- while Galloway finished with nine.
La Salle's second run came midway through the second half, when Penn went more than three minutes without a point and the Explorers scored eight straight. That made the score 61-37 with nine minutes to play.
Hicks finished the game with a 14 points to lead Penn, while Miles Cartwright had 11. Jok, a junior, had a massive game for the Quakers, nearly garnering a double-double with eight points and 11 rebounds, while freshman Darien Nelson-Henry had eight points and eight boards. Penn had a season-high 43 rebounds and outboarded La Salle by eight, but the Quakers shot just 36.1 percent from the field while the Explorers were at 43.6 percent and hit nine of their 22 three-point attempts.
Penn returns to action on Tuesday night, playing its first game at The Palestra in exactly a month. The Quakers host Lafayette in a game that is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m.
Game Notes: Penn played for the third straight game without leading scorer Fran Dougherty, who is out due to mononucleosis ... Penn lost to La Salle for the sixth year in a row and now leads the series, 38-28 ... Penn had 43 rebounds and took 61 shots, both season highs, and tied a season high with four blocked shots ... Penn's bench players outscored the starters, 36-21, the third time this season the bench outscored the starters ... Freshman Tony Hicks had 14 points, a season/career high, for his second-straight double-figure scoring game and fourth this season ... Hicks led Penn in scoring for the second time this season (also at Penn State) ... Junior Miles Cartwright had 11 points, his fourth straight double-digit scoring game and team-leading ninth this season ... Cartwright went 4-of-4 at the foul line; he has made 10 in a row, 31 of his last 33, and is 53-of-58 (.914) over his last 10 contests ... Cartwright also tied a career high with two blocked shots ... Junior Dau Jok had a season/career high in rebounds (11) and became the third different Penn player this season to have a double-figure rebound total in a game (also Dougherty and sophomore Greg Louis) ... Jok led Penn in boards, the fifth different player to lead them in rebounding in a game ... Jok also tied a season/career high with eight points ... Freshman Darien Nelson-Henry set season/career highs in points (8) and rebounds (8), and has scored 27 points in the last four games (6.8 ppg) ... Sophomore Camryn Crocker set a season/career high in assists (6) ... Sophomore Henry Brooks had eight points, giving him 28 points in the last three games (9.3 ppg).