PRINCETON, N.J. - The University of Pennsylvania men's basketball team fell victim to quick Princeton starts in both halves on Saturday night at Jadwin Gym, and the result was a 65-53 Tigers victory in the Ivy League opener for both teams.
The Ivy League's preseason favorites, Princeton (7-7, 1-0 Ivy) answered the game's opening basket -- a three-pointer by sophomore Greg Louis -- with an 11-1 run to gain a lead it would never relinquish. The Tigers were up, 31-22, at the half and began the second period with an 11-point run that made the score 42-22. Penn got within 10 points on two occasions, but never got within single digits.
Freshman Tony Hicks was Penn's leader on Saturday, coming off the bench for 16 points, six rebounds and five assists in 30 minutes. Classmate Darien Nelson-Henry added 11 points. They were the only Quakers to reach double figures.
At the other end, Penn (2-13, 0-1) had no answer for T.J. Bray. The Princeton guard was sizzling from three-point land, hitting six, and finished with 23 points. Ian Hummer had 13 points, while Denton Koon scored 10. Will Barrett nearly had a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Hicks' first two baskets made the score 14-10, but Bray and Mack Darrow followed with threes that pushed the Tigers' lead to 20-10. Penn got within seven points on two occasions after that - the first on a Steve Rennard trey, the second on a Henry Brooks layup - but Princeton's lead was 31-22 at the break.
Will Barrett hit a three on Princeton's possession to open the second half, and that started the decisive run. Penn had a few mini-runs here and there, and were able to draw within 10, at 49-39, when Dau Jok knocked down a three-pointer. Koon responded with a trey, but Miles Cartwright hit a trifecta for the Quakers and the score was 52-42.
Princeton again went on a streak. Koon scored a layup off a Barrett feed, then Hummer laid one in off a Darrow pass and Bray went inside the arc for a driving layup of his own. That made the score 58-42 and effectively ended the contest.
Penn is in action twice next week, playing at NJIT on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. before returning to The Palestra to face Saint Joseph's in a Big 5 game Saturday at 5 p.m.
Game Notes: For the second time in three games, and the fourth time this season, Penn outrebounded its opponent (33-32) ... Penn had season team lows in free-throw percentage (6-12, .500) and assists (8) ... Princeton hit 11 three-pointers and shot 50.0 percent from beyond the arc, both opponent highs for this season ... Freshman Tony Hicks set season/career highs in points (16), rebounds (6), assists (5) and minutes played (30) ... This was Hicks' fourth straight double-figure scoring game (9.0 ppg in that stretch) and sixth this season ... Hicks led Penn in scoring for the second time in three games, and the third time this season ... Hicks also led Penn in rebounding, becoming the sixth player to do that this year (also Dougherty, Cartwright, Nelson-Henry, Louis and Jok) ... Freshman Darien Nelson-Henry had 11 points, his second straight double-figure scoring game ... Nelson-Henry is averaging 12.0 ppg over the last three games and 9.2 ppg over the last six ... Junior Steve Rennard played a season-high 34 minutes ... Penn played for the fifth straight game without leading scorer and rebounder Fran Dougherty, who is out due to mononucleosis.