PHILADELPHIA - The early part of the University of Pennsylvania's 2012-13 men's basketball season can be measured in wins and losses. However, it can also be measured in progress.
Progress doesn't always mean a win, mind you, only growth and lessons learned. On Wednesday night, however, progress DID mean a win -- a 65-54 decision over Binghamton at The Palestra.
As Head Coach Jerome Allen noted in the press conference afterward, the youthful Quakers have been in a position to win a few of the games that they lost. They simply did not make the plays needed to get the W.
On Wednesday, Penn made it harder than maybe it needed to be -- the Quakers threatened to blow this game open at least five times -- but the Red and Blue never allowed Binghamton to hold a lead as they went wire-to-wire for this win.
The usual suspects led the way. Junior Miles Cartwright had a team-high 15 points, knocking down 3-of-6 three-pointers. Fran Dougherty had yet another double-double, with 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. They were aided by yet another notable performance from their fellow captain, junior Dau Jok; he buried a pair of treys on his way to a career-best eight points. In all, ten of the 11 Penn players who got into the game found the scoring column.
The early part of the game followed a pattern -- Penn would hit a few buckets to go up, and Binghamton would get all (or most) of them back. The Quakers led by as many as nine in the first half, and it was a seven-point lead in the final minute of the stanza before Jordan Reed hit two free throws to get the Bearcats within 39-34 at the break.
The scoring was fairly even for a good part of the second half, as well. In fact, when Roland Brown knocked down a jumper with 8:25 to play, the score was 54-48, Penn. However, Jok knocked down his second three-pointer, and then nearly three minutes went by before anyone scored as Henry Brooks hit a free throw to push Penn's lead to 58-48, its first double-digit lead of the game.
It would never get below that. Cartwright hit a pair of foul shots, before Rayner Moquete ended Binghamton's lengthy drought (almost exactly four minutes) with a trey. As it turned out, that would be the Bearcats' final field goal until the waning seconds. In the meantime, Dougherty hit a layup to get to his double-double, and Cartwright and Camryn Crocker hit free throws.
Was this game a classic? Hardly. The teams shot a combined 37-of-116 from the field (31.9 percent) and committed 36 turnovers. It looks a lot prettier when you win.
Reed -- who hails from Philadelphia -- has been outstanding in his freshman campaign for Binghamton, and he had a double-double on Wednesday with 17 points and 11 boards. Moquete had 10 points.
Penn returns to action on Saturday, traveling to Penn State to meet the Nittany Lions at 2 p.m. Fans can watch that game for free on their computers, as it will be televised live on ESPN3.com.
Game Notes: Penn improved to 10-2 all-time against programs currently in America East, including 2-0 this season ... The win was Penn's 1,699th as a program ... It was also Penn's 805th win at The Palestra ... The win snapped a five-game losing streak ... Penn never trailed in the game, and was tied by Binghamton once (4-4) ... Penn hit 10 three-pointers in the game, a season high, as six different players found the mark from beyond the arc ... Penn shot better from beyond the three-point line (10-25) than inside it (10-33) ... Penn shot 15-of-19 from the foul line; the .789 percentage is a season high ... Binghamton had 49 rebounds, an opponent high in the Jerome Allen coaching era ... Junior forward Fran Dougherty had his fourth double-double in the last five games, with 11 points and 13 rebounds ... The 13 rebounds were a career high for Dougherty, who has led Penn in that category in every game this season ... Dougherty has scored in double figures in six straight games (20.2 ppg in that stretch) ... For the first time in his career, Penn won a game when Dougherty scored in double figures; previously the Quakers were 0-8 in such games ... Junior guard Miles Cartwright had 15 points, his fifth double-figure scoring game this season and the 38th of his career ... Cartwright went 4-of-4 from the foul line; in the last five games he is a combined 29-of-32 at the charity stripe ... For the second straight game, junior guard Dau Jok set a career high for points (8) ... In the last two games, Jok has scored 14 points; prior to that, he had scored 11 for his career ... Sophomore Camryn Crocker set a new career high with seven points ... Freshman center Darien Nelson-Henry set season/career highs for points (7) and rebounds (5).