PHILADELPHIA – After losing a pair of games to Big Ten Conference opponents over a six-day span, the University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team comes home looking to gain its first home win of the 2013-14 season. The Quakers host Niagara, which recently played three games in three days as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer event in Kent, Ohio.
The Penn-Niagara Series
*The Purple Eagles lead the series, 3-0, but these teams have not played since the 1986-87 season (a 79-74 win for Niagara on Dec. 6).
*Penn’s first meeting with Niagara was in the 1970 NCAA Tournament, a 79-69 Eagles win at Princeton, N.J.
*The only other meeting took place on Dec. 10, 1984 and ended as a 79-73 Niagara victory.
*Penn is 21-13 all-time against the programs that currently make up the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). The Quakers are 1-0 this season against MAAC teams after a 79-73 road win at Monmouth on November 12, and they will also face Marist and Rider in back-to-back road games during the holiday season. (Canisius 0-1, Fairfield 0-1, Iona 3-1, Manhattan 7-3, Marist 1-1, Monmouth 5-1, Niagara 0-3, Quinnipiac 2-0, Rider 1-2, Siena 2-0)
Home is Where the Wins Are
Penn entered the 2013-14 season with 803 wins at The Palestra, which opened in 1927. In an informal survey of the other NCAA Division I programs, only Washington (932 wins at Hec Edmundson Pavilion) and Butler (826 wins at Hinkle Fieldhouse) boast more wins in their current home than the Quakers. The Edmundson Pavilion was opened in 1927, while the Bulldogs opened Hinkle in 1928.
Quaker Notemeal From Iowa
*The game marked Penn’s first trip to the state of Iowa.
*The game matched up Penn senior Dau Jok against his younger brother, Iowa freshman Peter Jok. Peter finished the game with eight points, while Dau went 0-of-6 from the field and had two rebounds.
*Iowa’s head coach is Fran McCaffery; the game matched up Jerome Allen against a fellow Penn alum for the second time. (He also coached against Andy Toole when Penn played Robert Morris on Nov. 19, 2011.)
*Senior Fran Dougherty matched a career high in assists (2) and steals (2).
*Sophomore Tony Hicks matched a career high with five assists.
*Senior Steve Rennard saw his first game action of the season; he missed the first three games due to injury.