League Leaders Battle it Out at The Palestra

Penn (13-7, 6-0 Ivy) vs.Cornell (10-10, 5-2 Ivy)

Feb. 12, 2005 at7 p.m.

The Palestra - Philadelphia, Pa.

Broadcast live on CN8 and www.cn8.tv

Listen at WXPN 88.5 and on www.pennathletics.com

Winning Ways

The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team has won its ninth consecutive game and improved to 6-0 in Ivy League action with a

73-66 win over Columbia on Friday night. Tonight the Quakers host Cornell who comes to The Palestra with a 5-2 Ancient Record after defeating Princeton at Jadwin Gym last night.

Last Time Out

Led by sophomore Steve Danley’s 18 points, Penn pulled out a 73-66 win over Columbia on Feb. 11. Two other Quakers scored in double-figures as Penn improved to 6-0 in the League and handed the Lions their four conference loss. Penn held a 30-28 lead at the half after trailing most of the first half. The Lions defense held the Quakers to just three field goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. Penn hit 15-of-21 free throw attempts to stay in the game. In the second half, Penn went on a 16-6 run to pull ahead by 11, their largest lead of the game, at 2:55. Penn saw their lead dwindle to three as the Quakers struggled from the free throw line and Columbia hit three treys. Penn clinched the win when Tim Begley, who had 13, sunk two attempts from the charity stripe.

In The Driver’s Seat

The Ivy League race was not supposed to go like this. Preseason favorite Princeton was supposed to be the rage, running over the rest of the seven conference teams like a Mac truck. But it seems that things have shaken out a little differently as the League heads into the middle of its season this weekend. Penn holds a two-game lead with a 6-0 record, while Cornell is second at 5-2 and Harvard moved into third at 4-2. And where is Princeton? The Quakers’ incredible comeback against the Tigers on Feb. 8, and Cornell’s come-from-behind win last night gave the preseason favorites its fifth conference lost.

One of the Best

The University of Pennsylvania men's basketball program was named the 16th greatest college basketball program of all-time by Street and Smith's Specialty Publications. The Quakers were the first Ivy League and Big 5 institution to appear on the list.

Coaches Corner


Head Coach Fran Dunphy is in his 16th season at the helm of Penn basketball. Coach Dunphy is the winningest coach in Penn basketball history with 283 career victories. He has had 11 winning seasons at Penn, including three-straight 17 plus-win seasons. Dunphy is the second winningest coach in the Ivy League with 171 Ancient Eight victories.


Head Coach Steve Donahue is in his fifth season at the helm of Cornell basketball. Donahue was Penn Head Coach Fran Dunphy’s assistant for 10 years prior to his arrival in Ithaca, N.Y. He was also instrumental in the Quakers winning six Ivy League titles in his last eight years there, advancing to the NCAA tournament five times and earning national recognition with a top 25 ranking.

Looking at the Big Red

Cornell snapped a 19-game losing streak against the Tigers at Jadwin Gym on Feb. 11 to defeat preseason favorite Princeton and improve to 5-2 in League action and 10-10 overall. Cornell had not won on the the road against Princeton since the 1984-85 season. Eric Taylor, who is third on the team in scoring averaging 11.8 ppg., led the Big Red against the Tigers with 17 points. Lenny Collins leads the team with 14.6 ppg, followed by Cody Toppert who averages 12.0. Toppert is a solid free throw shooter averaging 93.5 percent from the line this season. Collins .833) and Ryan Rourke (.842) are both shooting over 80 percent. Taylor leads the team in rebounds and is second in blocks.

The Series

Penn puts a 12-game win streak against the Big Red on the line on Saturday night. The Quakers hold a 136-66 advantage in the series and have won 25 of the last 27 meetings. Coach Fran Dunphy has been very successful against the Big Red, sporting a 26-4 record. He is 8-0 against his former assistant coach Steve Donahue. The Big Red have not won in The Palestra since 1989, giving Penn a 15-game win streak at home.

Last Five Meetings

3/2/02 at Cornell W, 78-53

2/7/03 at Cornell W, 70-67

3/8/03 Cornell W, 69-52

2/14/04 at Cornell W, 79-52

2./27/04 Cornell W, 84-69

The Red and Blue on Feb. 12

Penn has had 48 games on the 12th day of February. All but three of those contests have been Ancient Eight match ups. The Quakers are 27-21 on this day, while Head Coach Fran Dunphy is 5-0. Penn has faced off against Columbia 28 times on this day (11-17). The Quakers have won four of their five games against Cornell on this date.

Up Next ...

Penn hits the road for the next two Ivy League weekends. First stop - Brown on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. The game will air live on the YES Network. The Quakers will take on Yale the following night at 6 p.m. on CN8.

Coach Dunphy in February

Head Coach Fran Dunphy is 112-34 all-time in the month of February. The 16-year coach has gone undefeated four times in his career in 1993, 1994, 2000 and 2003. When Coach Dunphy and his Quakers have seven or more wins in February, Penn has won eight Ivy League Championships and finished second four times.

Against the Empire State Ivies

Over the last 13 seasons, Penn’s home record during the Cornell/Columbia series is an impressive 23-1, while the Quakers are 21-3 on the road against these two opponents.

Sweep, Sweep

Only three teams have swept the Penn/Princeton road weekend since the inception of travel partners in 1957-58 season. Cornell is one of those team, having done so in 1947-48, but has never defeated them on back-to-back nights.

Foul Shots

Forty-five percent of the Quakers points came from free throw shots on Feb. 11 against Columbia. Steve Danley scored 14 of his game-high 18 points from the foul line. Penn attempted 47 shots from the charity stripe - the most by a Penn team in the last two years and by a Columbia opponent in two seasons.

In League Action

Steve Danley has been impressive in conference action this season. The starting forward is second on the team in points per game with 12.5. He leads the team in rebounds (6.7), blocks (9) and assists (15) and is tied with Tim Begley for second in steals (5). Danley has been the leading scorer for the Red and Blue in three of their six games.

Ice Cold

Penn opened Friday night’s game ice cold from beyond the arc. Penn hit 1-of-8 (12.5 percent) three ball attempts in the first half. Penn recovered in the second half, hitting 5-of-11 (45.5 percent) and ended the game with 31.6 percent from three-point land.

Extra Time

Tuesday’s match-up with Princeton was the Quakers’ second overtime game this season as Penn lost to Rider on Jan. 12, 74-68, in The Palestra in extra minutes. It was the 16th time the Penn vs. Princeton game has gone into overtime, with the schools splitting the outcomes of those contests. Penn had not won an overtime game at home since 75-74 victory over Temple on Dec. 5, 2001.

The Three Ball

Penn hit 10-of-22 three pointers against Princeton on Feb. 8. Penn has accomplished that feat four other times this season and all have

Sresulted in victories. Penn hit double-digit treys against La Salle (13), Lafayette (12), Drexel (11) and Siena (10).

From the Charity Stripe

Senior Eric Osmundson had not attempted more than six free throws in a game prior to the Princeton game on Feb. 8. The Carlsbad, Calif. native went 8-of-11 from the foul line against the Tigers. Eight of his 13 points came from the free throw line, including two buckets with 31 ticks on the clock to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Playing Time

Tim Begley and Ibrahim Jaaber did not get much time to rest against the Tigers. In fact, the two guards played the entire 45 minutes of action against Princeton. It was a career-high in minutes played for both players as was the 43 and 42 minutes on the court by Steve Danley and Eric Osmundson, respectively.

Putting the Defense to the Test

Heading into last Tuesday’s game, Princeton ranked second in Division I in scoring defense, holding their opponents to 52.8 points per game. Penn scored the most points against their rival to the North, putting up 70 points. Two schools managed to score 68 points against the Tigers, Davidson in double overtime and UTEP.

Second Half Surge

For the first time this season, the Red and Blue battled back from a halftime deficit to earn a victory. Princeton held a 15-point lead on the Quakers on Feb. 8 before a 21-3 run ignited by Eric Osmundson’s seven points in 20 seconds evened the score and sent the game into overtime.

Bounce Back Jaaber

Ibrahim Jaaber is scoring more but shooting less. During the Red and Blue’s five game losing streak earlier this year, the sophomore guard averaged 10.6 ppg on 20-of-56 (.357) shooting from the field. In Penn’s current eight-game win streak, Jaaber is averaging 12.0 ppg on 38-of-72(.527.) shooting from the field. When Jaaber scores 10 points or more, Penn is 8-2 and Penn is 4-5 when he scores less than 10 points.

Congrats to the Newest Member

Tim Begley became the 32nd member of the 1,000 point club on Feb. 5. With 16:26 remaining in the second stanza against Dartmouth, the Freehold, N.J. native downed a three-pointer to score the 1,000th, 1,001st and 1,002nd points of his career to join the exclusive club. After Tuesday night’s game against Princeton, the senior captain, who averages 13.8 ppg., stands tied for 29th all-time in program history with 1,038 points.

The FREE Throw Line

Senior Tim Begley had no problem sinking baskets from the charity stripe against the Harvard on Feb. 4. Begley nailed 6-of-6 attempts from the foul line. Two other Quakers went flawless from the charity stripe over the weekend - sophomore Mark Zoller hit all five of his attempts while classmate Ibrahim Jaaber made his four shots.

Battle on the Glass

For the first time since the Penn vs. San Francisco game, Penn was out-rebounded by its opponent. Harvard pulled down 41 boards on Feb. 4, including 22 first half rebounds. The Quakers managed 39 rebounds, including 10 from Tim Begley and seven from Steve Danley.


Senior Tim Begley leads the team in multiple double-digit games. The senior has 14 games in double figures this season, including nine of the last 11 contests. Five other Quakers have had several double figure games - Ibrahim Jaaber (11), Steve Danley (9), Eric Osmundson (9), Mark Zoller (7) and Jan Fikiel (5).

That's Hot!

The Quakers shot 76 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes against Brown on Jan. 29. Penn nailed 19-of-25 shots, including a 7-for-7 effort from sophomore Steve Danley and a 3-for-4 performance from classmate Mark Zoller. The Red and Blue finished the game connecting on 63.5 percent of their shots. The last time Penn shot better from the field was against Harvard on Feb. 6, 2004. The Red and Blue connected on 66.1 percent of their shots en route to a 104-69 victory in The Palestra.

Shutting Down the Offense

The Red and Blue held Dartmouth to just 44 points on Feb. 5. It was the second time this season, Penn held its opponents to under 45 points. The Quakers shutdown Yale to open the Ivy League season, allowing the Elis to put up just 41 points on Jan. 28. It was the lowest offensive output of the season by a Penn opponent and the lowest since Cornell managed only 39 points against the Quakers on March 7, 2003. The Quakers have held their opponents under 50 points, 27 times in the last five years.

Honors All-Around

The Quakers have had four different players earn Ivy League Player of the Week honors and two receive Big 5 Player of the Week accolades.

11/29 Ivy League Player of the Week

- Mark Zoller

Big Five Co-Player of the Week

- Mark Zoller

12/6 Ivy League Player of the Week

- Tim Begley

Big Five Player of the Week

- Tim Begley

1/24 Ivy League Player of the Week

- Ibrahim Jaaber

1/31 Ivy League Player of the Week

- Steve Danley


Penn finished its 2004-05 non-conference campaign with a 7-7 mark. Six of the Red and Blue’s seven wins were double-digit victories including a 30 point win over Drexel on Nov. 23. Penn picked up wins over Bucknell and Lafayette to win 19 straight games against Patriot League opponents. The Quakers went 2-2 in the Big Five defeating La Salle, 78-67 and Saint Joseph’s, 67-59.

When 24 Equals Perfection

The Quakers are 7-0 when sophomore Mark Zoller scores in double figures. The forward from Blue Bell, Pa. had double-digit numbers against Quinnipiac (10), Drexel, (22), La Salle (11), Seina (18), Saint Joseph’s (13), Yale (14) and Dartmouth (12).

A Streak of His Own

Senior Eric Osmundson has hit at least one three pointer in his last 16 games and has had three games with four or more trifectas this season. He’s shot 50 percent or better from beyond the arc seven times and ranks sixth in the League in three point field goal percentage (43.6).

Nationally Recognized (as of Feb. 7)

Ibrahim Jaaber ranks among the best in Division I in steals. The sophomore guard has 41 steals or 2.6 spg. to his credit this season which ranks first in the Ivy League and 22nd in the nation. Senior Tim Begley is also among the top-50 in Division I in assists. He ranks 44th in assists per game, averaging 5.2.

Lending a Hand

Senior Tim Begley tied the program record for assists in a game with 13 helpers against Lafayette on Jan. 18. The record, held by Dave Wohl, C’71, went untouched for 35 years. Begley has 95 helpers so far this season and 384 in his career. He needs three more helpers to catch former teammate David Klatsky, who is fourth on the career list. Begley is currently averaging 5.5 apg, which leads the Ivy League.

Dominating the Glass

Penn has had 40 or more rebounds in eight games this season, including six straight contests - Illinois-Chicago (42), Rider (44), Siena (42), Lafayette (41), Saint Joseph’s (40) and Yale (43). The Quakers grabbed a season-high 49 rebounds against Dartmouth on Feb. 5 sophomore Steve Danley grabbed 10 boards, while classmate Mark Zoller hauled in nine. Eleven of the 12 Quakers who got in the game pulled down at least two rebounds.

Moving Up the Charts

Tim Begley took over sole possession of second all-time in career three-pointers. The Freehold, N.J. native went 1-for-5 from three-point land against Harvard to surpass former teammate Jeff Schiffner who had 220 trifectas. Begley added 10 trifectas over the last three games for 231 triples in his career. Begley needs 14 treys to nab the top spot which is held by former Quaker Matt Maloney. Begley also stands third in the Penn accolades in three pointers made in a season with 83 in 2003-04. He currently has 51.

244 Matt Maloney 1993-95

231 Tim Begley 2002-present

220 Jeff Schiffner 2001-04

201 Matt Langel 1997-00

199 Garrett Kreitz 1995-98

Back to Business

Senior Tim Begley had his streak of 13 games of at least one three-pointer snapped against Villanova on Dec. 31. But denying him from beyond the arc did not last long as the senior captain has downed trifectas in each of the last 11 games. Begley has 47 trifectas this season and is on pace to establish a new program record for three-pointers in a career.

Beyond the Arc

The Red and Blue shot 78.6 percent (11-of-14) from the three-point range against Drexel, breaking the program record for three-point accuracy in a game. The previous record of 75 percent was set against USC on Jan. 11, 2003 when the Quakers went 15-of-20 from beyond the arc. Penn tied the record just 19 days later against Princeton, nailing 6-of-8 trifectas.

Home Sweet Home

The Red and Blue are 730-314 all-time in The Palestra. Penn has not had a losing season at home since 1984-85 where the Quakers went 4-9. The Quakers have had 19 perfect Ivy League seasons at home and four seasons without a loss in The Palestra.

A Decade Worth of Victories

For the 10th time since his tenure began, Head Coach Fran Dunphy’s team recorded at least 17 victories in a season when Penn went 17-10 in 2003-04. The current Ivy League dean of coaches has 11 winning seasons under his belt and three straight heading into the 2004-05 campaign.

He’s No. 2

Head Coach Fran Dunphy is second all-time in the Ivy League with 283 career victories.Dunphy is also second in all-time Ivy League wins with 171. He has amassed an overall record of 171-42 against Ivy League opponents in his 16th season at Penn.

Welcome to The Palestra

The Palestra, which was built in 1927, was refurbished in 2000 and reopened amid some hoopla on Dec. 7 as “The Palestra 2000.” Known as college basketball’s most storied gymnasium, The Palestra was renovated into a type of museum of basketball history that includes players, coaches and fans from Penn, the Ivy League, local high schools, national powerhouse colleges, and of course, the Philadelphia Big 5. In an article titled, “A Museum in the Cathedral,” Sports Illustrated's Alex Wolff said “... Old friends - and the new friends The Palestra is making, like the Maryland basketball team, which strolled the halls in December on orders from Coach Gary Williams - regard the temple at 33rd and Walnut as “holier than a mere landmark.”

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