PHILADELPHIA – After starting the season with four road games, the University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team finally plays a home game on Tuesday night. What a way to start -- defending NCAA champion Villanova comes to town with the No. 2 ranking nationally. Please note that while the game will be broadcast worldwide through the subscription-based Ivy League Digital Network, fans in the Philadelphia viewing area will only be able to watch Tuesday night’s game live on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
GAME 5 – PENN (2-2) vs. #2/2 VILLANOVA (6-0)
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 * 7 p.m.
The Palestra (Philadelphia)
Although Penn is "the Red and the Blue," Penn fans are encouraged to wear RED to Tuesday night's game to offset the blue that will be worn by Villanova fans. Be a part of the RED OUT!
The Series with Villanova
• The Wildcats hold a 45-18 lead in the series, and have won 13 in a row over the Quakers including seven straight here at The Palestra.
• Villanova won last year’s game at the Pavilion, 77-57. Penn was led by Jackson Donahue, who hit five three-point baskets en route to 18 points. Matt Howard added 11 points.
• To give you a sense of how rare these types of games are in today’s college basketball climate -- and the beauty of the Big 5 -- it should be noted that tonight represents one of just two true non-conference road games defending NCAA champion Villanova will play this season. The other came on November 14 when the Wildcats went to Purdue as part of the Gavitt Games, a series pitting Big East teams against Big Ten teams.
• In case you’re wondering, the only other time Penn hosted the reigning NCAA champion at The Palestra was January 27, 1986—coincidentally, also Villanova. The Wildcats won that game, 68-64.
Penn vs. the Big East
• The Quakers enter tonight’s game 32-63 all-time against programs that currently play in the Big East Conference.
Penn by the Numbers
44.8 • Penn’s three-point percentage as a team (30 of 67) if you discount the team’s leading three-point shooter from last year, sophomore Jackson Donahue (8-31, .258).
51 • Points scored by junior transfer Caleb Wood in the last three games (11 at Miami, 25 at CCSU, 15 at Navy).
59.1 • Wood’s three-point percentage over the last three games (13-22).
10 • Points scored by Matt MacDonald Saturday at Navy, one more than he had scored in Penn’s first three games combined (9).
14 • Three-point baskets hit by Penn last Tuesday in a win at Central Connecticut State, the most since the 2002-03 season (16, tying a school record).
2 • This is the second season for Penn’s John R. Rockwell Head Coach of Men’s Basketball, Steve Donahue. Prior to his return to University City, where he was an assistant coach for 10 years under Fran Dunphy and helped Penn to six Ivy League titles, Donahue was head at Cornell and Boston College.
78.8 • Percentage of points from a year ago that return to Penn’s lineup for the 2016-17 season (1,506 out of 1,911).
Quaker Notemeal From Navy
• Penn was up 68-61, but did not score over the game’s final 5:21 and gave up the final nine points in a two-point loss.
• Four of Penn’s five starters reached double figures in the scoring column, while the fifth (senior Matt Howard) scored nine points before fouling out.
• Penn tied Donahue-era lows in foul shots made (4) and attempted (6), and took no free throws in the second half.
• Sophomore Jackson Donahue hit four treys -- as many as he had in the Quakers’ first three games combined -- to finish with 12 points, and he also had six assists which is a career high.
• Junior Matt MacDonald scored 10 points, more than he had in Penn’s first three games combined (9). He also led the Quakers with six rebounds.
Fast Start For the Freshman
• Freshman AJ Brodeur had a double-double in his first collegiate game, with 23 points and 11 rebounds at Robert Morris on November 11; in doing so, he became the first freshman in program history to pull of the feat. The last time a Penn player had a double-double in his first varsity game was December 1, 1976 when sophomore Tony Price went for 18 points and 12 rebounds in a 108-69 win over The Citadel at The Palestra.
• You have to go even further back in the Penn annals to find the last time a Quakers player scored 23 points in his first varsity game, like Brodeur had at RMU; it was December 4, 1963 when sophomore Stan Pawlak had 28 in his debut in a 91-62 win over Rutgers.
• That Monday, Brodeur was named co-Ivy League Rookie of the Week along with Yale’s Miye Oni.