PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team opened Ivy League play in disappointing fashion on Saturday, giving up a 15-point second-half lead in losing to archrival Princeton, 78-74. There is little time todwell on that loss, however, as the Quakers travel to Niagara to face the Purple Eagles. After playing just two games in a 31-day span, Penn is in the midst of five contests in 14 days.
GAME 12 – PENN (3-8) at NIAGARA (3-11)
Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015 * 7 p.m.
Niagara University, N.Y. (Gallagher Arena)
*The Purple Eagles lead the series, 3-1, but the Quakers gained their first win just a year ago at The Palestra, 85-66, as Tony Hicks scored a career-high 33 points and dished out five assists.
*Penn has a 23-16 all-time record against programs that currently play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC); that includes a loss to Rider and a win over Marist earlier this season. The Quakers are also scheduled to host MAAC member Monmouth next Wednesday.
Did You Know...
Former Purple Eagle Calvin Murphy still holds the record for points in a game in Penn’s home gym, The Palestra? He dropped 52 in Niagara’s 100-83 win over La Salle on Dec. 16, 1967, and that remains the individual standard in Philadelphia’s iconic college basketball gym. The Palestra celebrated its 88th birthday on January 1.
The Purple Eagles have lost three in a row after back-to-back wins against Albany and Manhattan. Three Niagara players are averaging double figures in scoring -- Welsey Myers (10.9 ppg), Ramone Snowden (10.8) and Emile Blackman (10.6). Snowden also leads the Purple Eagles in rebounding (6.4 rpg), assists (38) and steals (15, with Myers). Karonn Davis has 33 assists
The Youth Getting Experience
Penn’s six newcomers have played 898 of the team’s 2,225 minutes this season (40.4 percent); as high as that percentage is, it would likely be even higher if not for Mike Auger’s injury, which caused him to miss six of the Quakers’ 10 games so far this season.
Quaker Notemeal of Note
*Penn has had four different freshmen win the Ivy League’s Rookie of the Week honor already this season, and they did it in a five-week span (Antonio Woods, Nov. 17; Mike Auger, Nov. 24; Darnell Foreman, Dec. 8; Sam Jones, Dec. 15); according to the Ivy League’s basketball media guide, no team has had four different players earn the award in the same season (dating back to 1984-85).
*Penn has shot better than 50 percent from the field each of the last two games and five times in the last nine contests.
*Penn has outrebounded eight of its 11 opponents this season.
Notemeal at Princeton
*Princeton made 32 foul shots, tied for an opponent high in the Jerome Allen coaching era; the Tigers’ 43 free-throw attempts were two shy of the opponent high in the Allen era.
*Junior Darien Nelson-Henry scored a season-high 18 points; he has 53 points in his last three appearances against the Tigers.