PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team had lofty expectations for 2013-14, but a slow start has curtailed some of that optimism. On Sunday, the Quakers play just their second game since December 7 as they travel to Rider to face the Broncs. It marks the fourth Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foe this season for the Red and Blue.
GAME 10 - PENN (2-7) at RIDER (5-5)
Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013 * Noon
Alumni Gym (Lawrenceville, N.J.)
TV: Comcast Network (Matt Martucci, Rob Kennedy)
Radio: WNTP 990 AM (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)
The Penn-Rider Series
*The Quakers and the Broncs are facing each other for the fourth time; Rider leads the series, 2-1.
*An interesting note about this series is that all three games have gone to overtime. Rider won 77-72 in OT on Jan. 10, 2004 here at Alumni Gym; then won again in OT, 74-68, almost exactly a year later, on Jan. 12, 2005 at The Palestra in Philadelphia. Penn reversed the fortunes on Nov. 17, 2011, a 78-72 OT win here at Alumni Gym that was part of the Philly Hoop Group Classic.
*With wins already this year against Monmouth and Niagara, and a loss last Sunday at Marist, Penn is now 22-14 all-time against MAAC schools. This will be the Quakers’ last game against a MAAC foe this season. (Canisius 0-1, Fairfield 0-1, Iona 3-1, Manhattan 7-3, Marist 1-2, Monmouth 5-1, Niagara 1-3, Quinnipiac 2-0, Rider 1-2, Siena 2-0)
Up The Scoring Chart
Senior Miles Jackson-Cartwright has 1,183 points for his career which is 27th in Penn history; he passed Paul Romanczuk (1,179 points from 1996-99) with his nine-point performance at Marist last Sunday. Jeff Neuman (1964-66) is 26th with 1,187 and current Colgate head coach Matt Langel (19997-00) is 25th with 1,191.
The Quaker Notemeal of Note
*Penn had shot better than 50 percent in two straight games, going a combined 62-of-117 against Niagara (34-62, .548) and Lafayette (28-55, .509), but has shot just 64-of-182 (.352) the last three games combined (21-62 at Villanova, 20-61 vs. Wagner, 23-59 at Marist).
*After being outrebounded in each of its first four games, Penn outrebounded four straight opponents (43-30 vs. Niagara, 33-32 vs. Lafayette, 42-40 vs. Villanova, 44-42 vs. Wagner) before being outrebounded last Sunday at Marist, 45-32.
*Penn has held eight of its nine opponents this season below 45 percent from the field.
*Penn is 2-0 against MAAC schools on Tuesdays; the Quakers have not won in any other situation. That includes losing to a MAAC school last Sunday, Marist.
*In Penn’s nine games so far, head coach Jerome Allen has played 15 players in a game twice this season, 14 players four times, and 13 players twice.
*Penn has four players averaging double figures in scoring, but has not had more than three double-figure scorers in any game so far this season.
*Through the first nine games, four different players have led Penn in scoring (Fran Dougherty, Miles Jackson-Cartwright, Tony Hicks, Darien Nelson-Henry) and all four have had at least one 20-point game.
*After recording 14 rebounds combined in Penn’s first four games (3.5 rpg), Dougherty has 46 in the last five contests (9.2 rpg).
*After playing only 19 minutes in Penn’s first six games -- he missed Penn’s trip to Iowa entirely, then played a grand total of five minutes combined against Penn State, Niagara and Lafayette -- freshman guard Tony Bagtas has started the last three games and played 104 minutes. He has dished out 21 assists (9 at Villanova, 8 vs. Wagner, 4 at Marist), scored 17 points (7 against both the Wildcats and Seahawks), and grabbed 10 rebounds.
*Jackson-Cartwright came off the bench last Sunday due to a thumb injury. The last time he played in a game but did not start it for Penn? Dec. 10, 2011 at UCLA. (In fact, prior to Sunday’s game, Jackson-Cartwright had started 88 of the previous 90 games he had played for the Quakers -- aside from UCLA, his only other non-start during that stretch was Penn’s Senior Day game against Princeton on March 8, 2011).
Notemeal From Marist
*Penn got 30 points from its bench, a season high.
*Penn had no players reach double figures in the scoring column, a first in the Jerome Allen coaching era.
*Penn played the game without sophomore Darien Nelson-Henry, who missed the trip completely due to a concussion suffered in practice earlier in the week.
*Junior Henry Brooks set a career high with three assists.