PHILADELPHIA - After two games on the road to start the season, Penn returned to The Palestra on Saturday night and home cooking resulted in the Quakers' first win of the season. Penn broke open what was an eight-point game at the half and pulled away for an 83-62 win over the Hawks.
It was a tale oftwo halves as far as the scoring went. A defensive first half ended with the Quakers ahead in a 26-18 game, after both teams shotless than 30 percent. The bright spot was sophomore Tyler Bernardini's 16 points on5-of-8 shooting.
The lids came off in the second half, with both teams shootingabove 50 percent.The Quakers went at a 65.6-percent clip to score 57 points in the half -- the most since they dropped 58 in the second half againstFlorida Gulf Coastduring the 2006-07 season --while the Hawks amped up their scoring with 44 points thanks inlarge part to Mike Myers Keitt's 16 second-half points.
Bernardini led all players with 22 pointsand went3-of-6 from three-point range.Three other Quakers reached double figures -- seniorsBrennan Votel and Kevin Egee scored 14 points apiece, and sophomoreRemy Cofield came off the bench to add 12.
Freshman point guard Zack Rosenscored five points and added five assists with no turnovers; he now has 13 assists without a turnover in the last two games. Sophomore Conor Turley led Penn's rebounding with eight off the bench.
As an added bonus to Penn fans, Saturday's game also marked senior Tommy McMahon's return to the lineup for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign. McMahon played 10 minutes Saturday and recorded four points and two rebounds.
Penn forced Monmouth into 26 turnovers, which was a high for an opponent in the two-plus seasons Glen Miller has been head coach of the Quakers. In addition, the Quakers came up with 16 steals, whichwas alsoa Miller-era high for the program.
Monmouth's Travis Taylor had a double-double, picking up 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Myers Keitt ledthe Hawkswith 20 points.
With the win Penn improved its record to 1-2 on the season. TheQuakerswill host Penn State Tuesday at the Palestra at7:30 p.m. in the second game of the men's-women's doubleheader.