Box Score (PDF)
CATONSVILLE, Md. -The Penn men's basketball team put together a complete offensive effort Wednesday night at UMBC, and the result was an 82-71 win over the Retrievers that got the Quakers off the schneid and put them in the win column for the first time this season. It was also the first collegiate win for Penn's interim head coach, Jerome Allen.
Was it dicey down the stretch? A little. The nerves of a team still looking for its first win showed at times, most prominently with a little over a minute left when the Quakers turned over an inbounds pass off a UMBC bucket, and the turnover led to a three by the Retrievers' Brian Neller made the score 76-69 with 1:15 still to play, and you could almost see the Penn fans holding their breath.
However, Zack Rosen had the answer. Penn's sophomore leader got possession of the ensuing inbounds and was fouled, then calmly knocked down both free throws in the bonus situation. He then stole the ball on defense and was fouled again, and again drained both in a 1-and-1 situation. That pushed the Quakers to an 11-point lead, and UMBC -- with only one win of its own this season-- could not recover.
Compared to Sunday's game at Lafayette, Penn utilized a balanced attack despite shortening the bench (only seven players saw action in Wednesday's game). Rosen had another monster game, scoring 28 points including what ended up being eight free throws in the final minute. Jack Eggleston, off a double-double at Lafayette, scored just six points but pulled down 11 rebounds and dished off five assists.
Unlike Sunday, though, the supporting cast was outstanding. Darren Smith was dead-eye from long distance, knocking down five of his eight three-point attempts for all of his 15 points. Conor Turley had his hands full with UMBC's seven-footer, Robbie Jackson, but came up with 13 points of his own including a personal eight-point run midway through the second half. Dan Monckton was aggressive getting to the basket and scored 11 points in 21 minutes. And Rob Belcore also looked for his shot early, and that set the tone as he finished with nine points, four boards and a team-high six assists.
As a team, Penn was patient and efficient on offense, shooting 50 percent from the field -- 60 percent in the second half (12 of 20) -- and knocking down 13 of its 24 three-point attempts. The Quakers also went 21-of-26 from the foul line, had 17 assists on their 24 baskets, and outrebounded the Retrievers, 35-21.
The performance was welcomed by a partisan Penn crowd that made the trip south of Baltimore to witness Coach Allen's first victory.
Nobody held a lead larger than five points until 15 minutes remained in the contest, when Turley hit a pair of free throws to put Penn up, 46-39.After the teams traded baskets, UMBC's Chris De La Rosa scored five straight points to make the score 48-46. Turley knocked down two more freebies after that, and then tipped home a Monckton miss that gave Penn a 52-46 advantage. Monckton then responded to a Matt Spadafora layup with a three-pointer to make it 55-48.
UMBC (1-13) got within four (59-55) with just over seven minutes left, but Eggleston knocked down a pair of free throws, and then consecutive Retriever turnovers turned into three-point buckets by Rosen and Monckton. That put the Quakers up 67-55, and Monckton added to it nearly a minute later with a free throw.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, and a clean one at that as Penn committed just four turnovers while UMBC had just one. The teams used differing methods en route to the Quakers' 35-33 lead at the break, as Penn bombed from outside to counter UMBC's inside attack. Eight of the Quakers' 12 field goals in the opening stanza were from long distance, led by Rosen and Smith who had three apiece (including Smith's to end the half and give Penn just its second halftime lead this season, the other coming Nov. 24 against Delaware). At the other end, Chauncey Gillam was a one-man wrecking crew with 16 points including three of the Retrievers' four treys.
De La Rosa did all he could to keep UMBC in the game, scoring 23 of his 28 points every which way in the second half, while Chauncey Gilliam had 18 but just two in the second stanza. Jackson finished the game with eight points and six boards.
Penn's win could not have come at a better time, as the Quakers now enter a stretch of three straight Philadelphia Big 5 games before getting into Ivy League play at the end of the month. Penn's Big 5 run starts next Wednesday, when Coach Allen and the Quakers welcome Temple which is coached by the man who originallyrecruited Allen to Penn as a player, Fran Dunphy. Tipoff between the Quakers and the Owls will be 7 p.m.
Penn Game Notes: Penn played just seven players in the game, a season low ... Penn's 82-point output was its second-best this season 94 in double overtime vs. Delaware) ... Penn had four players score in double figures for the second time this season (also Delaware) ... Penn hit 13 three-point baskets, a season high and the fifth time in the last nine games the Quakers have reached double figures in that category ... Penn's 13 treys were the most in a game since Dec. 4, 2004 (13 vs. La Salle) ... Penn had season-best percentages from the field overall (24-of-48, 50 percent) and on three-pointers (13-of-24, 54.2 percent) ... The last time Penn shot so well from beyond the arc in a game was Feb. 22, 2008 (12 of 17, 70.6 percent at Dartmouth) ... Penn made more three-point baskets (13) than two-point baskets (11), the second straight game that has happened ... Penn went 21 of 26 from the foul line, the third straight game the Quakers were over 80 percent at the charity stripe ... Penn took more foul shots (26) than its opponent (21) for the fifth time this season, but just the first time in the last five games ... Penn's +14 rebound margin was its best against an opponent since Feb. 22, 2008 (+20 at Dartmouth, 49-29) ... Penn had 17 assists on its 24 baskets ... Penn tied a season low with 11 turnovers ... Penn's 17/11 assist/turnover ratio was a season best ... Sophomore Zack Rosen has scored 58 points in the last two games, shooting 11-of-19 from three-point ... Rosen has made 27 of his last 29 foul shots after going 8-for-8 tonight ... Senior Darren Smith knocked down a career-high five three-pointers for all of his 15 points, his fourth game in double figures this season ... Junior Dan Monckton had career highs in points (11) and three-point baskets (2) ... Junior Jack Eggleston had 11 rebounds for the second game in a row and the third time this season ... Eggleston also had a career-high five assists ... Junior Conor Turley had a career-high 13 points and a season-best seven rebounds ... Sophomore Rob Belcore had nine points, his best offensive night in six games ... Senior Drew Godwin, a member of the JV team, traveled and suited up for the game ... Missing the game due to injury: Tyler Bernardini, Andreas Schreiber, Larry Loughery, Mike Howlett, Sean Mullan.
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