Box Score (PDF)
PHILADELPHIA - With several key players still sidelined with injuries, the Penn men's basketball team's margin for error seems to get slimmer and slimmer with each game. On Tuesday night, that paper-thin margin was exposed by an athletic Albany team that used an early second-half run to grab a 78-60 win at The Palestra.
Penn was already down two starters (Tyler Bernardini and Andreas Schreiber) for the fourth straight game, and one of its expected key bench players (Larry Loughery) sat for the second straight contest. Add to the list Conor Turley, who had also been a regular part of the rotation -- he tried to warm up, but a tailbone injury had him in civvies when the teams tipped off. That essentially left six of what would be your original ten-man rotation (11 if you want to include Justin Reilly, who has yet to play this season).
Penn (0-6) got some spectacular baskets Tuesday night -- of particular note, how about Dan Monckton's Jordan-esque slam on the break? -- but the Quakers' had all sorts of problems at the other end. Albany did not seem to have much trouble scoring, shooting 54.1 percent from the field (33 of 61) and nailing six of its 13 three-point attempts.
That said, the Quakers were able to hang with Albany (4-6) through much of the first half, as the Great Danes steadily built a lead but never got out of sight. However, in a harbinger of things to come, a 6-0 Great Dane run midway through the stanza put them up 27-19 with seven minutes to go.Penn was unable to get closer than five before halftime, and went into the break down 39-32.
The Quakers got off to a quick start in the second half, as Darren Smith nailed a jumper and Rob Belcore hit a layup off a steal to make it 39-36. However, Albany responded with 18 of the game's next 24 points, taking a 57-42 lead, and that took the wind out of Penn's sails. Will Harris was a particular thorn during the run, nailing a pair of dagger three-pointers en route to 13 of his 19 points for the night.
Jack Eggleston was Penn's leading scorer Tuesday night, as he scored 15 points. Zack Rosen and Mike Howlett had 10 points apiece. Freshman Carson Sullivan had a productive nine minutes in the game, scoring five points and snaring four rebounds to tie for the team lead with Howlett.
Albany's Tim Ambrose led all scorers with 20 points, while Mike Johnson complemented Ambrose and Harris with 15 points, seven assists and two steals.
Penn returns to action Saturday at Monmouth. Tipoff with the Hawks is set for 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Penn tied a season high with 10 steals ... The Quakers also had a season-low 12 turnovers ... Penn went 13-of-17 from the foul line, its second-best shooting night from the charity stripe (76.5 percent) ... Junior Jack Eggleston led Penn in scoring for the second straight game, and the third time this season ... Eggleston has scored in double figures in four straight games (15.5 ppg) ... Sophomore Zack Rosen has also scored in double figures in four straight games (16.5 ppg) ... Rosen has had at least five assists in five of Penn's six games this season; he had four in the sixth ... Sophomore Mike Howlett tied for the team lead in rebounding, the fifth time he has led or tied for the lead in a game this season ... Sophomore Rob Belcore has 13 assists in the last three games, with just four turnovers ... Freshman Carson Sullivan had career highs with five points and four rebounds ... Junior Zack Gordon saw his first collegiate minutes, playing five in the second half ... After sitting out the Navy game due to injury, freshman Brian Fitzpatrick played 13 minutes Tuesday and had four points, one rebound, one blocked shot and one steal ... DNP-INJURY: Justin Reilly (all games this season), Tyler Bernardini (4th straight game), Andreas Schreiber (4th), Larry Loughery (2nd), Conor Turley (1st).
Download: Penn vs. Albany.pdf