PHILADELPHIA -Kicking off the final home weekend of the season, the University of Pennsylvania men's basketball team defeated Cornell 79-67 on Friday night to improve to 11-13. The win was the Quakers' seventh in a row against the Big Red and brings them back to 5-5 in the Ivy League.
The Red and Blue (11-13) were led by Darien Nelson-Henry on Friday. The senior center scored in double figures for the seventh-straight game and picked up his ninth double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. To top off an already impressive night, Nelson-Henry became the 40th player in program history to score 1,000 career points when he tipped in his own miss early in the second half.
For the third time this season, five Quakers scored in double figures. In addition to Nelson-Henry, Sam Jones was right behind with 15, Jackson Donahue and Darnell Foreman both had 13, and Jake Silpe chipped in 12. Foreman's 13 points were a career high.
Penn got off to a dominant start on Friday night, jumping out to a 12-0 lead that was capped by Jones knocking down three free throws.
Things wouldn't get much better for the Big Red as the half wore on. The Quakers led by as many as 19 with five minutes remaining, but went into the locker room with a 32-22 lead. Nelson-Henry led Penn in the first 20 minutes, scoring seven points and pulling down five rebounds. The Quakers shot just 40.6 percent in the first half, but held Cornell to just 9-for-27 from the field.
In the second half, Cornell found its stroke and narrowed the gap to just five, but a three-pointer from Jake Silpe from the right corner brought the Quakers lead back to eight.
With the Big Red still battling their way back, Jackson Donahue knocked down a trey to put the Quakers up 14 in the final two and a half minutes to put any notion of a comeback to rest.
Penn shot a season-best 83.9 percent from the foul line for the game (26-of-31), which played a large role in the win. Cornell was just 9-of-19. Robert Hatter had 31 points to lead the Big Red, while the Ivy League's leading scorer, Matt Morgan, scored 14.
Penn is back at it on Saturday at 7 p.m. for Senior Night against Columbia, whose Ivy title hopes took a major hit with an 88-83 loss at Princeton Friday night. The Quakers will be honor senior captains Darien Nelson-Henry and Jamal Lewis prior to tipoff, as they play the final home game of their careers.
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