PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team put up another valiant fight on Tuesday night at Temple’s Liacouras Center, but once again the Quakers did not make the plays down the stretch and fell to the Owls, 76-67.
Penn was down just 70-67 with less than two minutes to play after Greg Louis tipped in missed foul shot by Darien Nelson-Henry. However, Temple's Mark Williams capped off a 24-point night with a pair of foul shots after being fouled by Nelson-Henry. Darnell Foreman and Antonio Woods followed that with missed three-point attempts, and both times the rebound went to Temple’s Josh Brown who was fouled on each occasion. He hit all four free throws to set the final score.
It was another night of playing catch-up for Penn, which fell behind 12-2 to start the game; came back to take an 18-17 lead; but fell behind 33-30 and never tied or led again. Brown was the Temple player whose trey broke the 30-30 tie, and it set the Owls off on a 14-3 run which was eventually whittled down to seven by halftime. (It was very nearly four, as Penn freshman Sam Jones hit an absolute circus shot at the buzzer. However, the referees ruled he was out of bounds when he shot it and so did not check the monitor to see if he got it off in time.)
Temple’s largest lead in the second half was 11 points, and it was still 60-50 with 15 minutes left when Penn made a move. Matt Howard (career-high 15 points) got the run started with a pair of layups in transition, and then after a Will Cummings jumper put Temple back up by eight Howard followed up a Foreman trey with another layup and then a pair of free throws. That made the score 60-59 in Temple’s favor with 9:45 to play.
Penn would not score again for nearly four minutes, and Temple made the Quakers play. Cummings shook free for a layup, and then a pair of empty possessions hurt the Quakers when Brown’s missed jumper was put back by Obi Enechionyia to make the score 64-59. Two more possessions went by the boards for Penn, and again Temple capitalized as Williams hit a jumper to push the Owls’ lead to seven.
Louis finally ended the drought with a layup, and then Foreman knocked down a pair of foul shots to get Penn within three (66-63). Williams missed a shot for Temple, and Penn had a chance to tie. However, a turnover turned into a layup for Bond, and then a missed trey by Woods turned into two more Owls points as Williams put back a Brown miss.
Nelson-Henry scored on a layup in traffic and was fouled; out of the ensuing timeout, his missed free throw was put back by Louis who made a great hustle play to get inside his man. However, that was the last punch Penn was able to throw on the night.
Tony Hicks led Penn with 17 points, 15 of them coming in the first half as he fouled out with almost seven minutes still to play in the contest. Howard had six rebounds and three steals to go with his 15 points, while Nelson-Henry finished the game with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Louis had eight points and six boards.
For Temple, Cummings had 16 points and Quenton DeCosey added 14 to complement Williams. Brown scored 11, eight of them coming on his 8-of-8 performance at the foul line.
Penn returns to action on Saturday at Wagner, tipping off with the Seahawks at 4 p.m.
Game Notes: Penn shot a season-high 81.8 percent from the foul line (18-22) … Penn outrebounded its opponent for the third time in four games … Junior Tony Hicks led Penn in scoring for the third time in four games, with 17 points; he is the only Penn player to score in double figures in every game this season … Junior Darien Nelson-Henry tied a career best in assists (3) and set a career high in minutes (35); he also had his second double-figure scoring game of 2014-15 and tied a season high with a team-high eight rebounds … Sophomore Matt Howard set career highs in points (15), rebounds (6), steals (3) and minutes (31); it was Howard’s first double-figure scoring game at Penn … Freshman Darnell Foreman set season/career highs in points (5), rebounds (5), assists (4), and minutes (31) … Senior Greg Louis matched season highs in points (8) and rebounds (6) … In his second appearance this season, sophomore Dylan Jones had another six-point, three-rebound performance in 11 minutes … Sophomore Matt Poplawski and freshman Shawn Simmons saw their first game action of 2014-15.
Download: Temple-Penn MBB Final Box.pdf