Men's Basketball Falls to Princeton, 58-51

Box Score (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA - A pair of familiar bugaboos plagued the Penn men's basketball team in Tuesday night's game with archrival Princeton at The Palestra, and the Tigers took advantage to gain a 58-51 win.

The victory kept the Tigers in second place in the Ivy League standings at 6-1; they trail 7-1 Cornell by percentage points. Penn, meanwhile, fell to 3-4 in Ivy play and 4-17 overall.

Bugaboo No. 1: Slow Starts.

Penn and Princeton were tied, 4-4, four minutes into the contest, but the Tigers scored the game's next nine points and never trailed again. Amazingly, Princeton's lead never went higher than that nine-point edge, but at the same time Penn was never able to climb the mountain and get itself even or ahead of the Tigers.

Penn had a five-point run in the first half that turned Princeton's 20-13 lead into a two-point game with Dan Monckton's free throws. However, Ian Hummer-- who turned out to be a thorn in Penn's side all night -- got fouled and made a free throw. Nearly two minutes later, Hummer knocked down a jumper which capped the Tigers' seven-point streak, and the margin was back to nine points (27-18). The teams went into the locker rooms with the score 29-22, Princeton.

Bugaboo No. 2: Struggles From the Field.

The second half was truly maddening if you are a Penn fan. The Quakers were clean with their possessions, turning it over just four times in the final 20 minutes. As a result, they got plenty of open looks and chances to draw closer. However, Penn shot 8-of-25 -- amazingly, exactly the same numbers the Red and Blue had in the first stanza -- and finished the night at a season-low 32 percent. That included a 4-of-18 performance from beyond the arc.

(By comparison, Princeton was judicious with its shots but made them count, hitting half of its 38 attempts. The Tigers were especially patient in the second half, taking just 14 shots from the field.)

Penn's best chance to draw level came midway through the half. Down, 43-34, the Quakers used the foul line to draw within three as Zack Rosen hit four freebies and Rob Belcore added two. Rosen's second set made the score 43-40 with six minutes to go, and the Palestra crowd of 4,059 sensed another classic chapter in this rivalry.

Hummer, a freshman from Virginia, was having none of it. He followed a Douglas Davis miss with a tip-in, and then after Jack Eggleston missed a jumper Hummer made another layup off a Dan Mavraides assist. Nearly three minutes went by and the teams traded one foul shot each, before Hummer again put back a miss and suddenly the score was 50-41 with just over a minute to play.

Mavraides (24 points) secured the win at the foul line in the final minute, knocking down all eight of his free-throw attempts as Penn tried to come back. Hummer was the only other Tigers in double figures, ending the game with 14 points and six rebounds.

For Penn, Rosen had 15 points and four assists without a turnover, while Eggleston finished with 14 and Belcore added nine points and a team-leading six boards.

Penn returns to action twice this weekend at The Palestra, hosting Brown Friday and Yale Saturday. They are the fourth and fifth home games the Quakers will play in eight days. Tipoff for both contests is 7 p.m.

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Penn Game Notes: Penn lost to Princeton at The Palestra for the second year in a row, a first since the Tigers won three consecutive in Philly from 1997-99 ... Princeton attempted just 38 field goals, an opponent low in the post-Dunphy era at Penn ... Penn committed just 10 turnovers, second-lowest this season (nine vs. Brown) ... Penn has an assist/turnover ratio above 1.00 for the third straight game (11 assists/10 turnovers, 1.10) ... Penn went 15 of 18 at the foul line (83.3 percent), the sixth straight game the Quakers have been over 80 percent and the 12th time in the last 13 games Penn has been over 75 percent ... Penn shot 32 percent from the field, a season low ... Sophomore Zack Rosen had 15 points, his seventh straight game in double digits (16.6 ppg during that stretch) and the 18th time in the last 19 games he has made the mark ... Rosen led Penn in scoring for the 13th time this season ... Rosen went 7-of-8 at the foul line, the second straight game he had those numbers; over the last four games, Rosen is 32-of-37 (86.5 percent) at the charity stripe ... Junior Jack Eggleston had 14 points, his fourth straight double-figure scoring game in a row (15.5 ppg in that stretch) and 16th overall this season ... Eggleston also set a season high and tied a career best with three steals ... Eggleston played all 40 minutes for the sixth time in seven Ivy games this season; he has played 279 of a potential 280 minutes against Ivy opponents ... Sophomore Rob Belcore had nine points, giving him 32 in the last three games ... Belcore also led Penn with six rebounds, becoming the seventh different Penn player to lead the Quakers in boards in a game this season ... In his third game back after missing 11 with a foot injury, sophomore Mike Howlett played 24 minutes and contributed five points and four rebounds ... Senior Justin Reilly made his first field goal but missed his second, ending a streak of 10 straight field goals made over a five-game span.

Download: Penn - Princeton Box.pdf