Men's Basketball Gears Up For Princeton

PHILADELPHIA - Prior to the 2009-10 men's basketball season, the Princeton men were picked second in the Ivy League while the Penn men were picked there. The Tigers have done their part, going 5-1 to date with the only loss coming Saturday night against preseason favorite (and two-time defending champion) Cornell. An injury-riddled Quakers squad is just 4-16 overall, but in the upper half of the Ivy standings at 3-3 including Friday's scintillating, 79-64 win over that same Cornell squad. The stage is set for the 221st chapter of the fabled Penn-Princeton rivalry.

GAME 21 - PENN (4-16, 3-3) vs. PRINCETON (14-6, 5-1)
Philadelphia (The Palestra)
Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010 * 7 p.m.
TV: None
Radio: The Fanatic 97.5 FM/Sirius Satellite Radio 130 (Brian Seltzer, Stan Pawlak)

Penn Game Notes (PDF)

Penn vs. Princeton
* Long the dominant programs in the Ivy League, the Quakers and Tigers have met 220 times previously on the hardwood -- in fact, Penn has not faced any other team more than Princeton. Penn leads the all-time series, 122-98.

* To give you a sense of how close this rivalry has been in recent years, Penn has won eight of the last 11 games over Princeton but the teams have played four overtime contests during that time (each team winning twice).

* Last year, Penn needed extra time to defeat Princeton in New Jersey, taking a 62-55 decision; in the rematch at The Palestra, the Tigers avenged that loss with a 59-56 victory.

Juicy Coaching Matchup
The subplot of this game is that the head coaches are guys very familiar with this rivalry -- Penn's Jerome Allen and Princeton's Sydney Johnson. Allen, of course,was a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year and led his team to 49 straight Ivy wins from 1992-95. Johnson, meanwhile,was the 1996-97 Ivy League Player of the Year and a two-time first-team All-Ivy selection, and led the Tigers to an undefeated Ivy campaign his senior season. He was also on the 1995-96 Princeton team that tied Penn for the Ivy title (both went 12-2), then went on to defeat the Quakers in a one-game playoff before knocking off UCLA in the NCAA Tournament first round.

About That Cornell Win on Friday...
* The win was Penn's first over a ranked opponent since Nov. 23, 1998 (Cornell entered the game ranked 22nd in the latest USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll).

* The win snapped a four-game Cornell winning streak in the series between the Quakers and the Big Red.

* Penn's 79-point output was its best since Jan. 6 (82 points at UMBC), a span of eight games, and its best in Ivy play since Feb. 28, 2009 (79 at Brown), a span of nine conference contests.

* Penn's field goal and three-point totals (27, 11) were the team's second-best this season-the Quakers hit 29 field goals at Monmouth on Dec. 12, and 13 treys at UMBC on Jan. 6.

* Penn shot a season-best 56.3 percent from the field (27 of 48) and went 52.4 percent from beyond the arc which is the second-best this season (below the 54.2 percent at UMBC).

* Penn went 14 of 17 from the foul line, the fourth straight game over 80 percent and the 10th time in 11 games the Quakers have been 75 percent or better. (Penn would go 13 of 15 the next night to add on to both streaks.)

* Penn outrebounded Cornell, 30-25, the fifth time in six games the Quakers have matched or bettered their opponent in that statistic.

* Penn had an assist/turnover ratio above 1.00 for the first time since La Salle, a span of six games, and just the fifth time this season (18/12, a 1.50 ratio).

* Junior Jack Eggleston had a career-high 24 points (previous career best 19, set three times) and also set a new standard with four three-pointers.

* When Eggleston was taken out in the final minute, it marked the first time he has been subbed out of an Ivy League game this season. (That streak continued the next night against Columbia, when he played all 40 minutes.)

* Sophomore Zack Rosen had 22 points, his sixth game with at least 20 points this season and his team-high 16th double-figure scoring contest. (He added another double-digit game the next night with 11 against Columbia.)

* Sophomore Rob Belcore had 10 points, his first double-figure scoring game since he had 12 at Navy on December 4, and set a new career high with four steals (also the team high for this season).

* Senior Darren Smith had eight points, his 11th time reaching that mark this season but the first so far in Ivy play. (He followed that up with nine points the next night against Columbia.)

* Sophomore Dan Monckton was held scoreless for the first time since November 16 at Villanova, but tied a season/career best with four assists in 23 minutes.

* Sophomore Mike Howlett saw his first action since December 12 at Monmouth-he missed 11 games due to injury-and contributed nine points and nine rebounds in 18 minutes. Five of his boards were on the offensive glass. (The next night, against Columbia, Howlett led Penn with 14 points and snared five more rebounds.)

* Senior Justin Reilly was 3-of-3 from the field against the Big Red, giving him eight consecutive field goals in the last three games; after extending the streak to nine straight with a make on his only field-goal attempt against Columbia, he is now 13 of 14 (92.9 percent) from the field in Ivy League play.

The Injury Report...
Sophomore Mike Howlett (foot), who missed 11 straight games, played in both contests this past weekend and is available for Tuesday, as well ... Junior Conor Turley (fingers) was injured on Friday and is unavailable for Tuesday; his status beyond that is undetermined at this point ... Preseason projected starters Tyler Bernardini (foot) and Andreas Schreiber (shoulder) have missed the last 18 games and are done for the season ... Sophomore Larry Loughery (hip) has missed the last 17 games and is done for the season.

Download: 21 - Princeton.pdf