Men's Basketball Ground Down by Drexel, 58-49

Box Score (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA - How hard were baskets to come by in Tuesday night's men's basketball game between Penn and visiting Drexel at The Palestra?

Consider that Drexel (1-3) did not hit a three-point basket for the first time in 520 games, dating back to 1992, and the Dragons went 10-of-22 from the foul line.

They won.

Penn (0-4) also fired blanks outside the arc -- together the teams went 0-for-19 -- and unfortunately the Quakers also struggled inside the line. It did nothelp that they turned the ball over more times (18) than they scored a field goal (17).The result was a 58-49 Drexel win in front of a vocal crowd of 4,308 that showed every bit of this neighborhood rivalry.

(in case you were wondering...and we know you were...the last time two teams combined on an oh-fer from beyond the arc was February 9, 2002, when Charleston Southern and Elon went a combined 0-for-18 in a 61-52 Charleston win.)

In fact, the difference may have been the only guy in the gym who had a hot hand -- Drexel's Jamie Harris. He hit eight of his 14 shots for a game-high 22 points. Gerald Colds and Evan Neisler had 10 points each.

For Penn, Mike Howlett had his second double-double in as many games, scoring 10 points and snaring 13 rebounds (giving him 27 in the last two games). Junior Jack Eggleston also had a double-double, with 10 points and 11 boards, while sophomore guard Zack Rosen led the Quakers in scoring for the second straight game with 13 points.

With both teams looking for their first win entering the night, indications came early that this would not be a night for offense. In fact, it took Penn nearly 13 minutes to reach double digits on the scoreboard. Amazingly, when Darren Smith got the Quakers there with a layup, it tied the game at 10-10.

Drexel responded. Derrick Thomas hit a jumper, and then Evan Neisler got inside for a layup. While Penn continued to struggle, Colds hit a pair of free throws and then Kevin Phillip hit a jumper in the paint. That made the score 18-10, and the Dragons were still up by six (26-20) at halftime.

Drexel used another fast start to open the second half -- fast being a relative term in this game -- and the Dragons' lead swelled to double digits within four minutes at 34-22. Penn made its best run of the game at that point, as Howlett and Eggleston knocked down consecutive jumpers in the lane, then Belcore and Howlett got inside for layups. When Howlett followed his and-one play with a made free throw, the score was 34-31 with 13 minutes to play.

Offense again came at a premium for several minutes after that, and it was still a three-point game (41-38) with eight minutes to go. Then Harris hit a jumper, and exactly a minute later Neisler made Penn pay for a turnover by scoring in the paint. Still another minute after that, with Penn going scoreless on another turnover and then a missed shot, Phillip got two more for the Dragons. Another minute went by without Penn points, and Phillip dunked home a follow. That made the score 49-38 with just under five minutes to play, and the Quakers never got closer than eight.

The Quakers are off for more than a week,not playing a game until Friday,December4at Navy. That game will tip off at 7 p.m. and be televised live on CBS College Sports.

* * *

Penn Game Notes: Penn shot a season-best 78.9 percent from the foul line (15 of 19) ... Penn outrebounded its opponent for the second straight game ... Drexel's 58 points were the fewest allowed by Penn so far this season ... Penn went without a three-point basket for the second time in the Glen Miller coaching era; the other time wasFeb. 2, 2008against Dartmouth ... Sophomore Mike Howlett recorded his second double-double in as many games, with 10 points and 13 rebounds ... The last Penn player to record back-to-back double-doubles was Mark Zoller, who actually did it three separate times during the 2006-07 season (the last came against La Salle and Temple) ... Howlett has34 rebounds in the last three games and has led the Quakers in that category in all three... Junior Jack Eggleston had his second collegiate double-double, with 10 points and 11 rebounds ... Zack Rosen led Penn in scoring for the second straight game, with 13 points ... Sophomore Rob Belcore had a season-high four assists, tying Rosen for game-high honors... Penn played for the second straight game without starters Tyler Bernardini and Andreas Schreiber, due to injury.

Download: Penn04 (Drexel).pdf