PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team has lost three in a row and four of its last five in Ivy League play, all of them by double digits. With the next four games on the road, the Quakers face a daunting stretch as they try to right the ship. The first stop on this four-game run is in Cambridge, where Penn tips off with a Harvard team that enters this weekend tied for first place in the Ivy League standings with Yale. The next night, the Quakers are at Dartmouth.
GAME 22 – PENN (7-14, 2-5 Ivy League) at HARVARD (17-5, 7-1)
Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 * 7 p.m.
Cambridge, Mass. (Lavietes Pavilion)
GAME 23 – PENN at DARTMOUTH (9-13, 2-6)
Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 * 7 p.m.
Hanover, N.H. (Leede Arena)
The H/D Road Weekend
Penn made this road trip 58 times previously; the Quakers have swept the trip 34 times, split it 18 times, and been swept six times. Penn was swept last year, the first time that had happened since the 1987-88 season.
The Series with Harvard
*Penn’s lead in this series is substantial, at 129-37; however, Harvard has dominated recent years with three straight wins, four in the last five games, and 10 of the last 12 contests.
*The Crimson dominated the first meeting this season, defeating Penn at The Palestra in Philadelphia by a 63-38 score. It marked the fewest points scored by the Quakers in the Jerome Allen coaching era. Steve Moundou-Missi led four Harvard players in double figures, with 20 points, while Matt Howard was the only Penn player to hit double digits (11 points).
*Harvard has won four of the last five games played here at Lavietes Pavilion, including a 73-54 decision two years ago and a decisive, 80-50 game last season.
The Series with Dartmouth
*Penn has a sizeable lead in the series, 150-58, including a 58-51 decision three weeks ago in Philadelphia. Prior to this season, Dartmouth had won two of the last three meetings; before that, though, the Quakers had won seven in a row and a staggering 30 of the last 32 games (both losses coming in the 2008-09 season).
*Tony Hicks led four Penn players in double figures in the first meeting, on January 30, with 18 points. Greg Louis nearly had a double-double, with 10 points and eight rebounds, while Antonio Woods and Darien Nelson-Henry scored 11 points each. For Dartmouth, Malik Gill came off the bench to score a team-high 15 points, while Gabas Maldunas had 14 and Connor Boehm added 10.
Closing In On 1,000
Junior guard Tony Hicks enters this weekend’s games needing 11 points to reach 1,000 for his career; he would become the 39th player in the program’s history to reach the milestone, and the first since Miles Jackson-Cartwright did it during the 2012-13 season.
Quaker Notemeal of Note
*Penn is 5-0 this season when holding its opponent below 60 points, and 28-6 in such games in the Jerome Allen coaching era.
*Penn is 5-4 this season when leading at the half.
*Penn is 5-3 when making more foul shots in a game than its opponent.
*Penn is 7-2 this season when shooting a better percentage from the field than its opponent.
*Penn is 3-0 when hitting more three-point baskets than its opponent in a game.
*Penn has outrebounded 14 of its 21 opponents this season; in two of those other seven games, the Quakers matched their opponent in the rebound column.
*Penn has had six different players lead the team in scoring in a game this season (juniors Tony Hicks and Darien Nelson-Henry; sophomore Matt Howard; freshmen Mike Auger, Sam Jones and Antonio Woods).
*Those six players, plus two others (senior Greg Louis and freshman Darnell Foreman), have had at least one double-figure scoring game this season.
*Penn is undefeated this season when Louis hits double figures in the scoring column (4-0).
*Sam Jones did not hit a field goal over a six-game span from December 22 (at Vanderbilt) to January 24 (Saint Joseph’s); in the six games since then he has 17 field goals, 16 of which are three-point baskets.
*Overall this season, 33 of the 39 field goals Jones has hit have come from beyond the arc.
*Howard has become a reliable scorer in recent weeks, going for double figures in eight of Penn’s last 15 games; in four of those other six games, he had eight or nine points.