Men's Basketball Heads to No. 17 Villanova Monday

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PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team closes out the 2015 portion of its season with arguably its most daunting task of this season. The Quakers’ third Big 5 game of the season is also its first on the road, and Monday’s opponent will be the first ranked team Penn has faced this season.

GAME 12 – PENN (5-6) at #17/17 VILLANOVA (9-2)
Monday, Dec. 28, 2015 * 7 p.m.
The Pavilion (Villanova, Pa.)

The Series with Villanova
*The Wildcats hold a substantial, 44-18 lead in the series and have won 12 in row (all but two of them by a double-digit margin).

*Villanova won last year’s meeting, 62-47, at The Palestra; the last meeting here at the Pavilion took place two years ago, and the Wildcats won that game 77-54.

*Penn is 32-62 all-time against programs that currently play Big East basketball.

Penn vs. AP Number 17
*While acknowledging that the number is likely to change shortly before tipoff, Penn is 3-6 all-time against teams who were ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press national poll on the date of the game.

*In two of those wins, the Quakers themselves were ranked higher than 17th in the poll. The only time Penn beat the No. 17 team when not ranked? Dec. 6, 1988—Penn 71, #17 Villanova 70 at The Palestra.

Quaker Notemeal
*Through 11 games, Penn has a 1.12 assist/turnover ratio (153/137); last year, the Quakers’ assist/turnover ratio was 0.78.

*Penn is averaging 12.4 turnovers per game; last year, the Quakers averaged 15.0 turnovers per game.

*Penn has hit 10 three-point baskets in three different games already this season (against Robert Morris, Temple, Ursinus), a number they hit just once all of last year.

*Senior Darien Nelson-Henry has reached double figures in the rebounding column in each of the last four games (11.5 rpg during that stretch).

*Sophomore Sam Jones -- who has hit double digits in scoring seven times -- has 43 field goals this season; 35 of them have been three-pointers. 92 of his 104 field-goal attempts have come from beyond the arc.

*In the last six games, sophomore Antonio Woods has scored 20 first-half points and 69 points after halftime (0/17 at Lafayette, 3/13 vs. Navy, 3/7 at George Mason, 6/16 vs. Temple, 3/4 vs. Ursinus, 5/12 at Drexel); for the season, he has 34 first-half points and 97 second-half points.

Notemeal at Drexel
*Penn’s trip to the Dragons’ Daskalakis Athletic Center -- a.k.a “The DAC” -- will be the shortest “road trip” a team will take this year at the NCAA Division I level, but barely. Google Maps clocks the distance from The Palestra to the DAC as 0.6 miles. St. Francis Brooklyn and LIU Brooklyn, which play twice this year as conference foes, list the distance between their gyms at 0.7 miles.

*Sophomore Antonio Woods had 17 points, the fifth time in the last six games he has scored in double figures (14.8 ppg during that stretch); he had six of Penn’s eight points in the overtime session -- the final six, in fact.

*Senior Darien Nelson-Henry collected his fifth double-double of the season, with 10 points and 12 rebounds; he has two other games this season where he finished one rebound shy of a double-double.

Download: MBB Notes 201516 Penn.pdf