PHILADELPHIA – A youthful and inexperienced University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team has shown progress over the last two games, pushing a veteran Lafayette squad and then matching up well with Temple on Tuesday night. The bottom line, though, is the Quakers are still looking for their first win of 2014-15; the next opportunity comes Saturday afternoon on Staten Island, as the Red and Blue face Wagner for the fourth year in a row.
GAME 5 – PENN (0-4) at WAGNER (1-3)
Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014 * 4 p.m.
Staten Island, N.Y. (Spiro Sports Center)
The Series With Wagner
*This marks the fourth consecutive year that Penn and Wagner have met on the hardwood; the Seahawks have won the previous three matchups.
*The last two meetings between these teams needed overtime to decide things; last year at The Palestra in Philadelphia, Wagner gained a 75-69 victory despite 14 points from Tony Hicks and 11 from Darien Nelson-Henry.
*Penn is 9-3 all-time against schools that currently play in the Northeast Conference, with the losses all coming to Wagner. The Quakers are 5-0 against Saint Francis (Pa.); 2-0 against Fairleigh Dickinson; 1-0 against Robert Morris; and 1-0 against St. Francis Brooklyn.
The Seahawks' only win this season came against SUNY Old Westbury; they played Ivy foe Columbia earlier this season and lost to the Lions, 70-56. Marcus Burton leads Wagner in scoring, averaging 12.5 points per game, while Aaren Edmead is averaging 9.3 ppg. Nolan Long (5.8 rebounds per game) and Greg Senat (5.5 rpg) lead the Seahawks on the boards, while JoJo Cooper has a team-high 17 assists.
Six of the 16 players on Penn’s roster this year are freshmen, while a seventh -- senior Matt Hanessian -- is new to the varsity after three years playing on the Quakers’ JV team.
After Tony Hicks (1,464 career minutes) and Darien Nelson-Henry (1,017), the other five returnees expected to dress today entered the season with a combined 1,408 career minutes of action. (Senior Camryn Crocker, 621; senior Greg Louis, 537; sophomore Dylan Jones, 130; sophomore Matt Howard, 113; sophomore Matt Poplawski, 7).
The Youth Getting Experience
Penn's freshmen have played 348 of the team’s 825 minutes this season (42.2 percent).
The Quaker Notemeal from Temple
*Penn shot a season-high 81.8 percent from the foul line (18-22).
*Penn outrebounded its opponent for the third time in four games.
*Junior Tony Hicks led Penn in scoring for the third time in four games, with 17 points; he is the only Penn player to score in double figures in every game this season.
*Junior Darien Nelson-Henry tied a career best in assists (3) and set a career high in minutes (35); he also had his second double-figure scoring game of 2014-15 and tied a season high with a team-high eight rebounds.
*Sophomore Matt Howard set career highs in points (15), rebounds (6), steals (3) and minutes (31); it was Howard’s first double-figure scoring game at Penn.
*Freshman Darnell Foreman set season/career highs in points (5), rebounds (5), assists (4), and minutes (31).
*Senior Greg Louis matched season highs in points (8) and rebounds (6).
*In his second appearance this season, sophomore Dylan Jones had another six-point, three-rebound performance in 11 minutes.
*Sophomore Matt Poplawski and freshman Shawn Simmons saw their first game action of 2014-15.