PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team split its first full Ivy League weekend, defeating Dartmouth on Friday but falling to defending champion Harvard on Saturday in a sluggish performance. The young, inexperienced Quakers make their first Ivy road trip this weekend, and it’s the daunting New York swing -- a late tipoff at Cornell Friday night, then the long ride to NYC to face Columbia on Saturday night.
GAME 18 – PENN (6-11, 1-2 Ivy League) at CORNELL (10-10, 2-2)
Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 * 8 p.m.
Ithaca, N.Y. (Newman Arena)
GAME 19 – PENN at COLUMBIA (10-8, 2-2)
Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 * 7 p.m.
New York City (Levien Gym)
Friday’s Game Part of Ivy’s American Sports Network Package
Friday night’s game at Cornell is the first of the five Friday Ivy League games being televised live by the American Sports Network. Click here to check your local listings to see if a channel in your area is picking up the broadcast. (In Philadelphia, you can watch the game on The Comcast Network.)
The Cornell-Columbia Road Weekend
*Penn has made this New York swing 55 times, sweeping it 22 times; splitting it 23 times; and getting swept 10 times.
*Penn has split this weekend each of the last five years; four times, the loss has come to Harvard (the lone exception being the 2012-13 season).
The Cornell Series
*Penn has doubled up Cornell in the all-time series, with a 148-74 lead; Penn has played Cornell more than any other program in history except Princeton (231 meetings) and Columbia (225).
*Penn has won three in a row and five of the last six against the Big Red; that includes a sweep of last year’s games, 90-83 at The Palestra in Philadelphia and 69-65 here at Newman Arena.
*Tony Hicks is a player to watch tonight; he had a 27-point game in the first meeting last year. Freshman year, he scored 29 points at Newman Arena, the most points by a Penn freshman in a game since current coach Jerome Allen dropped 31 in 1992 -- also at Cornell!
The Columbia Series
*Penn has played Columbia 225 times all-time, more than any program except archrival Princeton (231 meetings); the Quakers lead the series over the Lions, 138-87.
*Penn has won five of the last seven matchups and split with Columbia last year, the Quakers winning 68-60 at The Palestra in Philadelphia and the Lions returning the favor 74-55 one month later here in New York City.
*Penn has won just once at Levien Gym over its last five trips; that win came during the 2011-12 season, by just two points (66-64).
The Youth Getting Experience
*Penn has had four different freshmen win the Ivy League’s Rookie of the Week honor already this season (Antonio Woods, Nov. 17 and Jan. 19; Mike Auger, Nov. 24; Darnell Foreman, Dec. 8; Sam Jones, Dec. 15); according to the Ivy League’s basketball media guide, no team has had four different players earn the award in the same season (dating back to 1984-85).
*Those four newcomers have played 1,351 of the team’s 3,425 minutes this season (39.4 percent); as high as that percentage is, it would likely be even higher if not for Auger’s injury, which caused him to miss six of the Quakers’ 17 games so far this season.
Closing In On 1,000
Junior guard Tony Hicks enters this weekend’s games needing 57 points to reach 1,000 for his career.
Quaker Notemeal of Note
*Penn is 5-3 this season when leading at the half.
*Penn is 5-2 when making more foul shots in a game than its opponent.
*Penn is 6-2 this season when shooting a better percentage from the field than its opponent.
*Penn has outrebounded 12 of its 17 opponents this season; in two of those other five 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).
*Louis nearly had a double-double in Penn’s wins over Saint Joseph’s (10 points, 9 rebounds) and Dartmouth (10, 8) before being held to four points and four boards last Saturday against Harvard.
*Howard scored in double figures in both games last weekend (career-high 18 points vs. Dartmouth, 11 vs. Harvard); he has hit double digits in three of the last four games; five of the last seven contests; and seven of the last 11.