Men's Basketball Holds Off Delaware, 69-60

Box Score (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA -When Wednesday night's game was over between the Penn and Delaware men's basketball teams, the media were clamoring for the Quakers' Rob Belcore and Steve Rennard. This, on a night when Zack Rosen scored 29 points and had eight assists (against just one turnover).

Now, maybe part of that has to do with the fact that Rosen has been spectacular all season and his 29 came quietly on Wednesday (he was just 8-of-19 from the field, including 1-of-7 on three-pointers, but drained all 12 foul shots he took).

More likely, though, it had to do with the roles Belcore and Rennard played in Wednesday's 69-60 win over the Blue Hens.

Belcore was all over the place. He scored 11 points. He grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds to cement his first collegiate double-double. He had two steals. Most impressively, he held the nation's second-leading scorer, Delaware's Devon Saddler, to six points -- more than 18 below his 24.7 average entering the game.

As for Rennard, well, the sophomore hadn't seen any action prior to Wednesday. With Miles Cartwright sidelined due to an injury, however, he was called upon.He responded with25 minutes, and came up with six big points in the second half.(Rennard entered the night with four for his career).

Penn scored nine of the game's first 11 points -- Rosen figuring in all of them with either the basket or the assist -- and never trailed in the first half. Delaware got within three on a number of occasions, then scored the last five points before the intermission to make Penn's lead 26-25 at the break.

Delaware finally took its first lead of the night at 27-26 when Saddler scored to open the half. He was fouled on the play, but missed the foul shot. He would not score again.

Penn, meanwhile, went on a nine-point run that was started when Belcore scored on a putback, then stole the inbounds and fed Rosen for a teardrop jumper in the lane. By the time the streak ended Penn's lead was 35-27, its largest of the night.

The unanswered run ended with a Kyle Anderson bucket, but Penn's dominance didn't. With Belcore doing a majority of the work at both ends, the Quakers' defense came alive and came up with a number of steals that led to transition. When Rosen finished a layup with 11:46 left, Penn's lead was 14 (45-31).

Delaware may be youthful, but they responded. Penn continued to get layups, but could not get them to fall. That allowed the Blue Hens to score 11 of the next 14 points and draw within six at 48-42.

However, Rennard came to the rescue. The sophomore had scored Penn's only points in Delaware's run, and he knocked down another three-pointer to make it 51-42. Delaware's Josh Brinkley hit a layup, but then Rosen hit a jumper and a layup and the Quaker lead was back into double figures at 55-44.

Jamelle Hagins and Brinkley scored to cut the lead to seven, but Tyler Bernardini (16 points) drained a three and then Rosen hit a pair of foul shots with the clock inside two minutes to make the score 60-48.

Delaware kept coming. The Hens scored five straight to make it 60-53 with 1:29 remaining, but Penn kept them at bay by going nine of 10 from the charity stripe in the final 1:18.

Penn will travel to the West Coast for its next game; the Quakers will play UCLA for just the second time in program history on Saturday at 4 p.m. Pacific (7 p.m. Eastern). The game will take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

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Penn-Delaware Game Notes: Penn is now 18-4 all-time against Delaware and 39-13 all-time against Colonial Athletic Association programs ... Penn improved to 3-0 when leading at the half this season ... For the third straight game, Penn scored more than 40 points in the second half (the Quakers did not do that in any of the first seven games) ... Penn has held eight of its 10 opponents this season below 45-percent shooting from the field; last year the Quakers held only 14 of 28 opponents below that mark ... For just the second time this season, Penn took and made more foul shots than its opponent ... Penn set a season high with 10 steals ... Penn had just nine turnovers, the second time in three games the Quakers have stayed in single digits in that category ... Penn was 20-of-23 from the foul line (.870); in the last three games the Quakers are 44-of-54 (.815) from the charity stripe ... Penn outrebounded Delaware, 37-34; the Hens entered the game with a +4.7 rebound margin ... Senior Rob Belcore had his first collegiate double-double with 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds ... it was the third double-double by a Penn player this season, but the first via the point-rebound combination (senior Zack Rosen did it twice with points and assists) ... Rosen scored 29 points, a season high and one shy of his career best ... Rosen has scored 20 or more points in three straight games, five of the last six, and seven of 10 Penn games for the season (he also has two 19-point performances) ... Rosen remains the only Penn player to score in double figures in every game this season ... Rosen went 12-of-12 from the foul line, the best performance at the charity stripe by a Penn player in the Jerome Allen coaching era ... Rosen is 37-of-38 from the foul line in Penn's last six contests, his only miss in that stretch came in the final minute of Penn's loss at Villanova last Saturday ... Senior Tyler Bernardini scored 16 points and tied a career high with four steals ... Bernardini has scored in double figures in three straight games and seven of Penn's last eight contests ... Bernardini knocked down three three-point baskets, a season high ... Seeing his first action of 2011-12, sophomore Steve Rennard scored six points in 25 minutes; he entered the game with four points for his career ... Sophomore Cameron Gunter set new career highs with two blocked shots and two steals ... Sophomore Marin Kukoc made his first collegiate start.

Download: Penn10 (Delaware).pdf