PHILADELPHIA – After playing on the road the last two weekends, the University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team finishes the regular season with three homes games. The first of those come this weekend, as the Quakers host Columbia on Friday night and then Cornell on Saturday night. The season will conclude, of course, with the traditional Tuesday tilt against archrival Princeton.
GAME 26 – PENN (7-18, 2-9 Ivy League) vs. COLUMBIA (13-13, 5-7)
Friday, March 6, 2015 * 7 p.m.
Philadelphia (The Palestra)
GAME 27 – PENN vs. CORNELL (13-15, 5-7)
Saturday, March 7, 2015 * 7 p.m.
Philadelphia (The Palestra)
The Columbia/Cornell Home Weekend
*Penn has hosted this weekend 55 times in the Ivy League era; the Quakers have swept the weekend 41 times (most recently in 2012); split it 12 times (most recently last season); and been swept twice (in 2010 and 2011).
*Penn has split this weekend each of the last two years; in both cases the Quakers’ win came against Cornell.
This weekend, Penn is playing Columbia for the 227th time and Cornell for the 223rd time in program history; the Quakers have played only Princeton more times (Tuesday’s meeting with the Tigers will be the 232nd such get-together).
The Series with Columbia
*Penn has a sizeable 138-88 lead in the series; however, Columbia has won the last two and three of the last four meetings.
*Columbia won the first meeting this season, 83-56, in New York City. The Lions jumped allover the Quaker in the first half, taking a 46-19 lead into the break, and cruised in the second half.
*Freshman Sam Jones was a bright spot in the first meeting, draining seven three-point shots for a career-high 23 points. Sophomore Matt Howard and freshman Antonio Woods scored nine each for the Quakers.
The Series with Cornell
*Penn’s lead in this series is 149-74, including each of the last four and five of the last six meetings.
*Penn fell behind 12-0 in the first meeting this year, in Ithaca, but rallied all the way back for a 71-69 victory. The Quakers led for all of 11 seconds in the contest.
*Junior Tony Hicks was a monster in the second half, scoring 20 of his game-high 25 points in the period including the winning basket with 4.0 seconds left. Woods had 12 points and four assists.
Hicks Reaches 1,000
Junior guard Tony Hicks scored his 1,000th career point last weekend at Brown; he became 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.
Making His Case
Freshman guard Antonio Woods has been building a solid case for Ivy League Rookie of the Year during recent weeks; he has been named Ivy League Rookie of the Week each of the last two Mondays, and four times overall this season. In Ivy League play, Woods entered the weekend averaging 9.3 points per game (with seven double-figure outings) and was second among all Ivy players in assists.
Quaker Notemeal of Note
*Penn is 5-1 this season when holding its opponent below 60 points, and 28-7 in such games in the Jerome Allen coaching era.
*Penn is 7-3 this season when shooting a better percentage from the field than its opponent.
*Penn is 3-1 when hitting more three-point baskets than its opponent in a game.
*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 three others -- seniors Camryn Crocker and 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).
*Freshman Sam Jones has recorded 49 field goals this season; 42 of them have been three-point baskets. He leads the team in that category.
*Woods has been arguably Penn’s most consistent player over the last few weeks; he has scored a double-figure total in each of the last four games, and in last weekend’s games at Brown and Yale he had 14 assists against just five turnovers (a 2.80 ratio).
Penn Players in the Ivy Stats
*Junior Tony Hicks is sixth in the Ivy League in overall points per game (13.4), and eighth in 3-point FG made per game (1.7).
*Junior Darien Nelson-Henry is fifth in overall field-goal percentage (.503), eighth in blocked shots per game (0.8), and 12th in rebounds per game (5.3).
*Freshman Antonio Woods is fifth in overall assist/turnover ratio (1.63) and sixth in assists per game (3.5).
*Sophomore Matt Howard is 10th in overall field-goal percentage (.461).
*Freshman Sam Jones is fourth in overall 3-point field-goal percentage (.408) and 10th in 3-point FG made per game (1.7).
*Senior Greg Louis and freshman Mike Auger are 18th and 19th, respectively, in overall rebounds per game (Louis 4.4, Auger 4.3).
*In Ivy League play, Woods is second in assists per game (4.3) and third in assist/turnover ratio (1.57), while Sam Jones is third in 3-point FG made per game (2.3).