Men's Basketball Hosts Cornell, Columbia This Weekend

PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's basketball team is home for its second straight Ivy League weekend, and the Quakers are looking to stay in the championship hunt as they host Cornell Friday night and Columbia Saturday night. Both games will tip off at 7 p.m. Penn enters the weekend tied for second place in the loss column with Yale; the Bulldogs are 6-2, while the Quakers are 5-2. Both teams are one loss behind Harvard (7-1) in the standings.

Prior to Saturday's game with Columbia, the men's basketball program will host its annual alumni game at The Palestra. Tipoff for the alumni game is scheduled for 4 p.m.

GAME 25 - PENN (13-11, 5-2 Ivy) vs. CORNELL (10-12, 5-3)
The Palestra (Philadelphia)
Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 * 7 p.m.
TV: PennAthletics.com (there is a charge for this service)
Radio: ESPN 950 AM (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)

GAME 26 - PENN vs. COLUMBIA (14-10, 3-5)
The Palestra (Philadelphia)
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 * 7 p.m.
TV: PennAthletics.com (there is a charge for this service)
Radio: WFIL 560 AM (Brian Seltzer, Stan Pawlak)

Penn Game Notes (PDF) / Cornell Game Notes (PDF) / Columbia Game Notes (PDF)

This Weekend in The Ivy League
While Penn and Princeton (4-3) host the Big Red and the Lions, Harvard (7-1) looks to expand its advantage in the standings with home games Friday against Brown (1-7) and Saturday vs. Yale (6-2). Dartmouth (0-8) hosts the Bulldogs on Friday and the Bears on Saturday.

The C-C Weekend
*Penn has hosted the Ivy League's New York institutions on the same weekend 52 times; the Quakers have swept the weekend 39 times, split it 10 times, and been swept twice.

*Each of the last two years, Penn has won the Friday game and lost on Saturday. Last season, it was a 64-54 win over Columbia before a 74-72 loss to Cornell. Two years ago, of course, the Quakers knocked off a nationally ranked Cornell squad that would go on to win the Ivy title, but lost the next night to the Lions.

The Penn-Cornell Series
*The Quakers and the Big Red have met 217 times previously, with Penn holding a 144-73 lead in the series. Heading into this season, the Big Red had won seven of the last eight meetings; prior to that run, the Quakers had defeated Cornell 18 straight times.

*Penn got its first win in Ithaca in four years earlier this season, gaining a 64-52 win at Cornell's Newman Arena. Zack Rosen led Penn with 18 points, five assists and five steals, while Tyler Bernardini matched him in the scoring column. Shonn Miller was Cornell's only double-figure scorer; in fact, he had a double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds).

*Cornell gained a season sweep last year, winning 82-71 in overtime at home and then escaping The Palestra with the aforementioned two-point victory.

About Cornell
The Big Red enter the weekend having won three in a row and four of its last five. Last weekend, Cornell stunned second-place Yale in overtime, 85-84, in overtime. Senior Drew Ferry is the Big Red's leading scorer, he is averaging 11.4 points per game and has more than twice as many three-pointers as any of his teammates (67). Senior Chris Wroblewski, an All-Ivy guard, is averaging 10.6 points per game and leads Cornell with 122 assists and 39 steals. Freshman center Shonn Miller averages 9.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game -- the rebound average leads the team -- while Johnathan Gray is averaging 8.3 ppg.

The Penn-Columbia Series
*The Quakers and the Lions are meeting for the 221st time; Penn leads the series, 135-85.

*Penn won the first meeting this year, 66-64, as Columbia missed the potential winning shot at the buzzer. Tyler Bernardini and Miles Cartwright had 16 points apiece to pace the Quakers, while Zack Rosen scored 15 and dished off five assists. Brian Barbour led Columbia with 25 points, while Mark Cisco had 12 and Meiko Lyles had 11.

*These two teams split the series last season, as Columbia gained a 75-62 win in New York City before the Quakers avenged the defeat here at The Palestra.

About Columbia
The Lions entered the weekend having split their last six games. Most recently, last Saturday they gave away a 21-point, second-half lead to Yale and fell to the Bulldogs, 59-58. Junior guard Brian Barbour leads Columbia with 15.3 points per game and 93 assists. Sophomore Meiko Lyles is averaging 10.4 points per game and has a team-high 26 steals. In the middle, junior Mark Cisco is averaging 10.0 ppg and a team-high 7.3 rebounds per contest.

It Should Be Noted...
*At 13-11 overall, Penn has its best 22-game record since the 2006-07 team was 16-8; that team went on to go 22-9 and win the Ivy title.

*Penn is 9-1 when leading at the half and 10-2 when putting three or more players in double digits this season.

*At the other end, Penn has held 15 of its 24 opponents below 45-percent shooting from the field (including nine at 40 percent or lower); last year, the Quakers held just 14 of their 28 opponents below the 45-percent mark, and only eight below 40 percent.

*Senior Zack Rosen has had streaks of 25 and 20 consecutive free throws made during the season, while sophomore Miles Cartwright had a streak of 19 straight.

*Rosen has led Penn in scoring 15 times in 24 games this season, while Tyler Bernardini has led the Quakers in rebounding nine times.

*Senior Rob Belcore -- who is scheduled to play his 100th game for Penn Friday night vs. Cornell -- has scored in double figures nine times in Penn's last 17 games; prior to this run, his last double-figure outing came March 5, 2010 at Harvard.

*Sophomore forward Fran Dougherty was Penn's leading rebounder in both games last weekened, with seven against Harvard and five vs. Dartmouth.

*Sophomore guard Steve Rennard has hit nine field goals over Penn's last eight games; all of them have been three-pointers.

Quaker Notemeal From Harvard/Dartmouth
*Penn allowed 56 points to Harvard, the fewest by an opponent when beating the Quakers this season.

*Penn scored 58 points in its win over Dartmouth, its lowest total in a win since defeating the Big Green 53-51 on Feb. 5, 2010.

*Penn committed just 15 turnovers on the weekend (season-low 7 vs. Harvard, 8 vs. Dartmouth), and had 12 steals for the second time in three games against the Big Green.

*Penn took five foul shots and made two against Dartmouth, both lows in the Jerome Allen coaching era, and had just 20 rebounds which was a season low.

*Dartmouth took 36 shots, an opponent low in the Allen era; scored 22 first-half points, an opponent low this season; and matched an opponent season low with 16 field goals (also UMBC on Nov. 11).

*Senior Zack Rosen took 21 shots vs. Harvard, tying his own career high (also 1/20/10 vs. La Salle) which is also a Penn player high in the Jerome Allen coaching era.

*Also in that Harvard game, senior guard Tyler Bernardini had his lowest point total (2) since being shut out at Pitt on Nov. 27, 2010, and was held without a field goal for just the fifth time in his career-the most recent being that Pitt game.

*One night later, Bernardini made his 100th career start at Penn and led the Quakers with 15 points.

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