PHILADELPHIA - With most of the Ivy League finishing play this weekend -- Penn and Princeton are the exceptions, meeting Tuesday in Philadelphia -- the Quakers are in the position of playing spoiler Friday at first-place Cornell. Following that, it’s a journey across the state and a Saturday-night meeting with Columbia in New York City.
GAME 26 PENN (9-16, 5-6) at CORNELL (19-9, 9-3)
Friday, March 6, 2009 * 7 p.m.
Newman Arena * Ithaca, N.Y.
RADIO: ESPN 950 AM - Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran
GAME 25 PENN at COLUMBIA (11-15, 6-6)
Saturday, March 7, 2009 * 7 p.m.
Levien Gym * New York, N.Y.
RADIO: ESPN 950 AM - Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran
Penn Game Notes (PDF)
Around the Ivy League
All attention will be on Ithaca Friday night, as Cornell can clinch a share of its second straight Ivy League title with a win over the Quakers. The Big Red would also clinch the league’s NCAA Tournament bid if Princeton (7-4 Ivy League) loses at Columbia. If both Cornell and Princeton win or lose Friday night, they will meet Saturday night in a titanic matchup -- a Cornell win in that game would seal the NCAA bid for the Big Red, but a Princeton win would set up a tie and a playoff. On the other side of the ledger, Dartmouth (7-5) and Yale (7-5) meet Friday, with the winner holding faint hopes at the title -- hopes that can be snuffed out by a Cornell win. The final game on Friday sees Harvard (5-7) at Brown (1-11). On Saturday, Dartmouth finishes the season at Brown, while Harvard and Yale conclude their campaigns in Connecticut.
The possibility of a three-way tie for the crown exists: If...
*Cornell loses to Penn and Princeton this weekend
*Princeton loses to Columbia but beats Cornell this weekend, then beats Penn Tuesday
*Dartmouth or Yale sweep this weekend
...then the Big Red, Tigers and either the Big Green or Bulldogs would all be 9-5.
Penn has had six different players lead in scoring in a game this season (Tyler Bernardini, Kevin Egee, Jack Eggleston, Harrison Gaines, Brennan Votel and Zack Rosen) and nine different players lead in rebounding (Eggleston, Votel, Rosen, Bernardini, Egee, Gaines, Conor Turley, Rob Belcore and Cameron Lewis).
Rosen, a freshman, continues to lead the Ivy League and rank among the national leaders in assists per game (5.2) and assist/turnover ratio (2.23).
Egee, a senior, had 11 points vs. Yale and 13 vs. Brown last weekend, his first double-figure scoring games since he had 12 against Columbia on February 6. He will play against his younger brother, Steve -- a freshman on the Columbia team -- Saturday night.
Gaines, a sophomore, scored 38 points and shot 15-of-23 (65.2 percent) from the field last weekend; he had a career-high 24 points vs. Yale last Friday. Gaines has played nine Ivy games this season, missing two with a virus, and scored in double figures in five of them.
Belcore, a freshman, has scored 22 points in the last three games -- including 11 last Saturday vs. Brown -- after scoring just one in the three games before that.
Lewis, a senior, has grabbed at least six rebounds in each of the last five games (7.2 rpg in that span) and scored in double figures four times in Ivy play this season.
Penn vs. Cornell (Fri)
Friday’s meeting of the Quakers and the Big Red will be the 212th between the two; Penn leads the series, 142-69.
Cornell has won three in a row in the series, which is significant when you consider that Penn had won 18 in a row in the series before last season.
Earlier this season, Ryan Wittman scored 21 points and Louis Dale had 13 points, nine rebounds and six assists as the Big Red defeated the Quakers at The Palestra in Philadelphia, 88-73.
Penn vs. Columbia (Sat)
Saturday’s meeting between the Quakers and the Lions will be the 215th between these Ivy rivals; Penn leads the series, 132-82, although Columbia has won two of the last three (prior to that, Penn had won 10 of the last 11).
Earlier this season, Columbia came to The Palestra in Philadelphia and walked out with a 74-63 victory. Jason Miller led four Lion players in double figures with 21 points, and he also grabbed 10 rebounds.
These teams split a year ago, with Columbia winning in New York City (74-58) and Penn returning the favor at The Palestra on a last-second shot by Tyler Bernardini (69-67).
The C/C Road Weekend
This weekend marks the 50th time Penn has made the New York swing since the start of formal Ivy League play, and the Quakers have swept the weekend 21 times, split it 20 times, and been swept eight times (including last year, when they lost at Columbia Friday and Cornell Saturday).
Prior to last season, Penn had swept this weekend five of the previous seasons.
When Penn was swept last year, it marked the first time that had happened since the 1990-91 season.
Notemeal From Brown...
Brown set an opponent low in the Glen Miller coaching era by shooting 12.5 percent from beyond the arc (3-of-24).
Sophomore Harrison Gaines scored all of his team-high 14 points in the second half.
Gaines also grabbed seven rebounds (six in the second half), becoming the ninth different Penn player to lead the team in boards in a game this season.
Sophomore Rob Belcore played a season-high 33 minutes and tied his season high with 11 points.
Senior Kevin Egee scored 13 points, his second straight game in double figures; it was the first time he had back-to-back double-figure scoring games since Nov. 22-25.
Notemeal From Yale...
Penn’s 79-point output marked the most points scored by the Quakers in a loss this season.
Yale scored 51 points in the second half, the most points in a half given up by Penn this season.
Yale also set an opponent low in the Glen Miller coaching era at Penn by committing just six turnovers.
Penn lost despite shooting a season-high 57.1 percent from the field (28 of 49).
Penn had 18 assists in the game, the most by the Quakers since they had 19 against Saint Joseph’s on January 24.
Penn lost for the first time this season when leading at the half; previously the Quakers were 7-0 in such games; in only three Penn games this season has the team leading at the half not won.
Gaines came off the bench for the first time in seven games, but he played 26 minutes and scored a career-high 24 points (previous best 20 earlier this season vs. Cornell).
Egee -- who made his first start since Feb. 7 (Cornell) and his fifth this season -- scored 11 points, his first double-figure scoring game since February 6 (12 vs. Columbia).
Egee also matched a season high with four assists; he also had four dimes on November 25 against Penn State.
Belcore scored six points, his best offensive output since Jan. 30 (10 at Harvard).
Download: 0809 Gm26-27 (@Cor-Col).pdf