PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team finally got its first win of the season on Wednesday night, holding off Navy down the stretch to gain a 57-46 victory. The Quakers will try to make it two in a row on Saturday, making the trip North this time to face Binghamton out of the America East Conference in an afternoon matinee.
GAME 7 – PENN (1-5) at BINGHAMTON (1-7)
Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 * 2 p.m.
Vestal, N.Y. (Events Center)
*This is just the second meeting between the Quakers and the Bearcats in men’s basketball; the first took place two years ago, when the Quakers won 65-54 at The Palestra in Philadelphia.
*Penn is 9-2 all-time against programs that currently play in the America East Conference. (0-2 vs. UAlbany; 1-0 vs. Binghamton; 2-0 vs. Hartford; 2-0 vs. New Hampshire; 4-0 vs. UMBC)
The Bearcats have lost five in a row entering the weekend, including a 70-68 loss to Navy and a 68-54 loss to Cornell. Binghamton’s win came against Division 3 Hartwick on November 19. Dusan Perovic leads the team in scoring (12.9 ppg), while Willie Rodriguez is also averaging double figures in the scoring column (10.4 ppg). Rodriguez and Romello Walker are both averaging 4.9 rebounds per game, while Marlon Beck II leads the ‘Cats in assists (18).
Six of the 16 players on Penn’s roster this year are freshmen, while a seventh -- senior Matt Hanessian -- is new to the varsity after three years playing on the Quakers’ JV team.
After Tony Hicks (1,464 career minutes) and Darien Nelson-Henry (1,017), the other five returnees expected to dress today entered the season with a combined 1,408 career minutes of action. (Senior Camryn Crocker, 621; senior Greg Louis, 537; sophomore Dylan Jones, 130; sophomore Matt Howard, 113; sophomore Matt Poplawski, 7).
The Youth Getting Experience
Penn’s freshmen have played 488 of the team’s 1,225 minutes this season (39.8 percent).
The Quaker Notemeal from Navy
*Penn allowed just 46 points, the fewest by an opponent since Brown scored 43 in a loss to the Quakers on March 2, 2012.
*It was Penn’s lowest point total in a win since a 54-53 victory at NJIT on January 17, 2013.
*Penn led for all but 2:01 in the game, and never trailed or was tied after taking an 11-10 lead with 10:43 left in the first half.
*After wearing their road reds in the first two road games (and losing), Penn wore their road blues in Wednesday night’s win.
*Penn had season highs in blocked shots (5) and steals (9); it was the Quakers’ highest steal total since they got 10 last January 2 at George Mason.
*Penn outrebounded Navy, 36-31, the fifth time in six games that the Quakers have outboarded their opponent this season.
*For the second straight game, Penn took and made more free throws than its opponent; that did not happen in any of the first four contests this season.
*Junior Tony Hicks led Penn with 14 points; he has led the Quakers in scoring four times in six games this season.
*Hicks also tied a career high with eight rebounds; the other time he did that was November 12, 2013 at Monmouth.
*Junior Darien Nelson-Henry came up with his first double-double of the season (11 points, 10 rebounds); it was the sixth double-double of his career, and Penn is 5-1 in those games.
*Nelson-Henry’s rebound total was one shy of his career high, and he also tied a season/career best with three assists.
*Freshman Darnell Foreman had season/career highs in points (9) and blocked shots (2).
*Sophomore Matt Howard tied season/career highs in assists (2) and steals (3), and set a career best in blocked shots (2).
*Freshman Sam Jones tied his season/career high in rebounds (4), and set season/career bests in assists (3), steals (2) and minutes (24).