Box Score (PDF)
CATONSVILLE, Md. - If there was any doubt how the Penn men's basketball season was going to go in 2011-12, it was pretty much put to rest in Friday night's season-opening game with UMBC -- at least early on.
As Zack Rosen goes, so goes Penn.
On Friday at the RAC Arena on the UMBC campus, Rosen used a personal nine-point run midway through the second half to put away a pesky Retriever squad. The final score was 59-45, as Rosen led the way with 26 points. He was 10-of-16 from the field, including 4-of-5 on three-pointers.
Also of note was Penn's defense. The Quakers' harassed a youthful UMBC into 20 turnovers -- ten of them in the game's first eight minutes -- and came up with nine steals. In addition, the host Retrievers did not hit a three-point basket, missing all of their 11 attempts.
UMBC scored immediately off the opening tip, but Penn came back to score the next eight points. The Quakers built upon that lead and it eventually bulged to 18-7 when Miles Cartwright hit a jumper. However, the Retrievers were active, especially on the boards, and that paid off as the Red and Blue offense went dry. UMBC went on an 11-2 run that turned a 20-11 deficit into a tie at 22.
Penn regained the lead when Mike Howlett took a feed from Tyler Bernardini and was fouled as he made the layup. He converted the free throw, and on the next possession Rosen hit a three-pointer to put the score at 28-22. UMBC got three of those points back thanks to Chase Plummer, and it was 28-25 Penn at the break.
Penn Head Coach Jerome Allen used the first half to experiment with several different combinations, ultimately using 11 players in the first 20 minutes.
Penn opened the second half much like it opened the first, in dominant fashion. Rosen opened the period with a three-pointer, and that was followed by baskets from Rob Belcore, Fran Dougherty and Bernardini to open the Quakers' lead up to its biggest of the night, 37-25.
The lead was still eight (41-33) when Penn went on the decisive run. First Doughery hit a layup, and then Rosen drained a jumper to put the lead back at 12. UMBC's Joey Getz hit one of two free throws, but Rosen answered with a three and a two and the score was 50-34 with just 6:18 left. Given the way the Retrievers were playing offense, that was more than enough cushion down the stretch.
Penn returns to action Monday night, hosting Temple at 7 p.m. at The Palestra. It will mark the earliest Big 5 game in history, and for the third time it will pit Allen against the man who originally recruited him to Penn and coached him with the Red and Blue, Fran Dunphy.
Penn-UMBC Notes: Penn won its season opener for the second year in a row; the last time that happened was 2004-05 and 2005-06 ... The 45 points scored by UMBC were the fewest by a Penn opponent since NJIT scored 40 on Jan. 17, 2009 ... Penn held UMBC without a three-point basket (0-11); the last time a Penn opponent did not hit a trey was Drexel on Nov. 24, 2009 ... Senior Zack Rosen scored 26 points, four shy of a career high ... It was his 61st double-figure scoring performance at Penn and his 15th game with 20 or more points ... Senior Tyler Bernardini scored 10 points for his 57th career double-digit performance, and had team highs with six rebounds and four assists ... Sophomore Fran Dougherty tied a career high with seven points and established a new career best with three blocked shots ... Sophomore Miles Cartwright tied a career high with five rebounds ... Senior Mike Howlett was perfect shooting (2-2 FG, 3-3 FT) for his seven points ...
Download: Penn01 (@UMBC).pdf