PHILADELPHIA - Penn closes out the non-Ivy League portion of the 2008-09 schedule Saturday night with Saint Joseph’s, meaning the Quakers also finish off another Philadelphia Big 5 campaign. The Palestra figures to be packed once again Saturday night as the Hawks and the Quakers renew their rivalry.
GAME 14 PENN (4-9) vs. SAINT JOSEPH’S (10-7)
Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 * 7 p.m.
The Palestra * Philadelphia
TV: Comcast Network (formerly CN8) Jon Gurevitch, Rob Kennedy
Radio: ESPN 950 AM Brian Seltzer, Stan Pawlak
The nine teams Penn has lost to this season entered the weekend a combined 112-51, a 68.7 winning percentage; all of them have winning records (UNC 17-2, Drexel 9-8, Penn State 15-5, Albany 11-7, Villanova 14-4, Navy 14-5, UCF 12-6, Temple 10-7, La Salle 10-7).
Penn is 4-0 when leading at the half this season, and 0-9 when trailing at the half.
Through 13 games, Penn has had six different players lead in scoring in a game (Tyler Bernardini, Kevin Egee, Jack Eggleston, Harrison Gaines, Brennan Votel and Zack Rosen) and six different players lead in rebounding (Eggleston, Votel, Rosen, Bernardini, Conor Turley and Cameron Lewis).
Penn has played just two games this season that have ended with a single-digit margin (a 66-64 loss at Drexel in Game 2, and Wednesday’s 79-70 loss at La Salle).
Penn has shot 75.8 percent from the foul line the last six games (91-of-120); prior to the UCF Holiday Classic, the Quakers were 65.5 percent for the season.
Rosen, a freshman, leads the Ivy League in assist/turnover ratio (2.00) and is second in assists per game (4.8). He has also scored 58 points (with four double-figure outings) and grabbed 23 rebounds in the last five games. In his first four collegiate games, Rosen had 25 assists and just three turnovers (all against No. 1 UNC).
Bernardini, a sophomore, had his third 20-point game of the season Wednesday at La Salle (he has nine in his career); he has a team-high 10 double-figure scoring games this season, and collected his first collegiate double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds last weekend at NJIT.
Gaines, also a sophomore, has had three straight double-figure scoring games (11.7 average).
Junior Justin Reilly saw his first action of the 2008-09 season Wednesday at La Salle, after missing the first 12 games with an abdomen injury; also in that game, freshman Mike Howlett scored his first four points as a collegian.
Penn vs. Saint Joseph’s
Saturday’s meeting between Penn and Saint Joseph’s is the 78th between these intracity rivals, with the Hawks holding a 44-33 advantage in the series including three straight wins.
Last year, the Hawks rolled to an 82-42 win, pinning the Quakers with their largest Big 5 loss in program history.
For the third year in a row, and just the fourth time in history, Penn is playing three Big 5 games within a 10-day span. The first time it happened was 1970, when the Quakers played Temple (Jan. 21), Saint Joseph’s (Jan. 24) and La Salle (Jan. 27) within the span of a week.
Penn is 106-127 all-time against the teams that currently make up the Atlantic 10 -- including losses to Temple and La Salle the last two Wednesdays -- and the Quakers are concluding a stretch where they face three A-10 teams in 10 days.
Dayton ... 0-1
Duquesne ... 4-1
Fordham ... 2-6
George Washington ... 0-1
La Salle ... 38-24
Massachusetts ... 1-3
Rhode Island ... 1-1
St. Bonaventure ... 2-1
Saint Joseph’s ... 33-44
Saint Louis ... 0-1
Temple ... 22-42
If you like to play the comparison game, Penn and Saint Joseph’s have two common opponents from this season...
Villanova - Penn 47-69 L, SJU 56-59 L
Drexel - Penn 63-65 L, SJU 52-64 L
On December 22, Saint Joseph’s beat Cornell at The Palestra, 71-67, in its only other meeting with an Ivy team.
Notemeal From La Salle...
La Salle shot 44 foul shots and made 30; both of those stats were opponent highs in the Glen Miller coaching era at Penn.
Sophomore Tyler Bernardini scored 23 points, his third 20-point outing of the season (first since Nov. 22) and the ninth of his collegiate career.
Bernardini tied his career high, and the high for a Penn player in the Miller era, by taking 10 three-point shots; he made four of them.
Freshman Mike Howlett scored the first four points of his collegiate career.
Junior Justin Reilly saw his first game action of 2008-09; he had missed the first 12 games due to injury.
Notemeal From NJIT...
Penn extended NJIT’s losing streak to an NCAA Division I record 51 games; the Highlanders won their next game, four days later against Bryant, to end the streak.
Penn won for the first time this season when shooting below 45 percent from the field.
Penn won on an opposing team’s court for the first time this season.
It was Penn’s lowest offensive output in a win since a 48-35 win over Princeton on Feb. 13, 2007.
Bernardini had his first collegiate double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds).
Sophomore Harrison Gaines tied for team-high honors with 15 points; all of them came in the second half.