PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team may have lost on Saturday, but there was a lot of positives to take from the game. Why? Well, the opponent was the fifth-ranked team in the nation, Villanova. The Quakers went toe-to-toe with the Wildcats for 34 minutes before letting the game get away in the final few minutes. The next step in the process takes place Wednesday, as Monmouth comes to town for an 8 p.m. tipoff. This game follows the Penn-Villanova Big 5 women’s game, which tips off at 5:30 p.m.
GAME 14 – PENN (4-9) vs. MONMOUTH (9-9)
Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 * 8 p.m.
Philadelphia (The Palestra)
*The Quakers hold a 5-1 lead in a series that started during the 2002-03 season.
*Penn won last year’s game in West Long Branch, N.J., 79-73. Darien Nelson-Henry had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Quakers, while Tony Hicks stuffed the box score with 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals.
*Penn has a 24-16 all-time record against programs that currently play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, or MAAC. That includes a loss to Rider and wins over Marist and Niagara from earlier this season.
Under head coach King Rice, the Hawks are 6-2 in MAAC play after defeating Fairfield on Sunday, 77-70. Max DiLeo led four players in double figures in the win with 19 points, while Justin Robinson had 16 points, six assists and eight steals. Robinson leads the Hawks in scoring this season, averaging 12.6 ppg, and he also leads MU in assists (68) and steals (30). Deon Jones is averaging 11.6 points per game, while Andrew Nicholas is averaging 9.0 ppg. Brice Kofane tops Monmouth in rebounds per game (5.9).
Quaker Notemeal of Note
*Penn has shot better than 50 percent from the field five times in its last 11 outings.
*Penn has outrebounded 10 of its 13 opponents this season.
*Junior guard Tony Hicks had a four-game streak of double-figure scoring snapped Saturday against Villanova (8 points); he has reached double digits in 10 of the Quakers’ 13 contests this season.
*Before Saturday’s two-point game against Villanova, sophomore guard Matt Howard had scored 11 points each in three of Penn’s previous four games; in the lone game that he didn’t reach double digits, he had nine points.
*Freshman forward Mike Auger has led Penn in rebounding in four of the seven games he has played this season.
*Senior forward Greg Louis has shot 64.7 percent from the field (11 of 17) over the last four games.
Notemeal vs. Villanova
*Penn outrebounded Villanova, 37-34, the 10th time this season the Quakers have outboarded their opponent.
*For the fourth time this season, the freshman class combined for more points in a game than any of the other classes.
*For the first time this season, Penn’s bench players scored more points (26) than the starters (21).
*Penn had just one steal, tied for a team low in the Jerome Allen coaching era.
*Villanova committed just six turnovers, tied for an opponent low in the Allen era.
*Antonio Woods had a 18 points, a season/career high, for his fifth double-figure scoring game this season.
*Woods became the fifth different player to lead Penn in scoring in a game this season (Tony Hicks, Darien Nelson-Henry, Mike Auger, Sam Jones).
*Woods also tied a season/career high with three three-point baskets; he originally hit a trio of treys against Lafayette.
*For the fourth time in his seven appearances this season, Auger led Penn in rebounding (9) which tied a season/career high.