PHILADELPHIA - Ayoung Penn men’s basketball team needs to gain confidence and momentum, with just two games left before a record 24-day break from the season. Tuesday night’s opponent could provide the ingredients for those things, as the Quakers open the Philadelphia Big 5 season looking to knock off a Villanova team that enters the week undefeated and ranked 16th in one of the latest national polls.
GAME 6 PENN (1-4) vs. #17/16 VILLANOVA (6-0)
Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008 * 8 p.m.
The Palestra * Philadelphia
TV: CN8 (Scott Graham, Rob Kennedy)
RADIO: WXPN 88.5 FM (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)
Penn Game Notes(PDF)
The four teams Penn has lost to this season are a combined 18-4, an 81.8 winning percentage (UNC 7-0, Drexel 1-1, Penn State 6-1, Albany 4-2).
Through five games, Penn has had three different players lead it in scoring (Tyler Bernardini vs. UNC, Monmouth and Albany; Kevin Egee vs. Drexel; Jack Eggleston vs. Penn State) and four different players lead in rebounding (Eggleston vs. UNC and Penn State; Brennan Votel vs. Drexel; Conor Turley vs. Monmouth; Zack Rosen vs. Albany).
Bernardini has reached the 20-point mark twice this season, giving the sophomore eight such games for his career.
Bernardini and Egee, a senior, are the only players on the Penn roster to have scored in double figures in four of the Quakers’ five games so far this season.
Votel, also a senior, entered this season with one double-figure scoring game as a collegian; he has reached that mark twice already this season, with 17 points at Drexel and 14 vs. Monmouth.
Rosen, a freshman, has dished out 28 assists with just three turnovers in the last four games; for the season, he has 33 assists and six turnovers, a 5.50 ratio.
Eggleston, a sophomore, was named to the Ivy League Honor Roll Monday after totaling 30 points (13-of-26 shooting), 12 rebounds and five assists in a pair of games last week.
Senior Tommy McMahon saw his first action since the 2006-07 season with 10 minutes vs. Monmouth on November 22, and added five minutes Saturday at Albany. McMahon missed last season after having surgery prior to the campaign.
Penn vs. Villanova
The Quakers and the Wildcats are meeting for the 56th time, with Villanova holding a 37-18 lead in the series.
Villanova has won five in a row over Penn, including an 87-61 decision last year at the Pavilion. Penn’s last win was a 72-58 decision on December 10, 2002.
The last time these teams met at The Palestra was exactly two years ago, with Villanova gaining a 99-89 decision. That game is third on Penn’s all-time list in terms of combined points in a Big 5 contest.
Penn is 81-112 all-time against the schools that currently make up the Big East Conference.
Cincinnati ... 0-1
DePaul ... 1-1
Georgetown ... 4-3
Louisville ... 0-1
Notre Dame ... 2-20
Pittsburgh ... 7-5
Providence ... 3-6
Rutgers ... 19-4
St. John’s ... 5-4
Seton Hall ... 1-2
Syracuse ... 20-27
Villanova ... 18-37
West Virginia ... 1-1
Penn on TV
Tonight’s game marks the first of six Penn will play on CN8. The other games are Penn’s home contests against Temple (Jan. 14), Saint Joseph’s (Jan. 24), Harvard (Feb. 21) and Princeton (March 10) as well as its road game at Dartmouth (Jan. 31).
Following this week’s home games against Villanova and Navy (Friday), Penn is off a record 24 days before participating in the UCF Holiday Classic in Orlando, Fla.
Penn has played its first five games without senior Aron Cohen or juniors Justin Reilly, Darren Smith and Andreas Schreiber. Freshman Mike Howlett played eight minutes at UNC, but has not dressed for the last four games due to injury. After sitting out the first two games, senior Tommy McMahon saw his first action since 2006-07 against Monmouth, playing 10 minutes and recording four points and two rebounds.
Notemeal From UAlbany...
Penn’s loss to the Great Danes marked the Quakers’ first loss to an America East team in program history; of course, prior to Saturday’s game Penn had faced an America East team just five times.
Penn played an America East team for the first time since 1991, and was on the road against an AE squad for just the second time in program history; the first came in 1985.
Freshman Zack Rosen had his first double-figure scoring game as a collegian, knocking down 12 points. He also led the Quakers with six rebounds, eight assists and three steals.
Senior Kevin Egee was held in single digits in scoring for the first time this season, playing a season-low 17 minutes and scoring just four points before fouling out.
Notemeal From Penn State...
Penn State took 36 free throws, a high for an opponent in the three-year Glen Miller coaching era at Penn.
Penn State committed just seven turnovers, a low for an opponent in the Miller era.
Sophomore Jack Eggleston nearly had his second double-double of the season with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Sophomore Tyler Bernardini was held to single digits in scoring for the first time this season, with eight points.
Download: 0809 Gm06 (Villanova).pdf