PHILADELPHIA -Tuesday night's Penn-Princeton game at The Palestra was by no means a work of art.
Princeton shot just 31 percent from the floor, and got field goals from just three players. Penn was not much better, at 42 percent. From beyond the three-point line, the teams were a combined 7-of-25 (.280).
Penn committed 10 turnovers; Princeton committed 17, which was six more than the number of field goals the Tigersmade (11).
In the end, though, Penn had the athletes, and a stifling defense, and that proved to be enough for the Quakers' 60-41 win in front of 7,802 at the venerable barn.
Penn (15-6, 7-0 Ivy) won for the 12th time in the last 14 games and extended its lead in the Ivy League to two games over Princeton (7-13, 5-2) as the teams hit the halfway point of the conference season with tonight's contest.
The first half plodded along. Penn's Steve Danley put the first points on the board when he tipped in a missed shot more than two minutes into the game, and then while the Quakers went nearly six minutes without a point Princeton only put five on the board (on a Noah Savage trey and a Luke Owings jumper).
Friedrich Ebede -- a senior playing in his first Penn-Princeton game -- got the Quakers back on the board with a nice three-point play which tied things up. Two possessions later, Ibrahim Jaaber picked Edwin Buffmire at center court, went in for the layup and was fouled as he rolled it in. The foul shot was good, and the Quakers took an 8-5 lead. They would never trail again.
Points continued to be hard to come by, however.Owings drained another trey that made the score 8-8, but Princeton would need 7:27 to score again. Penn was unable totake full advantage, however, scoring just 11 points during that stretch. As the teams went tothe locker rooms at the half, the score was just 23-13 in the Quakers' favor.
"I thought our defense was pretty good tonight, except for a couple of three-pointers they got that were probably defensible," said Penn head coach Fran Dunphy, who improved to 20-14 against the Quakers' nemesis. "Overall, I was very pleased.
"Offensively, I thought we were struggling early on," he continued. "Friedrich's three-point play really seemed to settle us down."
The action picked up in the secondhalf. Mark Zoller hit a pair of free throws, and then Jaaber knocked down a layup to make Penn's lead 27-13, before Justin Conway drained two foul shots for Princeton. A Danley foul shot was doubled by Owings, beforeDanley went on a personalfive-point run that pushed the Quakers' lead to 33-17. AnOwings trey was quickly answered by Zoller on a tip-in, and then Eric Osmundson buried athree-pointer that made the score 38-20.
Princeton was able to draw within 10 on a pair of occasions down the stretch, but got no closer as Penn won for the third straight time in this historic rivalry.
"I have so much respect for the Princeton program and how they are playing right now," said Dunphy. "This matchup always provides a great atmosphere, and tonight was no different."
Danley led the way for Penn, scoring a season-high 18 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and filling the box score with three assists, three blocked shots and two steals. Jaaber scored 17 points, dished out two assists and had four more steals to add to his Penn career record (190), while Zoller finished withhis third double-double of the 2005-06 season (15 points, 10 rebounds) and also had three assists.
For Princeton, Owings scored 18 points, and Scott Greenman dropped 14.
Penn is on the road for the second consecutive weekend, taking on Columbia Friday night at 7 p.m. and then Cornell Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. A reminder that Saturday's game will be televised live on College Sports Television (CSTV).