Quakers Look to Tame Lions

Penn (12-7, 5-0 Ivy) vs.Columbia (12-7, 3-3Ivy)

Feb. 11, 2005 at7 p.m.

The Palestra - Philadelphia, Pa.

Listen at WXPN 88.5 and on www.pennathletics.com

Winning Ways

Penn extended its win streak to eight games - its longest since a 14-game winning streak in 2002-03 - and improved to 5-0 in Ivy League play with a huge come-from behind win against Princeton on Feb. 8.

Its Not Over Til its Over

Penn rallied from an 18-point second half deficit to defeat preseason favorite Princeton, 70-62, in overtime. Princeton's Judson Wallace nailed the second of two free throws with 7:35 remaining on the clock to give the visiting Tigers their largest lead of the game at 53-35, but it was all down hill for the Tigers from that point on. Penn went on a 21-3 run to tie the game at 56-56 with 31 ticks on the clock. Senior Eric Osmundson sparked the Quakers comeback, scoring nine of his 13 points during that stretch, including completing a four-point play when he was fouled on a three and sinking two free throws to tie the game. Begley led the Red and Blue with 20 points on 4-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc.

In The Driver’s Seat

The Ivy League race was not supposed to go like this. Preseason favorite Princeton was supposed to be the rage, running over the rest of the seven conference teams like a Mac truck. But it seems that things have shaken out a little differently as the League heads into the middle of its season this weekend. Penn holds a two-game lead with a 5-0 record, while Cornell is second at 4-2 and Columbia is tied for third at 3-3. And where is Princeton? The Quakers’ incredible comeback forced the Tigers to the eighth spot in the Ivy League standings.

One of the Best

The University of Pennsylvania men's basketball program was named the 16th greatest college basketball program of all-time by Street and Smith's Specialty Publications. The Quakers were the first Ivy League and Big 5 institution to appear on the list.

Coaches Corner

Penn

Head Coach Fran Dunphy is in his 16th season at the helm of Penn basketball. Coach Dunphy is the winningest coach in Penn basketball history with 279 career victories. He has had 11 winning seasons at Penn, including three-straight 17 plus-win seasons. Dunphy is the second winningest coach in the Ivy League with 170 Ancient Eight victories.

Columbia

Head Coach Joseph Jones is in his second season at the helm of Columbia basketball. He took over the program last season and recorded six conference wins which tied him for the second biggest one-year turnaround in Ivy League history. The Lions posted a 10-7 overall mark and finished tied for fifth in the League (6-8). Jones served as an assistant at Villanova for the six seasons prior to his arrival in New York City.

Looking at the Lions

Columbia enters the Penn game with the most overall wins in the League at 12-7, but stands third in the Ancient Eight with a 3-3 record. The Lions were swept last weekend, falling to Yale, 77-67, and Brown, 54-52. Matt Preston leads Columbia with 15.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The Light Blue is shooting 42 percent from the field, including a 37 percent clip from behind the arc.

The Series

Penn has won the last five match ups against the Lions and 22 of the last 24 meetings. Coach Fran Dunphy is 25-5 all-time against Columbia. The Lions have not had much luck against the Quakers in The Palestra, garnering just a 9-41 record.

Last Five Meetings

3/1/02 at Columbia W, 51-47

2/8/03 at Columbia W, 47-40

3/7/03 Columbia W, 63-39

2/13/04 at Columbia W, 91-76

2/28/04 Columbia W, 64-50

The Red and Blue on Feb. 11

The Quakers sport a 13-9 record on this day in February. In home contests on the Feb. 11, Penn is 8-4. Head Coach Fran Dunphy is 4-1 in his career on this date with the last win coming against Princeton, 65-55 in 2003. Penn has won three of its five meetings with the Lions on this date.

Up Next ...

The Red and Blue take on Cornell on Feb. 12 in a 7 p.m. match-up on CN8. Penn hits the road for the next two Ivy League weekends. First stop - Brown on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. The game will air live on the YES Network.

Coach Dunphy in February

Head Coach Fran Dunphy is 111-34 all-time in the month of February. The 16-year coach has gone undefeated four times in his career in 1993, 1994, 2000 and 2003. When Coach Dunphy and his Quakers have seven or more wins in February, Penn has won eight Ivy League Championships and finished second four times.

Against the Empire State Ivies

Over the last 13 seasons, Penn’s home record during the Cornell/Columbia series is an impressive 23-1, while the Quakers are 21-3 on the road against these two opponents.

Add Another Candle to the Cake

Happy Birthday to senior Eric Osmundson. The guard from Carlsbad, Calif., who was born in Allentown, Pa., turns 22 on Feb. 11.

Extra Time

Tuesday’s match-up with Princeton was the Quakers’ second overtime game this season as Penn lost to Rider on Jan. 12, 74-68, in The Palestra in extra minutes. It was the 16th time the Penn vs. Princeton game has gone into overtime, with the schools splitting the outcomes of those contests. Penn had not won an overtime game at home since 75-74 victory over Temple on Dec. 5, 2001.

The Three Ball

Penn hit 10-of-22 three pointers against Princeton on Feb. 8. Penn has accomplished that feat four other times this season and all have resulted in victories. Penn hit double-digit treys against La Salle (13), Lafayette (12), Drexel (11) and Siena (10).

From the Charity Stripe

Senior Eric Osmundson had not attempted more than six free throws in a game prior to the Princeton game on Feb. 8. The Carlsbad, Calif. native went 8-of-11 from the foul line against the Tigers. Eight of his 13 points came from the free throw line, including two buckets with 31 ticks on the clock to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Playing Time

Tim Begley and Ibrahim Jaaber did not get much time to rest against the Tigers. In fact, the two guards played the entire 45 minutes of action against Princeton. It was a career-high in minutes played for both players as was the 43 and 42 minutes on the court by Steve Danley and Eric Osmundson, respectively.

Putting the Defense to the Test

Heading into last Tuesday’s game, Princeton ranked second in Division I in scoring defense, holding their opponents to 52.8 points per game. Penn scored the most points against their rival to the North, putting up 70 points. Two schools managed to score 68 points against the Tigers, Davidson in double overtime and UTEP.

Second Half Surge

For the first time this season, the Red and Blue battled back from a halftime deficit to earn a victory. Princeton held a 15-point lead on the Quakers on Feb. 8 before a 21-3 run ignited by Eric Osmundson’s seven points in 20 seconds evened the score and sent the game into overtime.

Bounce Back Jaaber

Ibrahim Jaaber is scoring more but shooting less. During the Red and Blue’s five game losing streak earlier this year, the sophomore guard averaged 10.6 ppg on 20-of-56 (.357) shooting from the field. In Penn’s current eight-game win streak, Jaaber is averaging 11.4 ppg on 23-of-66 (.515.) shooting from the field. When Jaaber scores 10 points or more, Penn is 8-2 and Penn is 4-5 when he scores less than 10 points.

Congrats to the Newest Member

Tim Begley became the 32nd member of the 1,000 point club on Feb. 5. With 16:26 remaining in the second stanza against Dartmouth, the Freehold, N.J. native downed a three-pointer to score the 1,000th, 1,001st and 1,002nd points of his career to join the exclusive club. After Tuesday night’s game against Princeton, the senior captain, who averages 13.8 ppg., stands 31st all-time in program history with 1,025 points.

The FREE Throw Line

Senior Tim Begley had no problem sinking baskets from the charity stripe against the Harvard on Feb. 4. Begley nailed 6-of-6 attempts from the foul line. Two other Quakers went flawless from the charity stripe over the weekend - sophomore Mark Zoller hit all five of his attempts while classmate Ibrahim Jaaber made his four shots.

His Career Has Begun...

Freshman Joe Gill scored his first collegiate points on Feb. 5 against Dartmouth. The Doylestown, Pa. native sank both free throw attempts to notch his two points. Gill pulled down a career-high two rebounds as well.

Battle on the Glass

For the first time since the Penn vs. San Francisco game, Penn was out-rebounded by its opponent. Harvard pulled down 41 boards on Feb. 4, including 22 first half rebounds. The Quakers managed 39 rebounds, including 10 from Tim Begley and seven from Steve Danley.

Rejection

Senior Jan Fikiel batted away a career-high four shots against Harvard. The senior from Ulm, Germany had back-to-back blocks with 14:22 remaining in the first half. Fikiel rejected a David Givacchini lay-up with Penn leading 10-4. After the Crimson rebounded the ball, Fikiel tipped away a three-point attempt by Matt Stehle. The Quakers followed with an 8-3 run to take an 18-7 lead.

Streaking to Seven

The Red and Blue won their last seven games by an average of 20.3 points. On Feb. 5, the Red and Blue dominated Dartmouth by 24 points. Penn crushed Yale and Brown in the opening weekend of Ivy action with wins by 24 and 23 points, respectively. Only one of the victories in Penn’s seven game streak had a margin of less than 13 - an eight-point win against Saint Joseph’s.

Earning His Stripes

Sophomore Steve Danley, who earned his first Ivy League honor as Player of the Week last week, is third on the team in scoring. He averages 9.4 points per game. He’s also third on the team in rebounding and the only starting shooting above .500 from the field. Danley leads the team in blocks (17), is third in steals (14) and fourth in assists (32).

Multiplicity

Senior Tim Begley leads the team in multiple double-digit games. The senior has 13 games in double figures this season, including eight of the last 10 contests. Five other Quakers have had several double figure games - Ibrahim Jaaber (10), Steve Danley (8), Eric Osmundson (9), Mark Zoller (7) and Jan Fikiel (5).

That's Hot!

The Quakers shot 76 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes against Brown on Jan. 29. Penn nailed 19-of-25 shots, including a 7-for-7 effort from sophomore Steve Danley and a 3-for-4 performance from classmate Mark Zoller. The Red and Blue finished the game connecting on 63.5 percent of their shots. The last time Penn shot better from the field was against Harvard on Feb. 6, 2004. The Red and Blue connected on 66.1 percent of their shots en route to a 104-69 victory in The Palestra.

Shutting Down the Offense

The Red and Blue held Dartmouth to just 44 points on Feb. 5. It was the second time this season, Penn held its opponents to under 45 points. The Quakers shutdown Yale to open the Ivy League season, allowing the Elis to put up just 41 points on Jan. 28. It was the lowest offensive output of the season by a Penn opponent and the lowest since Cornell managed only 39 points against the Quakers on March 7, 2003. The Quakers have held their opponents under 50 points, 27 times in the last five years.

Honors All-Around

The Quakers have had four different players earn Ivy League Player of the Week honors and two receive Big 5 Player of the Week accolades.

11/29 Ivy League Player of the Week

- Mark Zoller

Big Five Co-Player of the Week

- Mark Zoller

12/6 Ivy League Player of the Week

- Tim Begley

Big Five Player of the Week

- Tim Begley

1/24 Ivy League Player of the Week

- Ibrahim Jaaber

1/31 Ivy League Player of the Week

- Steve Danley

Non-Conference

Penn finished its 2004-05 non-conference campaign with a 7-7 mark. Six of the Red and Blue’s seven wins were double-digit victories including a 30 point win over Drexel on Nov. 23. Penn picked up wins over Bucknell and Lafayette to win 19 straight games against Patriot League opponents. The Quakers went 2-2 in the Big Five defeating La Salle, 78-67 and Saint Joseph’s, 67-59.

When 24 Equals Perfection

The Quakers are 7-0 when sophomore Mark Zoller scores in double figures. The forward from Blue Bell, Pa. had double-digit numbers against Quinnipiac (10), Drexel, (22), La Salle (11), Seina (18), Saint Joseph’s (13), Yale (14) and Dartmouth (12).

A Streak of His Own

Senior Eric Osmundson has hit at least one three pointer in his last 15 games and has had three games with four or more trifectas this season. He’s shot 50 percent or better from beyond the arc seven times and ranks sixth in the League in three point field goal percentage (43.6).

Nationally Recognized

Ibrahim Jaaber ranks among the best in Division I in steals. The sophomore guard has 41 steals or 2.6 spg. to his credit this season which ranks first in the Ivy League and 22nd in the nation. Senior Tim Begley is also among the top-50 in Division I in assists. He ranks 44th in assists per game, averaging 5.2.

Lending a Hand

Senior Tim Begley tied the program record for assists in a game with 13 helpers against Lafayette on Jan. 18. The record, held by Dave Wohl, C’71, went untouched for 35 years. Begley has 94 helpers so far this season and 383 in his career. He needs four more helpers to catch former teammate David Klatsky, who is fourth on the career list. Begley is currently averaging 5.5 apg, which leads the Ivy League.

Dominating the Glass

Penn has had 40 or more rebounds in eight games this season, including six straight contests - Illinois-Chicago (42), Rider (44), Siena (42), Lafayette (41), Saint Joseph’s (40) and Yale (43). The Quakers grabbed a season-high 49 rebounds against Dartmouth on Feb. 5 sophomore Steve Danley grabbed 10 boards, while classmate Mark Zoller hauled in nine. Eleven of the 12 Quakers who got in the game pulled down at least two rebounds.

Moving Up the Charts

Tim Begley took over sole possession of second all-time in career three-pointers. The Freehold, N.J. native went 1-for-5 from three-point land against Harvard to surpass former teammate Jeff Schiffner who had 220 trifectas. Begley added three trifectas against Dartmouth on Feb. 8 and four versus the Tigers for 228 triples. Begley needs 17 treys to nab the top spot which is held by former Quaker Matt Maloney. Begley also stands third in the Penn accolades in three pointers made in a season with 83 in 2003-04. He currently has 51.

244 Matt Maloney 1993-95

228 Tim Begley 2002-present

220 Jeff Schiffner 2001-04

201 Matt Langel 1997-00

199 Garrett Kreitz 1995-98

Back to Business

Senior Tim Begley had his streak of 13 games of at least one three-pointer snapped against Villanova on Dec. 31. But denying him from beyond the arc did not last long as the senior captain has downed trifectas in each of the last 10 games. Begley has 47 trifectas this season and is on pace to establish a new program record for three-pointers in a career.

Beyond the Arc

The Red and Blue shot 78.6 percent (11-of-14) from the three-point range against Drexel, breaking the program record for three-point accuracy in a game. The previous record of 75 percent was set against USC on Jan. 11, 2003 when the Quakers went 15-of-20 from beyond the arc. Penn tied the record just 19 days later against Princeton, nailing 6-of-8 trifectas.

Home Sweet Home

The Red and Blue are 729-314 all-time in The Palestra. Penn has not had a losing season at home since 1984-85 where the Quakers went 4-9. The Quakers have had 19 perfect Ivy League seasons at home and four seasons without a loss in The Palestra.

A Decade Worth of Victories

For the 10th time since his tenure began, Head Coach Fran Dunphy’s team recorded at least 17 victories in a season when Penn went 17-10 in 2003-04. The current Ivy League dean of coaches has 11 winning seasons under his belt and three straight heading into the 2004-05 campaign.

He’s No. 2

Head Coach Fran Dunphy is second all-time in the Ivy League with 282 career victories.Dunphy is also second in all-time Ivy League wins with 170. He has amassed an overall record of 170-42 against Ivy League opponents in his 16th season at Penn.

Welcome to The Palestra

The Palestra, which was built in 1927, was refurbished in 2000 and reopened amid some hoopla on Dec. 7 as “The Palestra 2000.” Known as college basketball’s most storied gymnasium, The Palestra was renovated into a type of museum of basketball history that includes players, coaches and fans from Penn, the Ivy League, local high schools, national powerhouse colleges, and of course, the Philadelphia Big 5. In an article titled, “A Museum in the Cathedral,” Sports Illustrated's Alex Wolff said “... Old friends - and the new friends The Palestra is making, like the Maryland basketball team, which strolled the halls in December on orders from Coach Gary Williams - regard the temple at 33rd and Walnut as “holier than a mere landmark.”

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