Game 25: Cornell – The Good, Bad & the Ugly

Good Bad & Ugly

Facing Cornell on the road at the Newman Arena in Ithaca, N.Y., the Quakers avenged a close loss from earlier this month behind freshman guard Tony Hicks’ 29-point eruption, getting the 79-71 win. Penn started out hot, jumping to a 25-13 lead, but the Big Red answered with a 30-14 run of their own to close out the first frame. Down 43-39 at the half, the Red and Blue dominated the second half, taking back the lead early on and never surrendering it again.

THE GOOD: Miles Cartwright’s well-rounded performance

The junior captain played like the leader everyone expects him to be, and he really did everything against Cornell. Cartwright racked up 15 points, nine assists, six boards and two steals. He also led the Quakers in playing time, with 34 minutes on the court. The only downside? Try 4-for-11 shooting and three turnovers. But that’s fine, because trying too hard is better than not trying at all.

THE BETTER: Tony Hicks’ season-high 29 points

Oh wait. Rather career-high, since he’s only a freshman. Hicks showed off what he’s capable of, hitting 11-for-18 from the field, which included making five of his six attempts from beyond the arc. The rookie secured Penn’s second best point total of the year — only behind Fran Dougherty’s 31-point show in a 62-53 loss against Fairfield on Nov. 12.

THE BAD: Henry Brooks fouls out … again

12 minutes. That’s exactly how much playing time Brooks got tonight, despite being in the starting lineup. The sophomore forward was subbed out after racking up two fouls in the first five minutes. He came back at the start of the second half, only to get subbed out yet again after two fouls in five minutes. When Allen finally decided to let him back in, Brooks made the most of it by turning the ball over and immediately reaching his fifth infraction of the night. Too bad for him, as his stat line of four points, three rebounds and two assists doesn’t look too bad for the short amount of time he actually spent on the court.

THE UGLY: Penn’s abysmal performance at the end of the first half

After Cartwright made two free throws that put the game 25-13 in favor of the Quakers, it looked like it would be an easy ride for Allen and co. That was before Cornell terrorized Penn for the last ten minutes of the first frame, scoring 30 points in that time period, which included 12 by guard Nolan Cressler. The Red and Blue surrendered five treys and also committed six turnovers during those ten minutes, and for a moment it looked as if it was going to turn into a blowout for the home team. That never materialized, as the Quakers kept it close and then reversed the situation in the second half, but this won’t happen against Princeton or Harvard.

Game Seven: Binghamton — The Good, Bad & Ugly

Penn turned around its five-game losing streak by grabbing a 65-54 win over Binghamton. The Quakers are now 2-5 on the season and hope to take their momentum to State College when they face Penn State this Saturday.

FULL RECAP // BOX SCORE

THE GOOD: Dau Jok's career high eight points. Yes, Fran Dougherty had another big night, recording a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. But it was Dau who received the greater applause when the two came off the court in the second half. Jok had a career-high 8 points for the Quakers in 12 minutes. On a night where Penn shot 35% from the field, Jok shined shooting a perfect 3-for-3. I expect to see more of Dau's sweet stroke in upcoming games.

THE BAD: Outrebounded again? Penn was last in the Ivy League in rebounding margin coming into the game and they won't be moving up the rankings after last night. They
were outrebounded 49-39 and registered a pitiful eight offensive rebounds. Other than Fran Dougherty, who had 13 rebounds, no Quaker had more than five. Only one Quaker, freshman Darien Nelson-Henry, had multiple offensive rebounds. If Binghamton center Roland Brown didn't have early foul trouble, the Bearcats may have pulled this one out.
Brown, who fouled out in the second half, had 5 points and 7 rebounds in just 11 minutes of play.

THE UGLY: The Palestra scoreboard. With 1:03 left in the second half and Penn winning 62-50, the scoreboard malfunctioned at the Palestra. Binghamton's players and fans were quick to voice their complaint that their score was off. Binghamton's leading scorer Jordan Reed, a Philadelphia native, was particularly upset that his stat line only showed 15 points when he had earned 16. It took the scoreboard operators a few minutes to fix the problem. A rare complaint by visitors about playing in the Palestra!