The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Penn baseball at Towson

Good Bad & Ugly

 

 

 

 

 

THE GOOD: Escaping a ninth-inning jam

The Quakers entered the bottom of the ninth inning leading 5-3, but the Tigers would not go down quietly. The Towson offense put pressure on Quakers closer Ronnie Glenn, opening the bottom of the frame with a single to right center. After a line out to second, Tiger Pat Fitzgerald stroked a single to right field. Glenn was able to buckle down and get a big strikeout on a full-count pitch, giving the Tigers only one more out to play with. Then it got interesting when Tigers junior Dominic Fratantuono singled through the left side of the infield, pulling Towson to within one run and putting the tying run in scoring position and the winning run on base. Glenn would allow no more, however, and got junior Kurt Wertz to fly out to center field to end the game. Glenn showed a real closer’s mentality, getting out of a big jam with the game on the line.

THE BAD: Two Penn fielding errors

Errors in the field never make a pitcher happy since they often show up as runs on their ledger. In today’s game the Quakers committed a pair of fielding errors, the first of which led to an unearned run. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, an infield error from the Quakers allowed a run to score. On the following play, a groundout produced an unearned run for the Tigers. The unearned run made the game a bit closer and led to a more dramatic ninth inning.

THE UGLY: Towson’s missed opportunities

The Tigers had many chances to either tie the game or pull ahead of the Quakers, but they could not manage to take advantage. This was mostly due to Quakers pitchers refusing to break in tough situations. Penn pitching gave up a total of five walks in this game, giving the Tigers offense plenty of free opportunities to cash in. In addition, the Towson offense stranded four men on base in the last two innings, both times when they had the Penn pitching staff on the ropes. Looking back at this game, the Tigers will see a game in which they had their chances but could not capitalize.

Game 31: Princeton – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (M. Hoops)

Good Bad & Ugly

 

 

 

 

 

Penn (9-22, 6-8 Ivy) closed out its season tonight with a loss to arch-rival Princeton (17-11, 10-4), 71-58, in a game that mattered little in the standings but plenty to the young men on the floor. In a performance evocative of its entire season, the Quakers hung around at first, before inconsistency took its toll and led to yet another disappointing defeat.

The Good: Tony Hicks (1st Half Edition)

In his final game of the season, the freshman came out like gangbusters, draining shots from all over the floor. Whether it was cutting and spinning to get to the basket, or pump-faking and firing away from the elbow, Hicks simply couldn't miss, dropping in 17 points on 7-9 shooting to energize the Palestra and carry the Quakers to a halftime tie while his struggling teammates combined to shoot 5-15. Even better, Hicks managed to take care of the ball as well, turning the ball over only once in the first period. If Hicks can turn in performances like that on a nightly basis next season, Penn will boast a backcourt that can potentially stand up to even mighty Harvard.

The Bad: Tony Hicks (2nd Half Edition)

But in the 2nd half, the wheels came off. The Tigers' guards tightened up on Hicks the rest of the way, limiting him to only 5 points on an unsightly 2-10 shooting performance. In the blink of a eye, Hicks reminded us all of the inconsistency that plagued this year's Quakers squad during Ivy play: flashes of brilliance at times (a stunning upset over Harvard) cancelled out by moments of sheer futility (losing to Dartmouth at home). Like the rest of his class, Hicks still has a lot to learn.

The Ugly: Penn's Mental Effort in the final 5 minutes

Though there was technically nothing to play for in tonight's game, the reality is that a huge amount of pride is riding on every Penn-Princeton matchup. And in this, the 228th meeting between the two historic rivals, the Quakers showed none of that pride when the chips were down. Down by 2 with just over 5 minutes to play, the early fight that the Red and Blue showed simply disappeared when T.J. Bray hit a 3 from the right elbow to give Princeton a 56-51 lead. As a result, what could have been a nail-biting finish and another classic duel turned decidedly anticlimactic, as the Tigers rolled the rest of the way. If the Quakers want to contend in the Ivy League next year, they simply have to avoid fading after the opposition hits clutch shots.

Game 27: Yale – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (W. Hoops)

Good Bad & Ugly

 

 

 

 

 

RECAP // BOX SCORE

THE GOOD: Kara Bonenberger 

Sophomore Kara Bonenberger turned in a very strong performance for the Quakers. Bonenberger had a double-double – 20 points and 12 boards – to provide secondary scoring alongside leading scorer Alyssa Baron’s 22 points.

THE BAD:  Ivy title hopes are over

Penn’s loss coupled with Harvard’s win knocks them out of second place in the Ancient Eight and the automatic bid to the Women’s NIT with only one game to play for each. It appears that Penn’s hopes for postseason play are slipping away.

 THE UGLY: Struggles beyond the arc

 The Quakers shot just 25.0 percent from beyond the arc while the Bulldogs finished shooting 54.5 percent from three. Yale ultimately finished with 12 three-pointers – twice as many as Penn. That’s an 18-point differential in a game decided by five points.

Game 28: Harvard – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Good Bad & Ugly

FULL RECAP // BOX SCORE 

What a difference a night makes. After fizzling away Friday night against Dartmouth, the Quakers were back with a vengeance, getting the underdog victory over Harvard, 75-72. In a league of upsets, a truly dominant team has yet to emerge, though the Crimson had come into the weekend looking like the cream of the crop of the Ivy League, before being swept by Princeton and Penn. In front of a crowded Palestra, despite it being spring break, the Quakers avenged a loss in Cambridge from earlier this season, and just like the second matchup against the Crimson last year, came away with the win.

THE GOOD: The freshmen

The rookie Quakers — Darien Nelson-Henry and Tony Hicks in particular — controlled the court tonight and led Penn to its win. Nelson-Henry brought in 18 points on the night on an 8-for-13 performance from the field, which was in addition to 11 rebounds — three of which were offensive — and three steals. Hicks, who led the Red and Blue in scoring, went 9-for-17 to rake in 24 points for the Quakers as well as three steals, four boards and a team-high five assists.

THE ALSO GOOD: The Quakers’ defensive effort

Though the Crimson went on a run in the second, Penn kept Harvard to 26.1 percent shooting in the first half. Though four Harvard players scored double-digits, including a 20-point performance — 10 of which came from the free throw line — from sophomore forward Wesley Saunders, the usual executers were kept to low shooting percentages. Sophomore center Kenyatta Smith was limited to 2-for-7 shooting, senior guard Christian Webster went 5-for-14 and freshman guard Siyani Chambers was kept to 1-for-5 in his 40 minutes of play.

THE BAD: Fouling

The most memorable of the fouls was junior forward Dau Jok’s unnecessary last-second foul as Chambers was bringing down the ball to finish off the first half. But this was just one of many. The Quakers quickly went over the limit in both frames. In the first half, Penn made it to the bonus with seven minutes and 25 seconds left, reaching 12 in the frame, while in the second it reached this point with nine minutes and 59 seconds left after jumping to six quick fouls beforehand and 13 total in the second half. It seemed as though there was constant whistling coming from the referees. The Crimson raked in 24 points on 33 opportunities at the charity stripe.

THE UGLY: Three-point coverage down the stretch

Though the Quakers maintained the lead throughout the game, a win started to look questionable as Harvard started making shot after shot from beyond the arc. The Crimson went 8-for-11 from three in the second half, after just going 2-for-10 in the previous stanza. The Crimson were notching almost every opportunity for a trey during this frame, with junior guard Laurent Rivard leading the way, going 4-for-4 from beyond the arc during the second half. In the final five minutes and 41 seconds, the Crimson brought in 15 points from three-point shooting, including notching two in the final 13 seconds. Harvard actually outscored Penn, 46-37, in the second half but the Quakers had built up a big enough cushion in the first to maintain the lead until the final buzzer.

Game 27: Dartmouth – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Good Bad & Ugly

 

 

 

 

 

After a 17-point loss to Columbia to finish last weekend, Penn looked to reverse its momentum and beat last-place Dartmouth. But tonight, the script was flipped, as the Big Green beat the Quakers for just the fourth time at the Palestra since 1959. Here is the Good but mostly Bad and Ugly from a night to forget for Penn men’s basketball:

THE GOOD: Dau Jok makes it rain

After Penn fell behind by double digits early in the second half, the team needed a spark from its inconsistent bench. And Dau Jok was just the player to provide that spark. After hitting a three in the final minute of the first half, Jok reeled off three shots from the beyond the arc to close in on Dartmouth in the final frame. While Jok didn’t lead the Quakers in scoring (that honor, once again, went to Tony Hicks, who led the team with 23 points), the junior captain went 4-for-4 from the field and was one of the few bright spots for Penn.

THE BAD: The (failed) attempt to contain Dartmouth’s freshmen

The matchup featured just one senior combined between the two teams so it was up to the underclassmen to make something happen. And opposite Tony Hicks, it was Dartmouth’s Alex Mitola who was the star of the game. With the game tied at 61 in the final 90 seconds, the freshman guard took over, hitting two free throws before getting a game-sealing And One layup that got the Dartmouth bench fired up. The Quakers once again failed to make the necessary plays to win a close game, and another factor was Big Green freshman forward Connor Boehm, who provided 15 points and six boards off the bench.

THE UGLY: The utter lack of a crowd

It is pretty hard for a 7-19 team to attract much excitement. When you add in the fact that Penn was on Spring Break and facing the even-less exciting Dartmouth, you have a perfect storm of attendance futility. Just 1867 people (officially) came to the Palestra on Friday night to see the Quakers’ latest loss. It felt like even fewer people were in attendance as even the players noticed. Miles Cartwright said, “There was no energy in the building tonight from a crowd standpoint, so when that happens, we have to bring our own energy and we didn’t do that tonight.”

Game 24: Dartmouth – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (W. Hoops)

Good Bad & Ugly

 

 

 

 

 

The Quakers (15-9, 8-2 Ivy) notched their sixth straight victory beating Dartmouth (6-18, 4-6 Ivy) 55-45. But what happened at Harvard is the story of the night...

THE GOOD: Brianna Bradford.

Senior Brianna Bradford had one of the best games of her Penn career. In her last road trip and her 100th game as a Quaker, Bradford recorded a career-high 17 points, going 3-for-4 behind the arc, while the rest of the team combined for only 2-for-21. With Baron and Ray in foul trouble in the second half, Bradford's added offensive help was instrumental in Penn's win.

THE BAD: The Quakers offense in the first half.

Penn only recorded 20 points in the first half, shooting 8-for-31 and an abysmal 1-for-16 from behind the arc. Without their stellar defense, the Quakers could have lost hold of the game early. As they move to face Harvard tomorrow, any opportunities the Red and Blue give for the Crimson to take the lead, a cold first half could spell trouble.

THE SHOCK: Harvard beating Princeton.

Harvard ended Princeton’s 33 game Ivy winning streak. After winning 50 of their last 51 Ivy games, Harvard pulled a huge upset, beating the Tigers 58-55. As Penn faces Harvard tomorrow, the Crimson will be high off their win and on the hunt to shut down the Quakers. With Harvard one game behind the Quakers, and the Quakers one game behind Princeton, the standings are wide open. If Penn wins all of its remaining games (still a difficult task with Harvard and Princeton still to play) to cap off its season, the Quakers would earn their first berth to the NCAA Tournament since 2003-04.

 

Game 26: Columbia — The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Good Bad & Ugly

BOX SCORE // FULL RECAP

Riding momentum from a 79-71 victory over Cornell the night before, Penn entered its matchup at Columbia with a head of steam, as the squad was looking to log its first Ivy weekend sweep of the year. But the Quakers' offense stalled against the Lions, and Penn walked away with its most disappointing loss of the season, a 58-41 defeat that ended not with a bang but a sad, lonely whimper. The Quakers, however, were not alone in their offensive struggles. Though Columbia picked up a win, the Lions had an abysmal performance from the field in the second half in a game in which each Ivy squad seemed determined to match the other's horrific shooting. With bad play all around, this edition of "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" will in actuality be "The Ugly, the Ugly & the Marginally Less Ugly."

THE UGLY: Six field goals from both teams combined in the second half.

In the second frame, Penn and Columbia scored a total of six field goals — four on the Quakers' side and two for the Lions, while shooting 16.7 percent and 10 percent from the field, respectively. While one would like to attribute the low scoring to excellent defense, it was largely a result of poor shooting performances by virtually everyone on the floor. Neither team finished above 33.3 percent shooting overall, though Columbia did convert 22-26 free throws in the game, which led the Lions to victory.

THE UGLY: Three technical fouls on Penn's side.

Freshman Tony Hicks followed up his 29-point performance against Cornell with 19 points against the Lions. However, his play was tarnished by receiving two technical fouls and ultimately fouling out of the game with 3:33 left in the game. Hicks logged his first 'T' at the 7:42 mark in the second half. It was unclear just what the call resulted from, but it seems like Hicks said something to the refs they didn't like after calling a foul against the rookie. His second technical came a few minutes later with 3:33 remaining. Again, the reasons for the infraction were unclear, but it sent Hicks to the showers early as he also tallied his fifth personal foul. His ejection killed Penn’s momentum and extinguished any chance of the Quakers crawling back into the game. If that weren't enough, just a moment later, coach Jerome Allen was whistled for a technical after reacting to a missed travel call.

MARGINALLY LESS UGLY: Hicks dazzles again with 19 points.

Despite the technical fouls, Hicks was certainly the closest thing to a bright spot for Penn. After Columbia defenders swatted away a couple of his first drives to the rim, Hicks adjusted and began to effectively utilize a jump shot that has improved greatly over the course of the season. The rookie shot 8-for-15 from the field, accounting for more than half of Penn's 14 field goals. Clearly, however, it was far from enough to keep the Quakers in the game, even with the Lions converting just 2-20 from the field in the second half.

Game 23: Columbia – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (W. Hoops)

Good Bad & Ugly

 

 

 

 

 

BOX SCORE // RECAP

 

Penn beat Columbia, 66-48, to complete its second consecutive Ivy weekend sweep.

THE GOOD: Penn's offensive depth

This team bears almost no resemblance to that of three years ago when Alyssa Baron was the only producer. Four players posted double digits against Columbia. Baron notched 21 points of the night, Kara Bonenberger produced 13 and Keiera Ray had another big weekend with 12. Kathleen Roche continued to shoot important shots where she needed to, notching four threes of her own.

THE BAD: Columbia's second half defense.

For a second time this season, Columbia showed aggressive defense at the beginning of the first half but couldn’t adjust when Penn's offense did. The Lions let the game get away from them in the second half for a second time this season, allowing Penn to go on a 32-9 run.

 THE UGLY: Princeton

Princeton continues to decimate the Ivy League competition, making first place a lofty goal for the Quakers. After a 98-36 drubbing of Columbia on Friday, the Tigers again notched a 20+-point victory against Cornell, beating the Big Red 59-34.

 

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 21: Dartmouth – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Good Bad & Ugly

 

 

 

 

 

RECAP // BOX SCORE

After the Lady Quakers completed one of their most successful weekends in recent memory, a Good, Bad & Ugly for their 63-40 rout of Dartmouth.

THE GOOD: Keiera Ray

With 50 points in this weekend's two games, including 19 tonight, consider this freshman guard Keiera Ray’s coming out party once and for all. She led all scorers in both games this weekend. Her emergence along with the steady play of junior guard Alyssa Baron give the Quakers a formidable backcourt.

THE BAD: Princeton continues to dominate

Not much bad to take away from the weekend for the Quakers. Perhaps the only downside is that the Tigers do not appear to be slowing down any time soon Penn hopes to catch them in the standings. There is some hope, however. A Dartmouth squad that the Quakers just blew out lost to Princeton by “only” 12 points on Friday night – their smallest margin of victory in Ivy play this season.

THE UGLY: Dartmouth turnovers

The Big Green turned the ball over a whopping 23 times. Penn’s 24-0 advantage in points off turnovers covered its entire margin of victory. By continually handing the ball back to the Quakers, Dartmouth never gave themselves a chance.