In their second Big 5 game of the year, the Quakers will look to break a five-game losing streak at La Salle. Here is our first Three Up, Three Down of 2013:
Henry Brooks: The sophomore forward has seen more floor time with the recent absence of Fran Dougherty. Brooks has averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds in the past two games, nearly doubling his season averages. Dougherty is unlikely to play Saturday, so if Brooks can stay out of foul trouble, expect a big game from him.
Second-half shooting: Penn’s shooting percentages have been poor in the second half of recent games. Against Butler, the Quakers' field-goal percentage dropped a whole 16.5 percent from the first half to the second. But La Salle has a tendency to allow its opponents to shoot better as the game goes on, as its last three opponents have shot the same or better from the floor in the second half.
Jamal Lewis: Recently named Ivy League Rookie of the Week, the freshman guard averaged a combined 11.5 points and 5.0 assists at Wagner and Butler. The Quakers will need another solid contribution from Lewis to help make up for the absence of Dougherty and contain La Salle’s outside shooters on the defensive end of the floor.
Penn fouling troubles: The Explorers’ last two opponents have only been called for a combined 21 fouls. Meanwhile, the Quakers have averaged nearly 23 fouls per game this season. Penn’s well-documented foul troubles shouldn’t be as significant against a team like La Salle that prefers to play more on the perimeter.
Home court advantage: Although La Salle is 5-1 at home this season, it will be a very short trip for the Quakers to Tom Gola Arena. Central Connecticut, which is only 4-8 on the season, came away with a win at La Salle back in November, which should give hope to this young Quaker team.
La Salle shooting: The Explorers are a great offensive team, as they have several talented perimeter players who shoot the ball well. But La Salle’s shooting percentages should take a hit against a stingy Quakers defense. Penn's 'D' leads the Ivy League in field goal percentage defense (.410) and ranks second in three-point field goal percentage defense (.319).
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