Saturday, February 7, 2015

Game Recap: Penn 71, Cornell 69

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Tony Hicks hit a floater in the lane with four seconds remaining to lift Penn to a 71-69 victory over Cornell on Friday evening at Newman Arena, The loss, the Big Red's second straight at home, dropped the team to 10-11 overall (2-3 Ivy). Penn improved to 7-11 (2-2 Ivy).

Hicks and the Quakers hit a combined 10-of-19 from 3-point range and took advantage of Cornell's uncharacteristically tough 19-of-29 free throw night to overcome 17 turnovers. The loss overshadowed a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double that included three blocks and three steals from senior Shonn Miller. Robert Hatter added 16 points and Galal Cancer notched 10 points, eight assists and three rebounds in the loss.

Penn shot 57 percent from the floor after halftime to end the night at 49 percent. They also outrebounded the Big Red 38-25.

The Quakers led for just 11 seconds in the contest and didn't take their first lead until 40 seconds remained, but that's all they would need. Freshman Sam Jones hit a tough well-defended 3-pointer to turn a two-point deficit into a 69-68 advantage for the visitors with 40 seconds left. Just nine seconds later, Miller was able to draw a foul and tie up the game with his second free throw. That set up Hicks' heroics, taking a handoff and taking the ball into the lane where he hit the 8-footer that gave Penn the win.

For most of the contest, it looked as though it was the Big Red's night. With a strong crowd and a nationally-televised audience on the American Sports Network tuning in for the 8 p.m. start, Cornell pounced on the Quakers right from the start. The Big Red got six early points, including a thunderous dunk after an open court steal, from Miller as part of a 12-0 Big Red spurt to open the game. It wasn't until Camryn Crocker hit a 3-pointer from the wing 5:50 into the game that the Quakers were on the board. Cornell maintained the lead throughout the half, as Penn got within three at 19-16, saw the lead balloon to nine twice and was eight after Cancer beat the defense for a last-second layup to end the first half up 35-27. Hatter had 10 points at the break and Cornell had turned the ball over just twice.

Penn trimmed three points off the lead right off the bat after halftime, but each time the Quakers made a run, Cornell would answer. A tough three-point play by Cancer, a driving layup by David Onuorah, a 3-pointer by Hatter. The Quakers tied the game at 43-43 with just over 11 minutes to play, but less that a minute later Cornell led by five again after Cherry hit a jumper and Hatter knocked down his fourth 3-pointer of the night. Cornell built an eight-point lead with five minutes remaining when Miller hit a 3-pointer to go up 61-53.

It turned into the Sam Jones show for much of the final four minutes. The Penn freshman hit a 3-pointers, then a pair of free throws to get back within two. Cornell started going to Miller and the senior responded, the last time on a three-point play with 1:44 left. He caught the ball in the post and muscled it over Antonio Woods, drawing the foul for the three-point play to make it a five-point Cornell lead. Penn kept staying in the contest, running down the floor and answering Miller's three-point play with one of its own by Woods. After Cornell rimmed out a 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock, Jones hit his tough go-ahead shot from beyond the arc.

Cornell got one last chance for a game-tying or game-winning basket in the final four seconds, with Cherry getting off one last look after going the length of the court, but the shot was short of its mark.

The Big Red will look to top Princeton when the Tigers come to town on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. at Newman Arena.

Cornell led for more than 39 minutes but Pennsylvania had the advantage when it mattered most and stunned the Big Red, 71-69, in Ivy League men’s basketball on Friday night at Newman Arena.
Tony Hicks scored a game-high 25 points and hit a floater in the lane with four seconds to play to lift the Quakers (7-11 overall, 2-2 Ivy League). Penn, which connected on 10 of 19 shots from 3-point range, led for a total of 11 seconds and didn’t take their first lead till 40 seconds remained.
Senior Shonn Miller led Cornell (10-11, 2-3) with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore Robert Hatter added 16 points and senior Galal Cancer had 10. Cornell was uncharacteristically poor from the foul line (19-for-29) and turned the ball over 17 times.
Cornell scored the game’s first 12 points, holding the Quakers off the board till the 5:50 mark, and led 35-27 at halftime. The Quakers tied the game at 44 with 11 minutes left, but Cornell pushed its lead back to eight with five minutes left before the visitors rallied again.
Freshman Sam Jones hit a pair of 3’s and two free throws to pull Penn to within two with just over two minutes left. In the final minute, Jones hit a contested 3-pointer to give the Quakers their first lead, 69-68; Miller made one of two free throws at the other end, tying the game and setting up Hicks’ heroics.
Cornell hosts Princeton at 6 p.m. Saturday, then hits the road for just the third time in the calendar for games next weekend at Dartmouth and Harvard.

It's Tony Hicks' world and the rest of us are just paying rent.
Despite falling behind by 12 to begin the game and never leading until under a minute remained, Penn basketball rode the junior guard's 20 second half points and game-winning jumper with four seconds remaining to its sixth consecutive win over Cornell, 71-69.
The Red and Blue looked overwhelmed from the onset. The Quakers trailed 12-0 before the first media timeout, falling behind after two early Big Red three pointers and three buckets from Cornell senior forward Shonn Miller.
But Penn (7-11, 2-2 Ivy) fought back as a pair of threes from senior captain Cam Croker and freshman Sam Jones brought the Quakers back within single digits.
From that point on, Friday night's contest became a back-and-forth affair. Although the Big Red (10-11, 2-3) threatened to push their lead back to double digits heading into halftime, freshman guard Antonio Woods canned a three with 29 seconds left in the half to bring Penn back within six.
With the Quakers trailing 35-27 at halftime, Hicks -- Penn's leading scorer entering Friday's game averaging 13.4 points per contest -- had only notched five points. Woods had seven points at the break while senior Greg Louis and freshman Mike Auger picked up two fouls in the opening period.
As the second half raged on, Hicks and Miller did battle, putting their respective teams on their backs down the stretch. The Big Red managed to hold off Penn for a majority of the half, but the Red and Blue consistently kept the pressure on their New York rivals.
While Hicks managed to connect on a wide array of shots, including his game-winning floater in the lane, it was consecutive threes with 11 minutes remaining that tied the game, bringing Penn closer than it had been all game. The two baskets were part of 10 straight points scored by Hicks for the Quakers, keeping the Quakers within striking distance.
After Auger and Louis fouled out and the teams traded trips to the free throw line, the Big Red seemed on the verge of blowing the game open. A three by Miller with 5:03 left put Cornell up by eight and placed the ball squarely in the Quakers' court.
Largely because of Jones, Penn responded. The rookie knocked down a three to bring the Red and Blue within four before converting two free throws 40 seconds later to make it a one possession game.
With 1:44 remaining, the Big Red looked poised to clinch the game. Miller posted up Woods and hit a layup while drawing the foul to give Cornell a chance to go up by six.
However, after Miller missed the free throw, Woods came right back with a bucket and free throw of his own, bringing Penn within two with 1:26 left.
All that set the stage for Penn's final minute heroics. After Robert Hatter -- who scored16 points for the Big Red -- badly missed a three, the Quakers found Jones open via an off-ball screen. The freshman knocked down the jumper from beyond the arc, giving the Red and Blue their first lead of the day.
A foul on the next possession sent Miller to the line, but the veteran managed to convert only one of two shots. Immediately thereafter, Hicks ran the clock down under 10 seconds before driving to the hoop and sinking the floater.
Although Miller finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, it was Penn's junior captain's 25th point of the night gave the Red and Blue their fourth win in seven games. The Quakers will be back in action on Saturday against Columbia in New York City.

Penn basketball was losing from the opening tip against Cornell until the final minute when a three-pointer from freshman forward Sam Jones and a floater in the paint from junior captain Tony Hicks propelled the Quakers to a 71-69 victory. Here are some interesting facts from the big win for the Red and Blue.
  • It was Penn's first victory while trailing in the final minute since March 8, 2013 against Brown. 
  • The Quakers are 4-0 in their last four contests where Hicks scores in double figures. They are 0-3 during that span when he scores in single digits.
  • The game-high 25 points from Hicks were his highest point total since Penn's season opener against Delaware State.
  • The Red and Blue have won their last four games at Newman Arena and have a four-game winning streak against the Big Red. Penn's last loss to Cornell was by the same final score as Friday evening, 71-69. 
  • Penn finished with 17 turnovers compared to just seven by Cornell. The Quakers have turned the ball over more than their opponents in six of their seven wins this year. This was the first time Penn won a game where they turned the ball over 10 more times than its opponent since Jan. 11, 2014 against Princeton.
  • The Red and Blue have turned the ball over at least 14 times in all 18 games this season.
  • This was the 78th straight game in which the Quakers turned the ball over 10 or more times, dating back to a 74-63 win over Quinnipiac on Mar. 14, 2012. Camryn Crocker is the only player to play both in that game vs. Quinnipiac and on Friday night, playing nine minutes in each game. Penn is 24-54 in those 78 games.
  • It was also the 34th straight game in Ivy play in which the Quakers turned the ball over 10 or more times, dating back to Mar. 2, 2012 against Brown. Penn is 14-20 in those 34 games.
  • Penn made 10 three-pointers against Cornell, shooting 52.6 percent. The Quakers hit 10 threes ... all of last weekend. It was the first time all season Penn has made 10 shots from beyond the arc.
Tony Hicks was the catalyst to Friday’s comeback win, scoring 20 of his 25 points in the second half. It was therefore appropriate that he was the hero, his drive and pull-up jumper in the lane falling true with just 4.0 seconds left.
Cornell’s Devin Cherry got the ball most of the way down the court for a final shot, but his effort fell off the mark and Penn was able to escape Newman Arena with the victory.
The first five minutes of Friday night’s game was simply abysmal if you’re a Penn fan. The Quakers had five turnovers while taking just three shots -- a missed dunk, a missed layup, and a missed jumper. Cornell, meanwhile, jumped out to a 12-0 lead.
Head coach Jerome Allen made wholesale substitutions, inserting Darnell Foreman, Matt Poplawski, Camryn Crocker, Dan Dwyer and Mike Auger. Crocker finally got the Quakers on the board with a three-pointer from the left corner, and at the next whistle Sam Jones came into the game, and he hit a trey on his first touch.
That seemed to settle Penn down, and after the next media timeout the starters came back in and were much better.
In fact, Penn (7-11, 2-2 Ivy League) got as close as four points before halftime, 23-19, but Cornell was able to open it back up thanks to three-point plays by Abdur Ra’oof (12) and Smith (1). It was 35-27 at the break.
It was Hicks who first got Penn level in the second half, draining his second straight three-point shot to make the score 43-43 with 11:21 to play. At that point Hicks had scored nine of Penn’s most recent 13 points, but it turned out he was just warming up.
From 43-43, Cornell (10-11, 2-3) responded as Cherry knocked down a jumper and then fed Robert Hatter for a trey. Hicks single-handedly allowed Penn to hang around, hitting a layup on one possession and then a pair of free throws on another. The run was stopped by a Darien Nelson-Henry free throw, but then Hicks picked it back up with two more foul shots and then a three.
At that point, Cornell’s lead was 58-53; there was 6:10 left to play; and Hicks had scored 18 of the Quakers’ 24 previous points.
Cornell shut him down after that, until his fateful shot at the end. In the meantime, a few unlikely heroes emerged.
Jones, the freshman, did not hit a shot in a game from December 22 until last weekend. He is a shooter, though, and after hitting one trey last Friday against Dartmouth and two the next night against Harvard, he had three on Friday night. The second of those came with 3:55 to play and turned a 61-54 game into a four-point affair. Then, after a Cornell turnover, he was fouled in the act of another long shot -- ultimately ruled to be a two -- and made the free throws.
Shonn Miller and Cherry hit foul shots on separate possessions to make it a four-point game again, but then Nelson-Henry emerged. First he scored on a nice post move, then he answered two more Miller foul shots with his own freebies. The score was 65-63 with 1:55 to play.
Miller (20 points, 10 rebounds) got on the block and converted a conventional three-point play, but Antonio Woods did the exact same thing at the other end to keep it a one-possession game. Hatter then missed a three-pointer -- on a night when he made four of them -- and Jones gave the Quakers their first lead of the night on his third trey of the night with 42 seconds to play, 69-68.
Miller was quickly fouled on the block at the other end, and after missing the first of two foul shots he made the second. That set the stage for Hicks’ heroics.
Woods scored 12 points for Penn and also led the Quakers with four assists, while Jones ended the night with 11 points. Nelson-Henry ended the game with seven points and nine rebounds, while Auger grabbed seven boards before fouling out.
For Cornell, Hatter complemented Miller with 16 points, while Cancer scored 10.
Penn returns to action on Saturday night, facing Columbia in New York City. The Quakers and the Lions will tip off in Levien Gym at 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Penn has won three of its last four games … Penn has beaten Cornell four straight times and six of the last seven meetings ... The two-point win was Penn’s smallest victory this season … Penn won for just the second time this season when trailing at the half; the eight-point deficit overcome was the largest this season … Penn improved to 7-2 this season when shooting a better field-goal percentage than its opponent … Penn improved to 3-0 when hitting more three-point baskets than its opponent … Penn’s 10 treys were a season high, and the most since the Quakers hit 10 last season against NJIT … Penn outrebounded Cornell, 38-25, the 13th time in 18 games that the Quakers have outboarded their opponent … Junior Tony Hicks scored 25 points, his team-leading 13th double-figure scoring game this season (49th career) … Hicks now has 12 games with 20 or more points in his career … In Penn’s seven wins this season, Hicks has 22 first-half points and 83 second-half points (in the last five wins, that disparity is 13/78) … Hicks has led Penn in scoring in 10 games this season … Hicks had 20 points in the second half, the second time in his career he has had a 20-point half (also the first half last year against Niagara) … Freshman Antonio Woods scored 12 points, his seventh double-figure scoring game … Freshman Sam Jones scored 11 points, his third double-figure game and first since December 9 (Marist) … Junior Darien Nelson-Henry led Penn in rebounding for the 10th time this season, with nine which is one shy of a season high … Freshman Mike Auger had seven rebounds, most in a game since he had nine against Villanova on January 17 … Hicks now has 968 points for his career; he needs 32 to reach 1,000.

The Pennsylvania Quakers travelled to Ithaca, New York, tonight to take on Ivy League rival Cornell Big Red, pulling out a dramatic 71-69 victory very late in the game.
Cornell would jump out to a quick lead and take control of the game early thanks to the poor play of the young Quakers, with turnovers being the main culprit. The once-dominant Quakers have fallen on hard times in recent years, and many alumni are amazed that head coach Jerome Allen still has a job. To say his teams have struggled is an understatement. This season, though, the team has shown some promise. Four freshmen get significant minutes, and at least one, Darnell Foreman, is a consistent starter. The star and most important player, however, is junior guard Tony Hicks.
Cornell held a 35-27 halftime lead with Hicks scoring just five points. Penn picked up the tempo in the second half and, aside from committing 17 turnovers to just seven for Cornell, Penn had a decent shooting night and outrebounded the Big Red as well. Penn shot 48.9% from the floor (22 for 45) while holding Cornell to 39.6% shooting (21 for 53). The Quakers won the rebounding battle 32-23.
Hicks recovered from his quiet first half by scoring 20 points in the second, including the game winner with four seconds left. Hicks had the ball at the top of the key as the clock ran down before dribbling to his left then cutting back into the lane for the winning basket. Hicks led all scorers with 25 points while freshmen Antonio Woods added twelve and Sam Jones eleven. Shonn Miller led Cornell with 20 points while Robert Hatter chipped in 16. Penn (7-11, 2-2) travels to New York City to face Columbia Saturday night while Cornell (10-11, 2-3) hosts Princeton.


Matt said...

Our defense allowed a mediocre Penn team to finish with a higher field goal percentage on our home court than Syracuse got when we played them on the road. Someone please explain how that happens.

Anonymous said...

we missed critical FREE throws when we could have put penn away. we played hard and with energy, but how do you let their best scorer free? why not a 4 man team defense and put a good man (like glue)on their scorer?