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Ivy League Notebook

December 24, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments



Ivy League Notebook

by Jason Haslam

Penn

Coming off two consecutive losses to teams from the Colonial Athletic Association, Penn Quaker coach Fran Dunphy claimed he wasn’t too worried about the early-season defeats. He thought that it would only be a matter of time before he would begin to see encouraging results, and after disposing city rivals Temple and Villanova, it looks as if the Quakers have arrived.

Playing against a bedraggled Owl squad that was coming off a grueling three-game road trip, in which they were forced to spend an extra day at the airport due to snowy conditions, the Quakers took advantage of their flat play for a convincing 71-46 win at the fabled Palestra. The Quakers were an extra step ahead of the Owls using a fluid ball movement to create open shots, as they shot 15-for-27 from beyond the arc, led by top reserve Dan Klatsky’s 18 points and Andrew O’Toole’s 14.

“We took our chances and we made our shots,” Dunphy said.

Referring to the aforementioned losses, Dunphy felt good about his squad and thought they had just been trying too hard. If anything, the Quakers made the win over the Owls look easy. The Quakers jumped out to 13-0 lead and never looked back. By the 14-minute mark of the second half, All-American candidate Ugonna Onyekwe was substituted out of the game and his was return unnecessary as the Quakers pushed the lead at times over 30.

“The last couple days in practice we just really were working on moving the ball, trying to penetrate against their zone, trying to get in the gaps and make extra passes and the best shot we could and I think we did that.” O’Toole said.

“We needed to get over that hump, and I hope that we’re over the hump after tonight’s performance, but we’re going to have a hell of a contest against Villanova,” Dunphy said.

Three nights later at the First Union Center, the Quakers faced another inner-city rival in Villanova. Though the game was far from a blowout, the Quakers disciplined play and accurate shooting enabled them to post a 72-58 win to and up their record to 3-2. Onyekwe was sensational leading with 22 points and 9 rebounds, in addition to some dazzling dunks that seemed to humble the Wildcats.

In the last two wins the Quakers have shot 26-for-49 from beyond the arc and for the season are shooting 40 percent. The Quakers are also holding opponents to just 54 points a game. With no games until December 30th the Quakers can enjoy the holiday after two very impressive wins.

Brown

After notching their first win of the season, Brown proceeded to lose three straight. Though leading scorer Earl Hunt was out for a few games with an injury to his quadriceps, he returned to play limited minutes in losses against Holy Cross and Rhode Island. In those two games he shot a combined 6-19 from the field and was limited to less than 30 minutes a game.

During this sequence the Bears bench were unable to provide a spark and in 75-71 loss to Ohio the reserves shot 0-for-9 and did not account for any scoring. Moreover, during the three-game skid, the Bears shot a horrid 15-for-56 from beyond the arc.

The Bears ended their skid as Earl Hunt put on a one-man show with a 75-67 win against Central Connecticut, December 21st. Hunt was the only Bear to score in double-figures, dropping 39 points on 13-for-21 shooting from the field. Despite being down at the half, the Bears showed resiliency to pull their record up to 2-7.

Additional Bear notes: Center Jamie Kilburn is currently leading the conference in shooting at 62%…Defensively is where the Bears seem to be struggling most. They are last in the conference in free throws made and allowed at 126-for-160, and last in points allowed at 77.3 per game.

Yale

The Bulldogs are on a five-game winning streak and looking to unseat the Penn Quakers from Ivy League supremacy. With victories on consecutive nights, the Bulldogs beat Holy Cross and Central Connecticut to win the Phoenix Classic and are now 5-2, with their next game at Stanford.

With an unusual schedule, that doesn’t have them playing their first home game until January 8th against Rhode Island, the Bulldogs are holding opponents to under 40 percent shooting and boasting four players in the top ten of three-point shooting. In addition, the scariest thing about the Bulldogs is that they have a roster that can go ten or eleven deep. They currently lead the league in points per game (71.9), field goal shooting (48%), three-point shooting, and free-throw percentage.

In all five of their wins the Bulldogs have had at least one reserve notch double figures in scoring. Sophomore small forward Mark Lovett has played a significant role off the bench, averaging 15.4 minutes a game and shooting 14-26 from the field and 9-for-17 from beyond arc. He should be an early season pick for conference Sixth Man of the Year.

And junior guard Matt Minnoff had an interesting stat line in the Bulldogs 70-69 overtime win against Manhattan. He had eight points, seven rebounds, six turnovers, five assists, and four blocks — a quintuple-single.

     

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