dnh

Senior center Darien Nelson-Henry left Friday's game due to an ankle injury suffered in practice on Monday. If he's unable to go against Brown on Saturday, the Red and Blue will have their work cut out for them guarding two-time Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Cedric Kuakumensah.

Photo: Katie Zhao / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Five games into the 2015-16 season, it seems like Penn basketball is a slam dunk — particularly after Darien Nelson-Henry’s performance last night — to be much better than last season’s iteration. The Quakers are off to a 4-1 start for the first time since 2001-02. 

Without further ado, here’s all of the record-breaking and interesting facts from Wednesday's win over La Salle. First up, Nelson-Henry, the big man from Kirkland, Wash.

— Nelson-Henry posted 31 points and 14 rebounds, besting his previous career high point total — 20 points vs. Brown his sophomore year — and his highest career rebounding total of 11. His best scoring output last year was 18 points at Princeton.

— This is the third time in his career with five consecutive double-digit scoring efforts in a row. He accomplished the feat once early last season and did it in seven straight games early in his freshman year.

— The 30+ point, 10+ rebound effort was a first for a Penn player since Fran Dougherty did so vs. Fairfield in 2012. Not bad company as Dougherty was another player who rapidly improved as an upperclassmen.

— The senior center’s 14 rebounds were the most by a Penn player since Jack Eggleston had 15 in a game against St. Joseph’s in 2011.

— This was DNH’s second double-double this season. He had four in his career before this year and only one last year.

Now for the rest of the team...

— Penn had not beaten La Salle since 2007. The win breaks an eight-game losing streak to the Explorers, which was the longest in rivalry history (Penn leads 39-30 all-time). The skid was tied for their second longest active losing streak alongside Temple. The Quakers have lost 12 straight to Villanova as well.

— Last time Penn won its first Big 5 game of the year: Dec. 4, 2004, also at home vs. La Salle. Coincidentally, also a career-high night by a senior as Tim Begley poured in 29 points against the Explorers.

— Steve Donahue is the first Penn coach since Tom Schneider in 1985-86 to win his first game against La Salle. Craig Littlepage, Bob Weinhauer and Chuck Daly are the only other three coaches to accomplish that feat.

— First Penn coach to win his first Big 5 game in a while. Last person to do it? Littlepage in 1982 against Villanova.

— Only the second coach in Penn history to have his first Big 5 game come against La Salle (Dick Harter).

— The 16-point win was Penn’s fifth-highest margin of victory ever in a Big 5 contest.

— The team as a whole is on pace for 700 three-pointers attempted this season, which would be a program record.

— The team is also on pace for 459 assists this season, which would rank fifth in Penn history.

— First time the Red and Blue have started 3-0 at home since 2004-2005 (when they started 4-0 with the fourth win coming against La Salle).

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.