Penn men's basketball opened up its season against Princeton on Saturday, and it didn't take long for it to get back to full intensity. Despite a weak showing in the first half, the Quakers surged in the second period, coming all the way back from a 21-point deficit to tie the game at 44 with seven minutes remaining. However, the Tigers proved too much to handle, and they quickly rebounded to retake the lead, and eventually the game, by the score of 61-52. Here are our first-ever stars of the game, as well as other important takeaways.
Stars of the game
Darnell Foreman — The junior guard from Camden, N.J. had by far his best game of the season, and perhaps of his career, leading the team with a career-best 17 points and tallying seven rebounds and three assists. He was the lone offensive bright spot in the first half and had two big assists on Betley's big treys in the second.
Ryan Betley — In his third game of the season, the freshman announced his presence to the Ivy League with 11 points, including eight straight to help bring the Quakers back into the game in the second half. His big run electrified the rest of the team, and gave them the boost they needed to tie the game at 44.
Jackson Donahue — Despite struggling in the first half, the sophomore came alive after the break, burying several key threes that tied the game at the time. He finished the game with 11 points, and he looked much more like his former self from last season, which bodes well for the future.
AJ Brodeur needs to improve at the line — Brodeur has been Penn's best offensive threat so far this year, but one of his biggest weaknesses has been his performance at the free throw line. It cost the Quakers greatly against Princeton, as he went 4-10 from the charity stripe while tallying only six points. Fouling Brodeur might be the Ivy League's solution to preventing him from scoring.
Penn had a foul problem — The Red and Blue committed 22 personal fouls, their second highest mark of the season, and while there is something to be said about playing physical, aggressive defense, they have to be more careful about fouling. Penn outshot Princeton from the field, but Princeton won the game at the free throw line, shooting 86% on 28 free throws. Giving Princeton so many chances at the line helped dig a hole that was too much for the Quakers to overcome.
Too many turnovers — The Quakers were plagued by turnovers throughout the game. Three players had more turnovers than points, and in total the team committed 15 turnovers, tied for third most on the season. In a game where points were hard to come by, especially in the first half, the turnovers dealt one of the biggest blows.
Interesting Stat of the Game
4 — The total number of assists for Penn. This is their lowest mark this season by a significant margin, as the previous low had been 11. Much of the low total was due to the smothering play of Princeton's guards, who did an excellent job of jumping into the passing lane and disrupting the flow of ball movement.
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