No miracle against 'Nova
Rosen leads charge, but Quakers fall to No. 12 Wildcats at Palestra
December 9, 2010, 7:38 am·
The Quakers were ready for redemption.
Penn looked to prove itself in last night’s game against Villanova in the rematch of last year’s 103-65 loss to the Wildcats. But while the Quakers put up a valiant effort at the Palestra, they simply came up short against the No. 12 Wildcats.
The Red and Blue (4-4) lost their first Big 5 matchup of the season, 65-53, as the players still search for their first career Big 5 victory.
“I think we had more than enough opportunities to win the game tonight,” junior captain Zack Rosen said. “The game was there for us to win.”
While the score reflected Penn’s persistence against its regional rival, six-foot-five Villanova senior guard Corey Stokes gave the Quakers trouble all night. Stokes scored an astounding 34 points in the game — over half of the Wildcats’ offensive output.
“No disrespect to the young man or any program like that,” Penn coach Jerome Allen said. “I just think that if we held on to our principles and focused, I don’t think [Stokes] would have had the night that he had.”
Stokes, a Bayonne, N.J., native and former high school teammate of Rosen, went 11-for-15 from the field and 5-for-9 from behind the three-point line. He sunk all of Villanova’s threes.
“He’s on the other side now,” Rosen said of his St. Benedict’s teammate. “I’m rooting for him in every game that I watch him, except this one. I am disappointed that he had that kind of performance against us.”
Rosen put on an impressive display for his squad as well. The point guard led the Quakers with 20 points in 38 minutes of action on the floor.
With just under nine minutes left in the first half, Rosen hit a three-pointer and freshman Miles Cartwright quickly followed with a breakaway layup to put the Quakers ahead, 17-16.
But the Wildcats fired back with an 8-0 run and prevented Penn from ever regaining its lead. The Red and Blue entered the locker room trailing the Wildcats, 30-23.
After halftime, the Quakers continued to battle and never let their opponents get ahead by more than 13 points. In doing so, Penn held Villanova to its lowest point total of the season.
The Quakers knew rebounding would make the difference, but they were unable to execute — due in part to the visible height differential between the two teams. Villanova’s starting five was more than a combined foot taller than the Red and Blue’s starters. And six-foot-nine senior center Andreas Schreiber was noticeably missing from the Quakers bench, though Allen declined to comment on his absence.
While the Wildcats also held Penn to its lowest output this season, senior forward Jack Eggleston still scored 12 points and led the Quakers with five rebounds.
Even so, he was disappointed that his squad was out-rebounded by 12.
“It’s a little different than the Ivy League, but you make the adjustment to try to make the first contact early, try to be physical. We didn’t do as good of a job on the boards as we could have done tonight,” Eggleston said.
“We’re not going to be able,” he added, “to lose a battle on the boards— especially against a Big 5 team or a Big East team — and just expect to win a game.”