The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

The Quakers continued their pattern of playing well in the first half and coasting after the break. In a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde performance, the Penn men's basketball team went from the playing level of the Philadelphia 76ers to that of the St. Ignatius 8th grade basketball team in a matter of minutes. After outscoring Drexel 47-32 in the first half, the Quakers held on for a 75-65 victory last night against their visiting neighbors. Shooting 67.9 percent in the first half, including 5-of-12 from three-point range, Penn could do no wrong. Working the whole court, the Quakers hit shots at the post, the foul line, behind the arc, single-teamed, double-teamed -- Penn made it look easy. "They are very tough to defend," Drexel coach Bill Herrion said. "If you double the post than you leave a shooter open. If you jam up on the shooters, then the post is open." Working the post, Penn's Paul Romanczuk scored on each of his five shooting attempts, the last for his 1000th career point. "We pounded it down to Paul a number of times, and he is hard to guard down there," Penn coach Fran Dunphy said. "He made some really good plays for us in the first half." After the half, however, things changed for the Quakers. Starting 4-of-12 from the field, Penn saw its lead drop to 10. When the Quakers had the shot, they missed, finishing 36 percent from the field, including 1-of-8 from behind the arc and 9-of-19 from the charity stripe. Dunphy felt that the drop-off in the second half came from more than just lack of ball movement on Penn's part. "In the first half, I thought we made some very tough shots," Dunphy said. "Our execution would appear to be better." The actual credit belonged to Drexel's transition on defense. After watching Penn's two-sided scoring threat work its magic for an entire half, Herrion addressed the problem with his players in the locker room. "At halftime we were really concerned with the lack of aggressiveness of our post defense," Herrion said. "Their game plan was to pound it into Romanczuk, and we didn't handle that well. We defended him better inside in the second half." During the second half, the Dragons eliminated the Quakers' inside-outside game. Penn scored only 10 points from the paint in the second half. Out of the 10 points, four were scored by Penn's smallest man on the court, guard Michael Jordan. In stopping Penn's movement under the basket, Drexel went to the source of their problems in the first half, Romanczuk. In the second half, the Penn power forward was held to 1-of-4 from the field and made only 3-of-5 from the line. "Coach said that they were killing us inside," Drexel center Joe Linderman said. "He said to wrap it around harder and fight it in." With Romanczuk ineffective, Penn did not simply give up their inside game. Instead, the Quakers gave the ball to 6'11" Geoff Owens, who Drexel repeatedly sent to the foul line. For Penn, dumping the ball down low to Owens -- who shot 3-of-10 from the line on the night -- was like throwing fresh meat to a pack of wolves. But the Quakers, outscored 33-28 in the second half, were saved by the bell. With eight days of rest before their next game, Penn will have time for Mr. Hyde to switch back to Dr. Jekyll.

Comments powered by Disqus

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