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Ugonna Onyekwe did not start due to a bad ankle, but came off the bench to lead the Quakers with 14 points. (Stefan Miltchev/DP File Photo)

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Penn men's basketball team opened its 2000-01season with a loss to North Carolina State in the first round of the CoSida Classic Friday night in Raleigh, N.C. Although the Quakers kept it close throughout most of the contest, the Wolfpack pulled away in the end to win, 77-64. The Quakers will play in the tournament's consolation game this evening at 7 p.m. Penn raced out to an early 8-2 lead behind three-pointers by Koko Archibong and Lamar Plummer, but N.C. State came back to take a 14-13 lead and went into the half with a 33-28 advantage. In the second half, the Quakers came back to take the lead briefy. But in the end, foul trouble did the Quakers in. The Wolfpack were in the bonus with more than ten minutes left in the game. Penn coach Fran Dunphy was also forced to pull Archibong and center Geoff Owens in key situations. Both players ended the game with four fouls. "I think overall N.C. State has a real solid basketball team," Penn coach Fran Dunphy said. "I was pleased with some of the things we did, but others, we can't make these kind of mistakes in a place like this and win a game." Sophomore Ugonna Onyekwe led the Quakers with 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Onyekwe, who had been slowed by an ankle injury in practice for the past few days, did not start but quickly came off the bench to replace Josh Sanger and played 26 minutes. The ankle did not seem to be much of a factor tonight, as Onyekwe threw down several dunks. Dunphy said that Onyekwe's ankle is healthy. Plummer added 12 points behind four three-pointers in his first game back after taking a leave of absence last season. "I think Lamar did a lot of real nice things," Dunphy said. "We're asking him to be an undersized guy, too. He's really kind of a two guard in a one guard's body. A couple of times when we rotated our defense, he got caught on that weak side trying to battle some guys for offensive rebounds. "But he stepped up and made some critical shots for us. For an opener, he played well. I was happy for him." N.C. State's Anthony Grundy was the game's leading scorer with 22 points.

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