EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With only 21.7 seconds left on the Continental Airlines Arena clock, the Penn men's basketball team found itself in a rather unexpected position. By the time that clock expired, though, the Quakers (0-7) were back in familiar territory after dropping their seventh game in a row last night to No. 9 Seton Hall (6-1), 80-78. The winless Quakers were deadlocked, 78-78, with the Pirates with 21.7 seconds remaining and were preparing to inbound the ball after using their final timeout. In the huddle, Penn coach Fran Dunphy was designing a play that he hoped would put the Quakers on top. "[We wanted] David [Klatsky] coming off of Ugonna [Onyekwe], and if they switched up off of David, maybe Lamar [Plummer] would be open," Dunphy said. "But they took David out of the play and we needed to make an adjustment." The adjustment the Quakers made wasn't exactly what Dunphy had in mind. Off the inbounds pass, Onyekwe found forward Koko Archibong, who got the ball into the hands of freshman guard Charlie Copp. Copp drove the lane, but but was stripped by Pirates guard Ty Shine with just 8.1 ticks left on the clock. Seton Hall then hurried down the court, where Shine found Pirates center Sam Dalembert camped under the basket for an easy alley-oop tip-in to give the Hall its game-winning basket with 3.9 seconds remaining. "We didn't want to call timeout at the end; we talked about that in the huddle," Seton Hall coach Tommy Amaker said. "We said that if we came up with a steal or a rebound, we were going to push it up and try to see if we could get something in the open floor." Klatsky's desperation three at the buzzer was blocked by Pirates freshman forward Eddie Griffin, leaving the Quakers three points shy of pulling off the upset. The Red and Blue came out on fire, putting themselves in position to win the game in the waning seconds. Onyekwe, who finished the game with a career-high 26 points and 11 rebounds, scored the Quakers' first seven points, sparking a 26-9 Penn run to open the game. "We were hitting all of our shots, which really makes it look like you know what you're doing out there," Dunphy said. "[The Pirates] were missing a lot of shots as well, and you know they're going to tighten their act up and make the game much closer." After Penn built a 29-12 lead, the Pirates clawed their way back into the contest with a 29-10 run of their own to take a 41-39 lead with 2:22 left before intermission. Six Seton Hall players contributed to the run with Griffin leading the way. The freshman phenom contributed nine points during the 10:41 span, including a lay-up to start the run and a three-point play to end it. Griffin -- who entered the contest leading the nation in blocks and rebounds with 5.5 and 13.2 per game, respectively -- finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots for the Pirates. The Quakers cooled down considerably during this stretch as they failed to knock down a field goal for nearly eight-and-a-half minutes in the middle of the first half. After Seton Hall's first-half comeback, this barnburner saw eight lead changes, with neither team holding a lead greater than six points. "It's frustrating. We put ourselves in a position to win and couldn't get it done," Dunphy said. "We're a pretty good basketball team, but we are not sure who we are yet. We don't know how to win yet, but hopefully we'll get there."Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.