STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The Quakers fell, 84-74, to Penn State on Saturday, dropping their record to 0-4 -- the worst start ever under head coach Fran Dunphy. "It's just been the same games [this season]," senior center Geoff Owens said. "We spend a lot of time at the foul line, the other team spends a lot of time at the foul line. It's been very similar the way our mistakes have cost us." On Saturday, those mistakes included sending Penn State to the free throw line 48 times; the Nittany Lions converted on 40 of those attempts. Conversely, the Quakers shot 27 times from the charity stripe, but only managed to sink 14. All of those Penn State foul shots, of course, meant a lot of individual fouls for the Red and Blue, as three Quakers fouled out on the afternoon. The Quakers biggest loss due to fouls was senior guard Lamar Plummer, who picked up his fourth foul with 12 minutes to go in the second half. Shortly after re-entering the game with just over seven minutes left, Plummer was called for a reach-in when he tried to pick the pocket of Nittany Lions guard Joe Crispin. "I think if I would have been there faster I would've stolen the ball, and I wouldn't have had to take the ball off his leg," Plummer said. "It's stuff like that -- you can't blame it on officiating, you can't blame it on anything else, you've got to look at yourself." Plummer's coach missed his leading scorer in the second half. "It was one of those where it looked like Crispin did a good job of baiting him into it," Dunphy said. "[Crispin] took a great route to draw the contact, but what's happening with [Plummer's] first, second and third fouls is my bigger question. "It seemed like it was a long time we played without him at the end, and we need him out there because he's been playing fairly well on the offensive end." Despite missing the majority of the second half, Plummer dumped in 20 points on six-of-nine shooting from the field, which included four three-pointers. "When [Plummer] picked up his fourth foul, [it helped us]," Penn State coach Jerry Dunn said. "He was hard to guard, and I think we did a better job in the second half of switching out on him, on taking away some of his looks. But I thought he played an excellent game." Forward Ugonna Onyekwe and point guard David Klatsky also fouled out in the second half. Klatsky left the game with 33 seconds remaining after scoring six points and dishing out five assists while giving up five turnovers. Meanwhile, Onyekwe exited with 1:58 left in the contest after scoring 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting and pulling down 14 rebounds. But the 6'8'' sophomore made only 4-of-10 free throws and Dunphy was critical of last year's Ivy League Rookie of the Year. "A guy like Ugonna's got to step up and start to really play, and I think he knows that," Dunphy said. "[Onyekwe]'s not a foolish kid, he's a real bright kid. He understands that if he can step up and make some of his foul shots in crucial times for us, it cuts the lead a little bit." Sophomore forward Koko Archibong scored a career-high 13 points, but, like Onyekwe, shot a dismal 40 percent from the free throw line. "Koko's got to do the same thing," Dunphy continued. "Those two guys are the key ingredients -- those two guys are the most important right now. "Everybody else is doing what I think we need them to do, but those two guys need to step it up a little bit," Dunphy said. The Quakers came out of the blocks quickly in the first half, with Owens and Plummer scoring Penn's first 11 points. The Quakers and the Nittany Lions traded buckets for most of the first half, and the Red and Blue led by as many as six at one point. But Penn State rallied to take a five point halftime lead. The Quakers held the Nittany Lions scoreless through the first four minutes of the second half, and managed to tie the score at 46. But Penn State forward Titus Ivory hit two free throws just after the 16-minute mark and the Red and Blue never regained the lead. Despite a grueling schedule that includes three nationally-ranked teams -- Maryland, Seton Hall and Temple -- before the end of the month, Dunphy didn't seem overly-concerned. "I'm disappointed we're not winning games, but I think we're making strides every game," Dunphy said. "I think we're almost there. "We don't have the luxury of playing teams that are... less athletic than we are. We don't have that luxury, and we're not going to have it over the next four games either. So that's the way it is. Too bad, and let's go play."Comments powered by Disqus
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