With five games remaining in the Ivy League season, the Penn men's basketball team finds itself in a three-way tie for first place. Penn has ended a season in a three-way tie just once in its history. In 1955, the Quakers tied Princeton and Columbia for the crown of the Eastern League, the forerunner of the Ivy League. In that season, Penn had a two-game lead with two games to play and blew it. Forty-six years later, the Quakers again control their own destiny, and have no desire to participate in a playoff. "The only thing we're preparing for, in all honesty, is Dartmouth on Friday and Harvard on Saturday," Penn coach Fran Dunphy said. "We have two tough games in front of us. That's how we feel. We need to win these two for sure and then we'll take our chances as to what the next three games bring." Although the Quakers are 9-15 on the year, the next five games will be all that matters for the Red and Blue. "If we're not playing well, that's on me," Dunphy said. "I need to get our team to play better. I'm hoping we will. We still have an opportunity to be Ivy League champions and we still have a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament, which is all that you hope for." * Saturday night's game against the Big Green will be the last at the Palestra for Penn's departing seniors -- Geoff Owens, Lamar Plummer and Josh Sanger. Given the importance of the weekend's games, though, there has not yet been much thought given to Senior Night festivities. "I've been focused on how we're doing as a team," Dunphy said. "So I haven't thought about it. I'm sure we'll get together and talk about it during the week. It's always a difficult night, one of my least favorite times of the year." * Yale's Neil Yanke and Brown's Earl Hunt were named Ivy League Co-Players of the Week yesterday. In past years, that honor has been dominated by players from Princeton and Penn. This year, however, just one member of the Tigers and just one member of the Quakers have been so lauded. Princeton's Mike Bechtold was the honoree in the second week of the season, while Ugonna Onyekwe became the only Red and Blue player to win the award after his performance against Seton Hall. That Onyekwe is the only member of the Quakers to win the Ivy League's weekly award is somewhat ironic, as the sophomore forward has been heavily scrutinized this season for his struggles. "I still don't think I'm playing anywhere near what I'm capable of," Onyekwe said. "But I think I'm making strides." For the first time all season, Onyekwe was Penn's leading scorer in back-to-back games over the weekend, tallying 15 against both Cornell and Columbia. * As the season winds down, some of the Quakers are hot on the trail of personal milestones. With 19 assists in the next five games, sophomore guard David Klatsky will break Paul Chambers' single-season Penn record of 151 assists, set in 1992. Klatsky is averaging over five assists per game and dished out 13 in two games over the weekend. Owens, meanwhile, needs 10 more blocks to reach 200 in his Penn career. Aside from Owens, only Tim Krug and Hassan Duncombe have reached even 100 for the Red and Blue. Plummer, who was once on pace to break Matt Maloney's school record of 91 three-pointers in a season, now needs to hit 21 shots from downtown in five games to eclipse Maloney. Plummer is averaging three bombs per game, but has struggled with his outside shot lately.Comments powered by Disqus
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