Lamar Plummer and Geoff Owens certainly went out in style. In their last game at the Palestra, the two seniors carried the Penn men's basketball team to a resounding 70-47 thumping of Harvard (12-13, 5-8 Ivy League) in perhaps the Quakers' most convincing win of the season. Plummer and Owens, along with reserve center Josh Sanger and team manager Andy Pogach, were honored in an emotional ceremony before Saturday night's contest against the Crimson. Sanger, who rarely sees minutes, got the starting nod over sophomore Ugonna Onyekwe and contributed five rebounds in nine minutes. But it was the strong play of Plummer and Owens that kept the Quakers (11-15, 8-3) tied for first in the Ivy League standings and in control of their own destiny. After experiencing some recent shooting struggles, Plummer was on fire the entire weekend. He nailed 7-of-11 three pointers against Harvard, following a 7-of-14 performance the night before against Dartmouth. Plummer's 23 points against the Crimson tied his career high. "I think I always felt confident in my shot. I just think the shots just weren't going," Plummer said. "I just kept my confidence in my teammates, and they kept their confidence in me, and they're falling now." And while Plummer was sinking long-range bombs all night long, Owens was busy battling inside. The senior captain recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, along with three blocked shots. On Saturday, the Quakers came out firing. Behind a raucous Palestra crowd, the Red and Blue opened the game on an 11-0 run and never looked back. With 6:53 left in the first half, Penn had a commanding 23-5 lead. This against a Harvard team that thoroughly outplayed the Quakers the first time around in Boston. "It was a combination of things," Harvard forward Dan Clemente said on his team's slow start. "Penn was playing really good 'D', but we weren't making our shots really." Harvard was ice cold the entire game, as they shot an anemic 21.7 percent from the field. For the game, only Clemente, the team's captain and only senior, finished with a respectable shooting percentage, as he converted on half of his 12 field goal attempts. The rest of the team was successful on just 8-of-46 attempts. In fact,with the exception of an Andrew Gellert three, Clemente was the only Harvard player to score in the first half. "It's pretty obvious that the [stat sheet] tells the story," Harvard coach Frank Sullivan said. "Beyond not being able to score, we weren't taking care of the basketball, and [Penn] got out early." A night earlier, the Quakers welcomed Dartmouth (7-18, 2-10) to the Palestra, but had nowhere near the same success early on. Against the bottom team in the Ancient Eight standings, the score seesawed as the lead changed hands several times in the first half. But four Plummer first-half three-pointers -- including one at the halftime buzzer--sent the Quakers into the locker room with a six-point lead. The Big Green chipped away at Penn's tenuous lead early in the second half, and a Flinder Boyd reverse layup gave Dartmouth a 31-30 advantage with 14:16 left in the game. But that lead would be short-lived, as the Quakers went on a 13-3 run to regain momentum and the lead. The Red and Blue went on to win, 54-46, in a sloppy game that featured weak shooting from both teams. I think it's one of those games where we didn't do some things that really cost us," Dartmouth coach Dave Faucher said. "They didn't shoot the ball particularly well. We didn't shoot the ball particularly well. I don't think Penn did anything to us and I don't think we did anything to Penn." But the Quakers did manage to pull out the victory, and after the weekend sweep, Penn remains tied with Princeton for first place. The Tigers were also able to claim two home victories against Harvard and Dartmouth. Yale (7-4 Ivy League), however, lost to Columbia on Friday, while Brown (7-4) won twice over the weekend. Thus, Penn and Princeton hold a one-game advantage over Brown and Yale. Going into the final three games of the season, each of these teams will square off against one another once. It will certainly be a race for the Ancient Eight crown. "I think every game is going to be a struggle," Penn coach Fran Dunphy said. "It's just fighting for survival at this point."Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.