In the NBA, the two-man game wins championships.
Magic and Kareem. Jordan and Pippen. Kobe and Shaq.
But the college game is different. And the Quakers' reliance on the two-man game this weekend may have cost them a shot at the Ivy League title.
On Friday night, juniors Ugonna Onyekwe and Andrew Toole combined for 47 of the Quakers' 75 points in leading the troops to victory over Cornell.
With just over 10 minutes to go in the second half, Onyekwe and Toole had scored 45 of the Quakers' 51 points. As the duo anchored the Penn offense --Toole shot 3 for 6 from downtown and Onyekwe dominated in the paint, scoring a team-high 25 points -- the Quakers pulled away from the Big Red midway through the second stanza.
Saturday was a much different story. While Onyekwe continued to produce on the offensive end, totaling 17 points, he was somewhat missing on the glass, pulling down only three boards. And Toole -- off of Friday night's career-high, 22-point game -- shot a disappointing 3 for 9 from the field and finished with only nine points.
All told, the two combined for 26 points, and the Quakers offense could manage an anemic 53 points against a stingy Columbia defense.
After Saturday's loss, Penn coach Fran Dunphy credited the Lions' defense with shutting down the Quakers' two big guns.
"They defend you very well," Dunphy said. "That's a good basketball team, a veteran team that knows what they're doing."
But can the Quakers get away with their reliance on two scorers against a defensive-minded Ivy League?
On Friday, the other three Quakers starters combined for 15 points. On Saturday, their bench totaled only one field goal among five players.
In contrast, the Columbia bench scored 10 of the Lions' 54 points.
The Red and Blue went scoreless for three-minute stretches in both halves of Saturday's game while Onyekwe rested on the bench.
And although junior forward Koko Archibong stepped up with 12 key points on Saturday, he struggled with fouls on Friday, leaving the bulk of the offense in familiar hands.
"Koko was nowhere to be found most of the night offensively," Dunphy said after Friday's game.
With five games in nine days looming on the horizon, the Quakers may need to find a consistent third offensive option in a hurry. Dunphy said that although non-league opponents are not expecting big things from Onyekwe and Toole, he fears that the team's offense thus far will not fool Penn's Ivy League counterparts.
"This is in league play," Dunphy said. "Everybody's prepared for you. We need to take care of our business a little bit better."Comments powered by Disqus
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