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Senior guard Andrew Toole had a strong performance against Lafayette, dropping 17 points while shooting 5-for-8 from the behind the arc. [Eric Sussman/The Daily Pennsylvanian]

EASTON, Pa. -- Last night, at Lafayette's Kirby Sports Center, it was, at times, hard to distinguish which team had the home court advantage. When Penn (7-4) took the court to square off against the Patriot League's Lafayette (7-9), there seemed to be just as many, if not more, Penn fans in the building. And for the entire night, as the Quakers stormed to a dominating 76-66 victory, it seemed to be the fans in Red and Blue who made the noise. Lafayette, stunned by the quick advantage that the Red and Blue demonstrated in the first half of play, was never able to bounce back. The Quakers pulled away with a solid lead only seven minutes into the game and then increased their lead heading into the locker room. The end of the first half proved to be Penn's best streak on the night, scoring 16 points in less than four minutes. After a tumultuous winter break, the Quakers appear to have finally regained their confidence and skill. Penn shot 51.8 percent from the field on the night and exactly 50 percent (10-for-20) from behind the arc. Although the stats are encouraging, it also further proves the Quakers' over-reliance on the three-point shot. Unfortunately, the three-point shot has been an inconsistent element in the Quakers' games before their current four-game winning streak. Tonight "we shot and played well," Penn guard Andrew Toole said. "But we relied on it too much. We need to maintain our defense and rebounds."

"We think we're better than we are sometimes," Penn coach Fran Dunphy said after the game. "You do whatever your strengths are, but when we get away from that, we're just mediocre." In the Red and Blue's fourth straight win, one major element was still missing from the starting lineup -- Ugonna Onyekwe. The senior forward and reigning Ivy League Player of the Year spent the first two minutes of the game on Penn's bench, as he has done for the past four games. But apparently, coming off the pine is enough motivation for Onyekwe. "It's not something I let bother me," Onyekwe said. "I just have to be ready to play when I get in." Taking advantage of Lafayette's weak inside game, Onyekwe tallied 23 points -- 16 of which came in the first half -- as well as 10 rebounds, four assists and five steals. Toole notched 17 points of his own, shooting 5-for-8 from behind the arc. However, despite a stellar first half of play, Penn let its lead slip significantly in the second half. Stifled by sloppy play, the Quakers turned the ball over consistently and allowed their 19-point halftime lead to dwindle. Lafayette sharpshooter Justin DeBerry led the Leopards with 24 points. DeBerry tallied nine field goals on the night, seven of which came in the second half. Leopards' guard Andrew Pleick contributed four three-pointers on the night, increasing Lafayette's percentage from behind the arc to 37.5. "Our first half performance was pretty good," Dunphy said. "But in the second half, we didn't play well on either end of the floor." With the help of a few well-timed three-pointers, the Quakers managed to fend off any real Lafayette attempt at a comeback. "We just couldn't get over the hump," Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon said. "I thought we got off to a good start, but we got into foul trouble, and we just don't have the depth to combat that. "We competed for 30 minutes, but obviously against a team like Penn, you can't do that." O'Hanlon is no stranger to Penn basketball squads. As an assistant coach for the Quakers for six years, he got to know Dunphy and the Quakers' system well during his time in West Philly. And the most recent addition to his own staff -- John Krikorian -- came from the Penn sideline as well. Formerly Dunphy's volunteer assistant Krikorian moved to Easton over the summer to assume a role as one of O'Hanlon's assistants. "This is the only game when I'm not cheering for Penn," O'Hanlon said. "I think potentially this team is every bit as good as that team with [Matt] Maloney, [Jerome] Allen and [Ira] Bowman. "But until they back it up with an Ivy title, it's only potential."

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