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The Palestra scoreboard operator wasn't very busy in the beginning of last night's basketball game. Baskets were scarce on both sides on the way to a 27-21 halftime score in favor of Penn. It took the Red and Blue 2:16 to sink the game's first bucket. In total, the Quakers shot only 8-for-24 before the break, including 4-for-15 from three-point range. Included in that streak was a field goal-less drought that lasted for more than seven minutes. Outside of guard Andrew Toole's three successful treys, Penn was only 1-for-12. The performance from behind the arc was well below Penn's 40.4-percent average entering the game. "We got shots, we just didn't make shots in the first half," Penn coach Fran Dunphy said. The most ice cold of the Red and Blue was senior forward Koko Archibong, who was unsuccessful on all seven of his first half shots. Dunphy was visibly displeased by the early showing. At one point, he slammed the ball to the court a half-dozen times after errant passes. "I don't get to play very much," Dunphy said. "I was working on my dribbling. It was just a release of frustration." Ballhandling was an additional source of frustration in the early going with each team committing 11 turnovers in the sloppy first half. "I almost ripped [Toole's] face off at the end of the first half because he made some foolish decisions," Dunphy said. "He had four turnovers." The performance after halftime made the Quakers look like a different ---- and much more dominant -- offensive team. Penn showed a marked improvement in its execution, highlighted by only two second-half turnovers. The Quakers' usual three-point shooting touch also returned, as they buried six threes and nearly doubled their first half point production with 52. Penn forward Ugonna Onyekwe was the backbone of the offensive blitz, and the recovery of Penn's three-point accuracy killed La Salle's early second-half surge. Penn guards Tim Begley and Jeff Schiffner buried threes on consecutive possessions to erase the Explorers' only two leads of the second half. The young La Salle team, which started four freshmen, could not overcome the hot shooting that ensued. "[Schiffner] had a couple big threes. The three-ball really hurt us in the second half," La Salle coach Billy Hahn said. Consecutive Schiffner threes ran the Red and Blue lead out to fourteen with 9:39 left, giving The Quakers all the breathing space they would need. Penn also took advantage of frequent trips to the free-throw line, with 29-for-35 shooting from the stripe. "You have to give Penn a lot of credit," Hahn said. "They know how to close out. They're veterans." Archibong, in particular, showed his veteran presence with a three, a windmill dunk and a blocked shot down the stretch for the Quakers.

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