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Jeremy Lin has been devastating defenses since high school.

In his senior year, he racked up a game-high 17 points in the California Division II state title game to propel his team to victory. Then he played in every game off the bench as a freshman at Harvard and reached double-digit scoring four times. And last year, the 6-foot-3 guard neared the top of the Ivy League with 12.6 points per game and led the League with 58 steals (1.9 per contest) on his way to team MVP and All-Ivy second team honors.

Indeed, Lin's steady ascension to second place on the Ivy League scoring chart this year has been no surprise. But when the Quakers began their 2009 conference campaign against the Crimson, the sweet-shooting junior was held to 13 points, well below his average of 18.6.

So when Penn (8-13, 4-3 Ivy) hosts Harvard (10-12, 2-6) tomorrow night at the Palestra, there will be one big question on everyone's minds: How do the Quakers replicate that smothering defensive effort that led to a 66-60 victory?

Senior Cam Lewis has one idea. As the team's newly minted starting center, he said he'll have to step up on Lin when he drives the lane. But with superlative passing skills to complement his scoring, there's a danger in giving Lin too much attention.

"If you commit too much to him then he's going to hit one of his teammates," he said.

Against such a versatile threat, Lewis plans to channel his inner poker player.

"You just gotta bluff and make him take a tough shot over one of your teammates. If you commit all the way then your man will end up scoring," he said.

Lin not only leads the Crimson in scoring and steals but also in rebounding and assists - the epitome of a one-man show. But Penn coach Glen Miller is hesitant to place the rise and fall of Harvard squarely on Lin's shoulders.

"Obviously everybody knows Jeremy Lin is one of the better guards in the league, so he's a real huge key," Miller said. "But they have other guys that are capable of stepping up and having big games. . It's gotta be a real team defensive effort."

That shouldn't be too hard for a Penn squad that has won its last three games behind stellar defense. The Quakers have held their last three opponents to less than 40 percent shooting.

"What I'm pleased about over our last few games is our mental toughness, our determination," Miller said. "We've been just grinding out games."

As a result, the team's confidence is as high as it has been at any point this season, which should prove vital in the rematch with Harvard.

"If you're playing with a little bit of confidence you're probably not so apprehensive out there, you're not second-guessing yourself," Miller said. "You're more aggressive, you're more determined to get those tough plays."

Of course, just because the team has some confidence after three straight wins doesn't guarantee anything.

Sophomore guard Harrison Gaines, who has combined with Lewis to spark the Quakers' new-look starting lineup, insists the team is staying focused on this weekend's game rather than getting caught up in the emotions of Tuesday's overtime win at Princeton.

"We're feeling good," he said. "But we just have to take it game by game."

Cliches aside, the importance of increased team confidence cannot be underestimated, especially for a team riddled with youth.

"This team just desperately needs confidence," Lewis said. "We've got so many young players, and to get a couple wins in a row really helps that."

Just imagine what could happen with two more this weekend.

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