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From the opening tip, Penn basketball was in an Empire State of mind.

The Quakers came roaring out of the gate, going on a 14-2 run to start the game against Wagner. While Penn cooled off, the Red and Blue lead the Seahawks, 31-26, at the half in Staten Island, N.Y.

Junior center Darien Nelson-Henry led the early charge, making his presence known in the post. He hit a hook-shot for the game’s first points and finished the first half with six points and four boards to lead both squads.

And Penn maintained a dominant edge on the glass even after Nelson-Henry left with his second foul.

His fellow junior – captain Tony Hicks – helped pick up the slack. Hicks helped run the offense for the Red and Blue whiel scoring six points of his own.

After Wagner answered Penn’s early 14-2 run with a 7-0 run of its own, the two teams slowed off considerably. Penn was able to stretch its lead back out to 10 points before a Wagner run cut the lead to three.

But the Quakers would not relinquish the lead in the first half, as a three from freshman guard Antonio Woods and a breakaway dunk by Hicks kept Penn ahead.

However, Penn accumulated significant foul trouble in the half, with Nelson-Henry, sophomore guard Matt Howard and sophomore forward Dylan Jones each getting two fouls.

As the Seahawks made one final run before halftime, freshman Darnell Foreman came up with a clutch steal and fellow freshman Sam Jones added a put-back two as time expired in the half.

While Penn made 14 turnovers, the Quakers' shooting kept them ahead, as they shot 61.1 percent from the field while going 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Wagner shot 41.7 percent while getting outrebounded by Penn, 15-7.

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