Penn basketball had a busy weekend in New York against Cornell and Columbia, with the women’s team winning both games and the men splitting their pair of matchups. Here are some winners and losers from the two days of contests.
Winner — Devon Goodman
The junior guard was a workhorse for the Quakers all weekend, sitting for only three minutes combined across the two games. While Goodman was able to score 12 points in Friday’s loss to Cornell, his real impact came the next day against Columbia. With the Red and Blue in an early double-digit hole, Goodman, along with fellow junior forward AJ Brodeur, helped bring them back into the game. He recorded 11 points in the first half and 19 overall, made 8-of-10 free throws, and maintained a high level of intensity on both ends of the floor.
Loser — Men’s basketball’s turnover problem
The Quakers played some sloppy offense in the loss to Cornell, turning the ball over 19 times and wasting several key possessions throughout the game. Coach Steve Donahue identified this as one of the main factors in the defeat, and he talked about the team’s need to minimize those mistakes and execute better. However, the beginning of Saturday’s game didn’t go any better, as Penn committed five turnovers in the first 10 minutes, contributing significantly to its early deficit. While the Red and Blue played more disciplined basketball later in the contest and came back to beat Columbia, the turnover issue is still one that needs to be addressed going forward.
Winner — Eleah Parker
It’s no surprise to see the sophomore center on this part of the list, but that doesn’t make her play any less impressive. Parker dominated in Penn’s win over Cornell on Friday, recording her sixth double-double of the season with a career-high 26 points along with 12 rebounds. She was a force on defense as well, blocking six shots and helping limit the Big Red to only 46 points on the night. While Parker didn’t make quite as big an impact in the Quakers’ victory over Columbia, she still contributed 33 productive minutes and was the team’s second leading scorer.
Loser — Penn’s three-point shooting
Both the men’s and women’s teams struggled this weekend from beyond the arc. After a strong start from deep during the Cornell game, the men cooled off significantly, shooting only 26.7 percent from that range in the second half and 25 percent against Columbia. The Quakers began Saturday’s contest with nine consecutive misses from three, putting them in an early deficit. While the women won both of their games, they had some issues from behind the arc as well, making only 16.7 percent of their threes against Cornell and taking some unnecessary contested chances from deep throughout the weekend.
Winner — Penn’s free-throw shooting
The men have struggled for much of the season from the foul line, but they performed much better in the win over Columbia. The Red and Blue made 77.8 percent of their free throws, including their first 10 of the contest. Goodman and Brodeur both made several shots from the line in the second half, allowing Penn to take a slim lead and maintain it in the final minutes. The women put up an impressive performance from the charity stripe on Saturday as well. With the game tight down the stretch, Parker, along with guards Ashley Russell and Michae Jones, made a combined eight free throws in the last minute of the contest to lock up a victory.
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