The Good, the bad and the ugly | Penn basketball vs. Lafayette


Penn (0-3) fell behind early against a polished Lafayette squad and entered halftime facing a 15-point deficit. However, the Quakers surged back in the second frame and got the lead within two points midway through the half before ultimately squandering an opportunity to secure its first win of the season against the Leopards (3-1). A couple of impressive individual performances for the Red and Blue provided a silver lining in a game featuring far too many defensive breakdowns.


Tony Hicks looked uncharacteristically like a younger Steve Nash tonight, racking up 13 assists and just two turnovers on his way to tying the program record for assists in a single game. The entire offense ran through Hicks, and his willingness to be a playmaker allowed Penn to mount a valiant comeback in the second half, even if it fell short.


Freshman forward Mike Auger played like anything but a rookie as he took apart the Lafayette defense by cutting to the basket and pulling down five offensive rebounds. Auger finished with 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting and hit all four of his free throw attempts. If that weren’t enough, he gave the Palestra the biggest thrill of the season thus far when he stole the ball and finished with a vicious one-handed slam that cut the Lafayette lead to just two points with 9:28 remaining in game.


Penn already ranked dead last in the Ivy League in points allowed per game after conceding 77 and 73 points in its first two games, and giving up 83 points to Lafayette doesn’t help its case. It probably won’t matter how many assists Hicks dishes out or offensive rebounds Auger brings down if the Quakers continue to give up 77.7 points per game this season.


The Red and Blue also sit at last in the Ancient Eight in free throw percentage at 56.6 percent. Only two Ivy League squads have shot worse than 70 percent this season, and only Penn shoots less than 60 percent. Tonight the Quakers finished the night at 7-for-14, or 50 percent. To make matters worse, free throw shooters not named Mike Auger shot 3-for-10. If it plans on adding to the win column, Penn can’t afford to miss out on points at the charity stripe any longer.

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