ITHACA, N.Y. - As time expired in the first half on Saturday against Columbia, Brian Grandieri heaved a shot from just past half-court that, 40 feet later, found nothing but net to send Penn into the intermission up 14 and Grandieri running into the locker room pumping his fist.
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By Fred David
ITHACA, N.Y., Jan. 12 - Playing against a zone defense was Penn's Achilles heel last year. In the second half on Friday evening, when Cornell switched from a man defense to zone, the Quakers turned their old weakness into a newfound strength.
ELON, N.C. - Trailing late in the game, with their leading scorer on the bench, and a free throw percentage well under 60 percent, Penn seemed on the verge of being upset by 3-9 Elon. But Ibrahim Jaaber, without the assistance of forward Mark Zoller who fouled out with three and a half minutes remaining, helped guide Penn to a 66-64 win with two big plays on the offensive side of the floor that secured the slim lead for Penn.
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- On a night where all fifteen players on Penn's roster saw playing time, it was the team's captain Eric Osmundson that led the Quakers to victory against The Citadel, 84-49. The senior guard scored 16 points in 29 minutes to lead all scorers as Penn (6-4) trounced the outmatched Bulldogs (6-7, 0-1 Southern). Osmundson's layup in the first minutes of the game gave Penn a 2-0 lead that they would never come close to losing. His emphatic one-handed dunk in the second half after driving the length of the baseline put an exclamation point on a night that saw the Quakers offense explode for its largest margin of victory since defeating Harvard 104-69 at the Palestra in 2004. Three Penn guards scored in double figures with junior Ibrahim Jaaber and sophomore David Whitehurst scoring 15 and 14, respectively. Sophomore Brian Grandieri contributed 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Junior Mark Zoller had 11 points despite playing only 19 minutes after picking up three early fouls. Penn's offense kept The Citadel off-balance and their quick passes set up wide-open shots along the perimeter the whole night. The Quakers sent up a barrage of three pointers, connecting on 12 of 28 shots (42.9 percent) from behind the arc. It was a breakout game for Penn's long-range shooters who had been struggling all season and came in shooting just 26.9 percent. On the other side of the court, Jaaber's four steals set the tone for a defense that never let the Bulldogs get into any sort of tempo on offense. The Citadel's shooters were held to a 33.3 field goal percentage while shooting a dismal 1 for 10 from three-point range. The outcome was never really in doubt after the first 10 minutes and at halftime the Quakers went into the locker room with a healthy 40-22 lead that continued to grow in the second half. For Osmundson, the game capped a week of emergence from an early season slump. After struggling to make shots earlier in the season, including a four game stretch against Navy, Temple, Duke, and Villanova in which he shot a combined 5 for 29 from the field, Osmundson has found his stroke. The senior scored 11 and 9 points in games last week against Hawaii and BYU-Hawaii respectively. With the game in-hand early, Penn coach Fran Dunphy was able to give his reserves some playing time in the second half. All 15 players dressed for the game saw playing time including senior walk-on Greg Kachinski. Freshman forward Cameron Lewis scored the first point of his college career by connecting on a free throw shot while senior forward Adam Franklin's four points were his first at Penn. With the win at The Citadel's McAlister Field House before a sparse crowd of 644, a respectable Penn fan section among that number, the Quakers secured an undefeated winter break and picked up their third straight win, all three coming on the road. Penn will travel to Fordham on Monday before returning to the Palestra on January 13 to kickoff the Ivy League season against Cornell.
Nick Hartigan is starting to turn heads across the country. One week after torching Penn's run defense -- at the time ranked the best in Division I -- for 167 yards, the Brown running back ran wild for 192 yards and a career-high four touchdowns against Yale on Saturday to lead Brown to a 38-21 win at the Yale Bowl.
The Ivy League championship trophy may have a new home at the end of the season. That is, if recent history is any indicator.
With attendance for Division I-AA college football games across the nation dropping, Penn's athletic department has initiated a new marketing campaign to bring more fans into Franklin Field during the fall.
Penn head wrestling coach Roger Reina announced his resignation yesterday after 19 years at the helm of the squad. During that time, Reina's team amassed a 205-106-6 record, making him the winningest wrestling coach in Penn history.
Last fall, cyclist Chris Wherry nearly lost his life when he and a teammate were nearly killed when they were jumped by a gang of five men while camping on a Mexican beach during a surfing trip. On Sunday, the 31-year-old cyclist was standing on the podium in Philadelphia pulling on the stars and stripes jersey of the USPRO Cycling champion.
Blood, sweat, and tears: it's the formula for success in track and field. However, if perennial distance powerhouse Saratoga Springs High School wants to repeat its victories from last year's Penn Relays, they'll have to rely on sweat and tears alone and not on the legs of the team's former leader, Nicole Blood.
Thirty-seven years of memories flooded Murphy Field as the man who defined Penn baseball for the past three decades stood in the dugout for one last weekend.