The Quakers were simply miserable last season. From the preseason difficulties with the coaching situation to finishing with the worst record in team history, there were not a lot of happy moments for Penn last season. In the eyes of most observers, Anne Sage destroyed this team -- that is a point which is difficult to argue. When the players petitioned the Athletic Department for Sage's removal as head coach, they took the first step in the much-needed rebuilding process, a process which continued with Sage's dismissal and Brower's hiring this summer. In many ways, Brower is building from the ground up. Penn's is a program in disarray, a program that will not rebound in one year. It's easy to say that Brower's task will be to right all of the wrongs committed by Sage. After all, every member of the team knew that Sage had been driving the program into the ground for several years. Her coaching style was outdated, she frequently missed practices and her workouts did little to help her team improve. Now the Anne Sage Era is over. Karin Bower is here to be the savior. But it's not that simple. The name Anne Sage has come to represent failure for everyone associated with Penn women's lacrosse. Players and fans alike have vivid recollections of Ivy League teams coming into Franklin Field and demolishing the Red and Blue last season. But to those in the lacrosse world, the name Anne Sage means much more. Yes, her embarrassing departure will always be a final, ugly stain on her resume, but what Anne Sage did for lacrosse cannot be forgotten. She is a pioneer in the sport, the first and, until this summer, the only head coach Penn has known. She is still the only coach ever to take both a lacrosse and a field hockey team to the NCAA Final Four. Unfortunately for Penn, Sage's days atop the lacrosse world took place a generation ago, and all people remember these days is disappointment. But with a new coach, all that Sage represented -- both positive and negative -- is behind us. Brower currently has a difficult job. Everywhere she has gone, she has found success. After an All-American playing career at William and Mary, she led Drew to conference championships in her only two years as head coach. And while an assistant coach at Princeton from 1996 to 1998, she worked with a team that was among the best in the nation. She will most definitely have a different perspective when she begins working with the Penn players. Brower moved into her office in the Dunning Center less than a month ago and is still more familiar with the Princeton team that rolled off 17 goals at Franklin Field last season than the Penn team that struggled to get three balls into the cage that same night. "Karin will have to get used to dealing with a different type of program," said Alanna Wren, who served as interim head coach last season and is now an executive assistant to Athletic Director Steve Bilsky. Wren knows that coaching at Penn will be a much different experience than what Brower is used to. Brower, however, is well aware of the challenge that awaits her, acknowledging that she will probably be doing more teaching in the first few weeks with her Penn players. Teaching and building. The Quakers are a work in a progress -- a work that has really only just begun. They will be better this spring than they were last season, but they will still be a struggling squad. No one expects or should expect a complete reversal from last year, as Wren believes it will take three years for Brower's program to see any significant improvement. Even Brower knows that she must wait another year -- until her first recruiting class arrives -- before seeing how quickly Penn can improve. So, yes, this is a new beginning for Penn women's lacrosse. The new coach will bring a new perspective, a new outlook and a new style to the program. But it is also important that Brower maintains Penn's rich tradition of lacrosse. Both Wren and Brower are quick to recognize Penn's success in the past and the hope that they can bring that back to Franklin Field. Every once and a while, old and distinguished institutions need revamping. That is what is happening here. And for Karin Brower, it is crucial that she establishes a new look for her team while still maintaining the tradition at the program's core.
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Former Princeton assistant coach Karin Brower became the second head coach in the history of Penn women's lacrosse. Four months of craziness and confusion surrounding the Penn women's lacrosse program came to an end this summer, as Anne Sage was officially removed as head coach and replaced by former Princeton assistant coach Karin Brower. Prior to last spring's season, the members of the women's lacrosse team presented a petition to the Athletic Department. The petition, which was signed by all 22 players, stated that they refused to play the season with Sage at the helm. They complained about Sage's frequent absences from practice and a lack of structure in most workouts. Although Sage remained the official head coach throughout the season, the Athletic Department asked her to take a leave of absence. The Quakers played under the direction of assistant coach Alanna Wren, who assumed control of the team just prior to the start of the season. The Quakers then stumbled to a 1-12 record, the worst in the program's history. Now, most of that ugliness from last spring is gone. On July 2, Sage -- the only coach in the program's 27-year history -- was relieved of her duties. A report released upon Sage's departure stated only that she is no longer the head coach and Athletic Department officials offered no further comment. Brower, who served as an assistant at Princeton from 1996 to 1998, became the program's second head coach on August 6. "I'm very honored to be at Penn. I love the Ivy League," Brower said. "I grew up in the Ivy League; my dad went to Princeton, so I went to football games all the time while growing up. My sister went to Princeton, so I've always enjoyed the camaraderie and the competition of the Ivy League. "I think Penn has a ton of potential, because it's such a great school and where it is, in the heart of women's lacrosse." While Brower was accustomed to being at the top of the Ivy League at Princeton, that is a position the Quakers have not occupied for quite a while. In fact, the Red and Blue have not finished over .500 in League play since 1986. Last season, Penn's only win came against Columbia, a program in its third year of varsity status which has never won an Ivy League game. More often than not, the Quakers found themselves on the wrong side of one-sided debacles, including a 17-3 loss to Princeton at home. "I know just from coaching against [Penn] that I'll be doing a lot of teaching in the beginning, redoing a lot of defensive and offensive concepts with them," Brower said. "But how quickly we can go in a year, I don't know." Brower is currently recruiting for the Class of 2004, but she is off to a late start as the recruiting period began on July 1. However, she will have more players to deal with this season, as Wren recruited 17 incoming freshmen. These players, along with the members of this year's sophomore class, could produce a much-improved squad in the next few years. "It'll be interesting to see what [recruits] I can bring in the first year," Brower said. "So I expect that it'll take a couple years. Maybe next year will be my first real recruiting class, because I'll be able to see them all spring and contact them." Brower, however, has not even seen this year's players yet. Although several players have stopped by and senior captain Brooke Jenkins has been on campus for field hockey practice, Brower will not meet with all of the players until next week. One of the players' biggest complaints with Sage last year was that she did nothing to prepare them during the fall season. This year, however, Brower has 12 scheduled practices -- the most allowed under Ivy League rules -- in addition to weight training and the Alumni Game on October 10, an exhibition which Brower will treat as a real game. Although Brower has had limited contact with the players, she has received help from Wren, who was named executive assistant to Athletic Director Steve Bilsky in July. "She's been great. She's been such a good resource for me," Brower said. "She helps me with a lot of things, and I'm glad that she's not too far away. I want her to feel that she can be a part [of the program] as much or as little as she wants." Prior to becoming an assistant at Princeton, Brower was the head coach at Drew, where she led the Division III program to conference championships in both of her years as coach. She also served as an assistant lacrosse coach at Villanova and an assistant field hockey coach at her alma mater, William and Mary. As a collegiate player, Brower was exceptional. The captain of both the Tribe lacrosse and field hockey teams as a senior, she was a first team All-American in lacrosse and a Regional All-American in field hockey. After graduation, Brower played on the United States women's lacrosse team from 1993 to 1996.
Philadelphia sports fans are starved. They remember what success feels like, but it is feeling they haven't had in quite a while. The last time they tasted a championship was when the 76ers marched down Broad Street after one of the best seasons in NBA history. That was 16 years ago -- there hasn't been a pro sports championship parade since. Losing is what defines Philadelphia pro sports. The Phillies have lost more games than any pro franchise in any sport in any city; the Sixers just emerged from an eight-year funk last season; the Eagles had one of the lowest point totals in NFL history last fall; and the Flyers have the reputation for being consistent underachievers. Losing is an image that Philadelphia may never totally shake. But it also is one that the four franchises are trying to make the public forget at as we near the dawn of a new century. In many ways, youth is what also defines Philadelphia sports. Each of the four teams is in somewhat of a rebuilding phase, one that could bring a period of sports success that Philadelphia has not seen since the 1970s. The Sixers may be the closest to reaching that level. For the past three years, everyone knew the Sixers had an extraordinary talent in Allen Iverson. But last year, "The Answer" showed what he is truly capable of. The 6'0" speedster not only edged Shaquille O'Neal for the NBA scoring title but he also shed much of the immaturity that characterized him in the past and led the Sixers to the Eastern Conference semifinals. With a nucleus featuring players like Iverson, 6'7" swingman Larry Hughes and point guard Eric Snow, the Sixers have achieved the level of the NBA's elite teams. In fact, after years of virtually no national exposure, the Sixers will appear on NBC 11 times this upcoming season, tying the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs for most appearances in the league. The Phillies too are in the midst of building a nucleus for the future. With some of the game's best young players in their starting lineup, the Phils could soon match almost any in baseball. Right fielder Bobby Abreu, still unknown to most fans across the nation, is currently second in the National League batting race. And at age 25, Abreu could have several batting titles ahead of him. All-Star catcher Mike Lieberthal and center fielder Doug Glanville -- a 1992 Engineering graduate -- are two of baseball's best at their respective positions. And while third baseman Scott Rolen may be having a subpar season by his standards, the 24-year old former Rookie of the Year is still among the best in the game. When last year's top draft pick, first baseman Pat Burrell, reaches the majors, the lineup will only get more dangerous. But the Phillies still must contend with a starting rotation and bullpen that are just plain bad. Ace Curt Schilling, who is expected to make his first start in over a month today, is one of the NL's best pitchers, but he stands virtually alone on a staff of players that would be more at home in Triple-A. Like the Phillies pitching staff, the Eagles feature several players who probably do not belong on an NFL roster. The Birds, too, are trying to rebuild with youth, but unlike Philly's other teams, they have a much longer road to success ahead of them. The Eagles' offensive output was historically bad last season, and it was reflected in their 3-13 record. Most observers expect them to be at the bottom of the NFL again this year. First-year coach Andy Reid has a difficult task, but with a talented defense and players like McNabb and running back Duce Staley, the Eagles could be headed out of their demise. The Flyers are the one Philadelphia team not relying on youth. In fact, the Flyers played in the Stanley Cup Finals as recently as 1997. But with early playoff exits in the past two seasons, the Flyers have now earned a label of underachievers. The Flyers, however, have also been beset with bad luck. Superstar center Eric Lindros has been plagued with injuries throughout his career, including a collapsed lung that forced him to miss the end of last season. And the Flyers received even more bad news when talented 22-year-old defenseman Dmitri Tertyshny was killed in a boating accident this summer. So bad luck has long been a staple of the Philadelphia sports scene. But in the next few years the luck could change and the loser image could disappear long enough to let the City of Brotherly Love see a championship parade once again.
Incoming freshman Duane King, a Kentucky native, will make his debut next season as a guard for the Quakers. When the 1999-2000 men's basketball season kicks off in the Preseason NIT, Penn will rely on veterans to lead the charge for an upset against Kentucky. After all, Michael Jordan, Matt Langel, Geoff Owens and company have taken on top competition in the past, and they will be the primary weapons when the Quakers travel to the Bluegrass State. But it will be a rookie suiting up for the first time who may feel closest to home; the Quakers will play the first game of Duane King's college career in the same state where he distinguished himself as a high school star. And, although Penn coach Fran Dunphy is not known for putting pressure on freshmen to perform right away, King may be doing more than just watching from the bench when the Quakers and Wildcats meet. With such an experienced team returning, playing time might be sparse for the six members of the Class of 2003, but King looks to be among the rookies who will be making more than just cameo appearances on the court. A 6'4" shooting guard from Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Louisville, King was one of the top players in the talent-laden state of Kentucky last season, earning second team All-State honors and a spot on the Kentucky All-Star team. King started both games for the Kentucky stars against the best prep players in Indiana, and even led his team with 11 points in the first contest. While he may not be a star in the Ivy League as a freshman, he could be one of the Ancient Eight's best guards for the next few seasons. "I think we can find one of the most athletic guys we've ever had in our program," Penn assistant coach Steve Donahue said about King. "He just runs the floor, runs and jumps better than anybody we've ever had really. [King has] like [former Penn player] Ira Bowman-type athleticism." Dunphy has told King that he will probably see time immediately, and King is ready to meet the demands of Division I basketball. "Hopefully, I can play 16 to 17 minutes or more per game, if I put enough time in and play hard," King said. "I'd like to compete for a starting spot, but if I come off the bench, I'll fulfill my role to the fullest." The spot King hopes to fill, however, will be one of the most hotly contested spots on the team. Langel's role as the starting shooting guard is practically etched in stone, but behind him stand several players itching for time on the court. Veterans Frank Brown, Lamar Plummer and Dan Solomito will be joined by first-year men King, Koko Archibong and Harold Bailey in competition for time at the two and three spots. "We'll be friends in the games, but when we're in practice, I'll look at them as opponents," King said. Indeed, stopping opponents is one of King's best skills. While he can score when needed, King cites defense as the strongest part of his game. It is also the area in which he might help the Quakers the most. "He's a very intense defender. He'll add a lot to our team in terms of second shots on the offensive boards from the three spot, defensive presence, getting in passing lanes, guarding kids in full court," Donahue said. "He'll do those things, and we really don't have a kid like that right now in our program that can do those things." King, though, can do more than just those things. While he needs to improve his three-point shooting and ball handling, King will enter the Palestra with a complete set of skills. "He can do a lot of things," Pleasure Ridge Park assistant coach Larry Kihnley said. "At times, he was our go-to-guy, and at times, he got the ball to other players." In high school, King -- who was ranked as the seventh-best prospect in Kentucky by Full Court magazine -- teamed with fellow All-State players Kevin Pascal and Michael Griffith to lead Pleasure Ridge Park to a 31-5 record. The trio graduated as one of the top combinations in school history. And now, as part of one of the most highly regarded recruiting classes in Penn history, Duane King has the chance to relive that experience on a much larger scale.
Basketball recruit Harold Bailey was also a star high jumper. Moments after the Quakers' Ivy League title-clinching victory at Princeton in March, hundreds of Penn fans stood on the Jadwin Gym floor to watch the members of the Penn men's basketball team cut down the net. Harold Bailey was among those spectators, but he had a perspective that was different from that of most fans. "I was psyched," Bailey said. "I was thinking, "That will be me next year." Bailey, along with five other members of the Class of 2003, will be on the receiving end of those cheers next season, and he hopes to play a significant role for the Quakers during the next four years. However, Bailey, who scored more than 1,200 career points as a 6'2" swingman for the Choate School in Wallingford, Conn., will face tough competition to earn minutes next season. "He's athletic. He can shoot the ball," Penn assistant coach Steve Donahue said. "He's going to have to learn that he has to play every possession hard." Bailey is an extremely athletic player, but he will most likely need to improve several aspects of his game before making an impact with the Quakers. "I think Harold could be anything from a role player at Penn to a star in the Ivy League," said Choate coach Chuck Timlin, who believes Bailey will be among the 10 best athletes in the Ivy League next season. Bailey's athleticism was evident in his high school track and field career, where he recorded the second-best high jump in Choate history at 6'4.5". While his jumping ability will definitely help him on the court, his basketball skills still need some fine-tuning. Bailey, who often scored at will for Choate by making slashing drives to the basket, currently works out everyday and will participate in the Sonny Hill League later this summer. Timlin cites several facets of Bailey's game which need improvement, including handling the ball with his left hand, shooting from the perimeter, playing more intense defense and moving without the ball on offense. "I told Harold, 'If you would move without the ball, you would be unstoppable,'" Timlin said. At times during his high school career, Bailey had been unstoppable. One such time was during his junior season when he scored 32 points against Northfield Mount Herman. It was this performance which prompted Timlin to make a phone call to the Penn basketball office. He knew Bailey was interested in Penn, and he thought the Ivy League would be a good level for him. "Next thing I knew, they had Harold down for the Penn-Princeton game last year," Timlin said. Penn was Bailey's top choice throughout the recruiting process, and his excellent senior season at Choate helped him secure a spot in Penn's recruiting class. Highlights included a 36-point effort against Northfield Mount Herman and a 38-point explosion when Choate took on Exeter. Choate plays in the New England Class A Prep School League, which also accepts post-graduate players. While the teams are not always top-notch, several Division I prospects do spend post-graduate seasons with New England prep school teams. In recent years, players like Kentucky's Heshimu Evans and North Carolina's Ed Cota have played in this league. While Bailey may not be on the same level as Cota and Evans, Timlin says that he is the best non-post-graduate player he has ever coached at Choate. Playing at the Division I level next season, however, may be a big adjustment. "Harold hasn't played great competition throughout his high school career," Donahue said. "He's athletic. He does a lot of things well. It's just hard to judge right now where he'll fit in." Bailey hopes to fit in right away. Although he will have to compete for minutes with fellow freshman Duane King and veterans like Matt Langel, Frank Brown and Lamar Plummer, Bailey hopes to make his presence felt on next season's Quakers. "I know I'll definitely get minutes," Bailey said. "I'll look to help out offensively and defensively. I want to be an impact player." If he succeeds with that goal, he will not be the first impact player Choate has given Penn. When speaking with the Penn coaches, Timlin made it a point to remind them that former Penn center Matt White is a Choate alumnus. White was an integral part of Penn's 1979 team, the last Ivy team to reach the Final Four. Bailey has equally lofty goals for the Red and Blue next season. "We'll be playing until April," he said. "Or at least late March."
Incoming freshman basketball player Andrew Coates was plagued with injuries and a case of pneumonia last season. When the NCAA Selection Committee decided to send the Penn men's basketball team to Seattle for the first round of the Tournament, it looked like the perfect opportunity for Andrew Coates. The Seattle native and incoming basketball recruit would be able to check out the Quakers in person for the first time without even leaving his hometown. It didn't quite work out that way. Coates had more important things to do that day. For only the second time in its history, Eastside Catholic High School had qualified for the state playoffs, and Coates -- a 6'8" power forward -- was a major reason for its presence in the highest level of playoffs in the state of Washington. "He led us into and through the state playoffs," Eastside Catholic coach Pat McCarthy said. Eastside Catholic lost in the first round, but won a game in the consolation round before being eliminated. The most impressive aspect of the Crusaders' success, though, is that this past season was filled with more than one pitfall for their best player. After a superb junior season in which he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game and was named first team All-Seattle Metro League, Coates was forced to endure a difficult campaign in 1998-99. He missed the start of the season with an ankle injury, but that misfortune was only the beginning. Coates came down with a case of pneumonia halfway through the season that prevented him from repeating his 1997-98 performance. "I was out for about two weeks, but I never really recovered," Coates said. "I had a lot of trouble breathing and was coughing up blood." Although Coates' senior year was not the spectacular finale to his high school career that many expected, the four-year starter at Eastside Catholic has proven that he has the skills to play Division I basketball. McCarthy says that Coates has solid post-up moves and great footwork under the basket, but needs to gain strength and quickness. "I saw him healthy last summer and he played very well," Penn assistant coach Steve Donahue said. "This year he's been through every injury you could imagine so he hasn't had a chance to show what he can do. "He's 6'8", shoots the ball very well, runs the floor. He's athletic. He'll have to show us what he can do if he's healthy." Coates is currently working to show the Penn coaching staff exactly what he can do when healthy. He works on his game for at least two hours each day and performs exercises at the Washington Sports Institute to improve his quickness and leg strength. He also lifts weights four times a week to add bulk to his 210-pound frame. Coates will probably need these summer workouts to yield great results if he hopes to make an impact at Penn this year, however. Although the graduation of Paul Romanczuk leaves a huge hole at power forward, the competition should be fierce to fill the spot of the first team All-Ivy honoree. In addition to Coates, the Quakers will gain the services of 6'10" forward/center Oggie Kapetanovic and 6'8" forward Ugonna Onyekwe next season. Kapetanovic, a transfer from Brown, practiced with Penn all of last season, and Onyekwe is considered the top prospect in Penn's highly-regarded recruiting class. With forward Josh Sanger entering his junior year as well, Coates may spend a considerable amount of time on the bench next year. But after a season of learning the ins and outs of the Quakers' system, he could be an important contributor for the Red and Blue in the future. "I know he's a pretty talented kid when he's healthy," Donahue said. "How good I don't know exactly yet, but he'll be given the opportunity." And he'll travel all the way across the country to seize that opportunity. But that does not mean he will be alone on the East Coast. Coates' sister will enter her junior year at Princeton in the fall, but she will probably not be wearing orange and black when the Tigers take on the defending Ivy champs next season. "She's a basketball fan," Coates acknowledged. "But she's more of an Andrew Coates basketball fan than anything else."
The Penn men's basketball team capped a memorable season by winning the 1998-99 Ivy League title. Holy Ghost Preparatory School '97 Bensalem, Pa. It was not the best season in Penn history or even in this decade, but 1998-99 was a memorable one. It was the year the Ivy title made its way back to Philadelphia and the Quakers made their way back to the Big Dance. The Quakers accomplished what many had already anticipated and in the process of reaching the expectation, they gave more than for what they were asked. A near-sweep of the Big Five, an 11-game winning streak, two 1,000-point scorers, chants of SOL-O-MI-TO, a wired jaw, a barrage of three-pointers and a trip to Seattle. In short, the '98-99 Quakers made even the least significant games fun to watch. But most importantly, they cut down the net in the house of their biggest rival and brought the Ivy League championship back to the University of Pennsylvania. When the season began, everyone knew this veteran Penn team was talented. While the three-time defending league champions from Princeton had lost three starters to graduation, the second-place Quakers returned the core of their team. For the first time in four years, Penn seemed to have the upper hand in the rivalry between the two teams that have accounted for the last 11 league titles. Penn welcomed back four starters, along with center Geoff Owens, who missed all of the '97-98 season with a medical condition. Big things were expected from this team, and as the season began, big things were delivered. Senior forwards Paul Romanczuk and Jed Ryan and junior guard Michael Jordan were named tri-captains of the squad that opened its schedule with No. 8 Kansas at the Palestra. The near-capacity crowd of rowdy fans had witnessed a league championship in football three days earlier and was pumped to see Penn do likewise on the court. Penn held Kansas to 25.9 percent shooting and only 19 points in the first half -- the lowest scoring half ever for Jayhawks coach Roy Williams -- but in the end the Quakers could not hold the lead. Penn had a chance to win until the final minute but ultimately fell, 61-56. The schedule would not get much easier, as No. 6 Temple was next in line. This time, however, the Quakers would not let the game slip away, as they sent the Owls home with their first loss to Penn since 1982. Although Penn led for most of the first half, the Quakers went into halftime down by five. But they came storming back in the second stanza before taking the Owls to overtime and pulling out a thrilling 73-70 upset. Jordan led the charge by scoring 22 points, including two free throws with 5.8 seconds left to ice the victory. As the final buzzer sounded, fans stormed the court and it appeared to be the start of a very special season. After blowing out Lehigh in their next game, though, the Quakers came crashing back to Earth. A 16-point loss at Penn State was followed by a lackluster performance in the ECAC Holiday Festival during winter break. Penn emerged from Madison Square Garden with a close win and a close loss against two teams it should have beaten easily. But when the holidays ended, the Red and Blue got down to business. A win at Lafayette on January 5 sparked a month-long winning streak that saw the Quakers start playing like the league champs everyone expected to see. They swept three Ivy road weekends and pulled off four more non-league victories, including wins over city rivals La Salle, St. Joe's and Drexel. Against the Dragons on January 21, Romanczuk became the 26th Quaker to reach 1,000 career points, and on February 6, Penn blew out Harvard at the Palestra to improve to 11-0 in 1999. Coming into their February 9 match-up with Princeton, the Quakers were riding high. And they were certainly feeling great after the first half of that Princeton game as they embarrassed the Tigers with a 29-0 run en route to a 33-9 lead at the break. With Princeton stuck at three points for 12 minutes, Palestra fans taunted the Tigers with cries of "You have three points!" It was one of the most dominating halves of basketball in Penn history, but so was the second half -- only this time Penn was not the dominant team. The Tigers pulled off the fourth-largest comeback in NCAA history to win 50-49 when Matt Langel's 12-foot jumper bounced off the rim in the closing seconds. Penn was stunned, devastated, drained, embarrassed and befuddled. After the final horn, fans remained in their seats, staring in disbelief. Penn players emerged from the locker room with tears in their eyes. It turned out to be the best possible wake-up call. The Quakers were now more focused on their mission. They ran the table for the remainder of the Ivy season, while Princeton fell to both Harvard and Yale. On February 13 at Yale, Ryan put on a show by nailing a career-high seven three-pointers, while Jordan joined Romanczuk in the 1,000 point club. The Quakers' only worry during that stretch came when Owens broke his jaw diving for a loose ball in a close first half at Dartmouth. But the big man simply slapped a band-aid on the wound and got right back in the game, helping Penn dominate in a 33-point romp. He would only miss one game, a loss to Villanova that came two hours after surgery on his jaw. Displaying a heart with a size that matches his 6'11" frame, the center played the rest of the season with his mouth wired shut. With Owens battling through the pain, the Quakers went to Princeton on March 2 with a chance to win both the outright Ivy title and redemption from the Palestra collapse. They took full advantage of that chance. After leading by just three at the half, the Quakers ran away with the game. All five starters scored in double figures as Penn handed Princeton its worst ever loss at Jadwin Gym in a 73-48 debacle. More importantly, the Quakers earned the coveted Tournament berth and avoided a one-game playoff with the Tigers. The Penn fans took over the Jadwin court and the Quakers cut down the net to celebrate the first postseason berth for every player on the team. It was a moment that no one in attendance -- especially the 12 men in the red and blue uniforms -- will ever forget. The season came to an abrupt end at the NCAA Tournament in Seattle with a loss to Florida. Ryan hit six three-pointers in the first half as the Quakers took an 11-point lead into halftime, but the game became another second-half collapse for Penn. It was not the way the Quakers wanted to end the season, but it does not detract from what they accomplished in 1998-99. The four seniors finally got their rings, the Quakers know how it feels to be champions and a new banner will be raised in the Palestra. Because this year, the Ivy title came home.
Replacing Julie Soriero, Kelly Greenberg hopes to take the Penn women's basketball team to its first Ivy League title. Holy Ghost Preparatory School '97 Bensalem, Pa. Enter Kelly Greenberg. Greenberg was recently hired to replace Julie Soriero, who announced her resignation this past season after 10 years at the helm of the women's basketball program. When Greenberg was introduced as Penn's sixth head coach on April 30, she proclaimed that her goal is not only to win the Ivy title next year, but to win it for many years to come. Her players are right behind their coach's confident statement. "Our goal every year is to win the Ivy League," said forward Diana Caramanico, who was named the Ivy League and the Big Five Player of the Year this past season. "It's great to know that's one of her goals, too." Caramanico cited Greenberg's enthusiasm as the feature that impressed her the most. In fact, Greenberg's confidence and energy are what made her stand out from the other candidates for the position. "She was the first one we interviewed," said guard Claire Cavanaugh, who was a member of the committee to search for a new coach. "We knew that we really liked her, but as we interviewed the next candidates we realized how much we really did like her." For the past seven seasons, Greenberg has been on the staff at Holy Cross. She was an assistant coach from 1992 through 1996, when she was promoted to associate head coach. Despite having spent the past seven seasons in Worcester, Mass., Greenberg is certainly no stranger to Philadelphia basketball. A graduate of Archbishop Wood High School, Greenberg was a star for La Salle in the late 1980s. Earning second-team All-Big Five honors in both the 1987-88 and '88-89 seasons, she helped the Explorers win three Big Five championships and earn three NCAA Tournament berths. Coaching in the Palestra will be the realization of a dream for the Philly native. "Being from the Philadelphia area, growing up here, I understand the Palestra," Greenberg said. "The biggest Christmas gift from my brothers was a ticket to the Palestra -- even when we were little kids -- so I really have a feel for that." While Greenberg acknowledges that she is a bit overwhelmed at being a head coach for the first time, she remains focused on taking the Quakers to the first Ivy title in the program's history. Eleven members return from last year's third-place squad, including first team All-Ivy honorees Caramanico and guard Mandy West. "I think we definitely have the potential and the ability to win the Ivy League next year, so hopefully everything will go well," West said. Greenberg has already begun the preparations for next season's campaign. After her hiring, she spent a weekend working with members of the team in one-on-one sessions. West, who was in Boston that weekend, was the only Quaker who did not meet with Greenberg individually. During those sessions, Greenberg directed each player as to what she needs to work on during the offseason. "Everything she did had a purpose -- every drill, every way she wanted us to cut," Caramanico said. "Basically, she tried to get a feel for me as a player before she puts any restriction on what I could do or couldn't do. She was really open to learning about us and letting us learn about her." Greenberg has established an offseason sprinting program that will complement the lifting program set in place by Penn strength coach Rob Wagner. In addition to these workouts, most Quakers will also play in a summer league. According to Cavanaugh, Greenberg's sprinting program represents "a 180-degree turn" from the distance running program Soriero used. The summer conditioning, however, should sufficiently prepare the Quakers for the various pressing defenses Greenberg plans to implement. Penn hopes to overwhelm the rest of the Ancient Eight with its presses and Greenberg also has a good idea of what to expect from Ivy foes. By spending most of this decade in New England, Greenberg has followed the Dartmouth and Harvard programs; Princeton coach Liz Feeley is also a former Holy Cross assistant. Greenberg, therefore, should be quite comfortable coaching against three of the league's best teams. Greenberg noted that as soon as Soriero announced her resignation in January, "a light clicked off in my head." She knew Penn was the perfect place for her to coach. And now that she has attained that position, she is faced with the task of taking the Quakers to new heights -- the top of the Ivy League.
Could this finally be Doug Glanville's year -- the year he establishes himself as a Major League star and one of the best leadoff men in baseball? The year he becomes the player that he has shown he is capable of being? All indications at this early point in the season suggest the answer to that question is yes. But a quick glance at the recent past shows that it would be wise to wait a few months to see if Glanville actually has the stuff to be a star in the majors. At this point last season, Glanville was also drawing rave reviews from those in the baseball world. Among the National League leaders in hits and batting at a .313 clip at the All-Star Break, he had a chance to be invited to baseball's midsummer classic. In the season's second half, however, he went from a shining star to a black hole. Appearing to have run out of gas, Glanville bottomed out and only managed to hit .206 in the final two months. It was as if Glanville's season was a longer version of the Penn basketball team's first meeting with Princeton this past season. "Who knows?" Glanville said when asked about the reasons for his second half collapse. "It was a lot of different factors." With Glanville having an excellent start to the 1999 campaign, thoughts of last season must surely be considered before one expects him to establish himself as a star. Yes, he is hitting .317 (through Monday) and yes, he does have 22 runs batted in, which is good for second on the Phillies behind only Scott Rolen. But Glanville knows that reputations are earned after a whole season's worth of quality performances, not a just few months. "It's still early," Glanville said. "The real test will be when the season is over." Glanville may indeed earn an "A" on that test this time around. After all, he knows better than anyone what happened last season. And he believes his off-season workouts and better control of his schedule will help him avoid another crash-landing to a promising year. Last year was Glanville's first with the Phillies, and at times the homecoming was a bit overwhelming for the charismatic young ballplayer. His return to his college town after spending 1997 with the Chicago Cubs -- coupled with his hot start in '98 -- earned him a lot of attention. However, this attention was draining for Glanville. It was a totally new experience -- he was only in his second full year as a Major Leaguer -- and the demands on his time were too much for him at times. "I didn't realize how stressful it would be," Glanville said. "I didn't really have a lot of time for myself, and that's important." Glanville now has better control of his schedule and believes the novelty of being the hometown kid has worn off. His time, however, is not the only thing he is managing better this season. He is also managing his performance at the plate much better. Throughout his career, Glanville has been characterized as an aggressive swinger. His mere 42 walks and measly .331 on-base percentage from last season are not exactly the numbers teams like to see coming from the guy at the top of the order. But Glanville has been proven to be more effective in the No. 1 spot for the Phils so far this season. His on-base-percentage is 70 points higher than last year's total and he has already drawn 21 walks. All the while, he has continued to make good contact and has even shown some power. It is mid-May, and the rail-thin Glanville has already left the park four times. He only hit eight home runs in all of 1998. Before this season, the Phillies signed Glanville to a three-year contract worth $5.57 million. With good young players like Rolen and right fielder Bobby Abreu, the Phillies are trying to form the nucleus of what could be a very good team -- and they believe Doug Glanville is an integral part of that nucleus. So could this be the year Glanville proves that he is indeed one of the best leadoff men in the game? It certainly could, but it is way too early in the season to make such predictions. Penn is not exactly known as a breeding ground for professional athletes, and when a Quaker makes it as a pro, Penn fans have good reason to celebrate. By being a solid everyday Major Leaguer, Doug Glanville does Penn athletics proud. And if he can avoid another second half collapse, Glanville will show the baseball world that he is more than just a pretty good ballplayer from the Ivy League. Remember what happened the second time the Quakers met Princeton in hoops last season? There was no second half collapse, no tiring, no bottoming out and definitely no doubt about who the best team was. Now, if Glanville can somehow manage a similar finish, there will also be no doubt about his status as big league star. Rick Haggerty is a College junior from Bensalem PA, and a DP sports editor.
Philadelphia native Kelly Greenberg is hoping to take the Quakers to their first-ever Ivy League championship. When the Penn women's basketball team defeated Ivy League co-champion Princeton, 71-65, on March 3, a new era of Penn women's hoops began -- an era in which the Quakers should be top contenders for the league title. All they needed was someone to lead them into that era. Enter Kelly Greenberg. Greenberg was recently hired to replace Julie Soriero, who announced her resignation this past season after 10 years at the helm of the women's basketball program. When Greenberg was introduced as Penn's sixth head coach on April 30, she proclaimed that her goal is not only to win the Ivy title next year, but to win it for many years to come. Her players are right behind their coach's confident statement. "Our goal every year is to win the Ivy League," said forward Diana Caramanico, who was named both the Ivy League and the Big Five Player of the Year this past season. "It's great to know that's one of her goals, too." Caramanico cited Greenberg's enthusiasm as the feature that impressed her the most. In fact, Greenberg's confidence and energy are what made her stand out from the other candidates for the position. "She was the first one we interviewed," said guard Claire Cavanaugh, who was a member of the new coach search committee. "We knew that we really liked her, but as we interviewed the next candidates we realized how much we really did like her." For the past seven seasons, Greenberg has been on the staff at Holy Cross. She was an assistant coach from 1992 through 1996, when she was promoted to associate head coach. Despite having spent the past seven seasons in Worcester, Mass., Greenberg is certainly no stranger to Philadelphia basketball. A graduate of Archbishop Wood High School, Greenberg was a star for La Salle in the late 1980s. Earning second-team All-Big Five honors in both the 1987-88 and '88-89 seasons, she helped the Explorers win three Big Five championships and earn three NCAA Tournament berths. Coaching in the Palestra will be the realization of a dream for the Philly native. "Being from the Philadelphia area, growing up here, I understand the Palestra," Greenberg said. "The biggest Christmas gift from my brothers was a ticket to the Palestra -- even when we were little kids -- so I really have a feel for that." While Greenberg acknowledges that she is a bit overwhelmed at being a head coach for the first time, she remains focused on taking the Quakers to the first Ivy title in the program's history. Eleven members return from last year's third-place squad, including first team All-Ivy honorees Caramanico and guard Mandy West. "I think we definitely have the potential and the ability to win the Ivy League next year, so hopefully everything will go well," West said. Greenberg has already begun the preparations for next season's campaign. After her hiring, she spent a weekend working with members of the team in one-on-one sessions. West, who was in Boston that weekend, was the only Quaker who did not meet with Greenberg individually. During those sessions, Greenberg directed each player as to what she needs to work on during the offseason. "Everything she did had a purpose -- every drill, every way she wanted us to cut," Caramanico said. "Basically, she tried to get a feel for me as a player before she puts any restriction on what I could do or couldn't do. She was really open to learning about us and letting us learn about her." Greenberg has established an offseason sprinting program that will complement the lifting program set in place by Penn strength coach Rob Wagner. In addition to these workouts, most Quakers will also play in a summer league. According to Cavanaugh, Greenberg's sprinting program represents "a 180-degree turn" from the distance running program Soriero used. The summer conditioning, however, should sufficiently prepare the Quakers for the various pressing defenses Greenberg plans to implement. Penn hopes to overwhelm the rest of the Ancient Eight with its presses and Greenberg also has a good idea of what to expect from Ivy foes. By spending most of this decade in New England, Greenberg has followed the Dartmouth and Harvard programs; Princeton coach Liz Feeley is also a former Holy Cross assistant. Greenberg, therefore, should be quite comfortable coaching against three of the league's best teams. Greenberg noted that as soon as Soriero announced her resignation in January, "a light clicked off in my head." She knew Penn was the perfect place for her to coach. And now that she has attained that position, she is faced with the task of taking the Quakers to new heights -- the top of the Ivy League.
The Quakers fell 11-4 to Notre Dame, setting a team record with an 0-7 mark to open the year. Brooke Jenkins was supposed to be out for the season with a torn right ACL. But when the starting lineups were announced for the Penn women's lacrosse team's game with Notre Dame last night, Jenkins, sporting a huge knee brace, trotted onto the field with her teammates. Unfortunately for Penn, not even Jenkins' impressive recovery could stop the 1999 Quakers from becoming the first team in school history to start the season with seven losses, as they fell to the Irish, 11-4. "It's frustrating," Penn senior co-captain Jenni Leisman said. "I think we're just looking forward to improving ourselves every game and hopefully getting a win or two by the end of the season." One reason for Penn's slow start may be the uncertainty of its coaching situation. The players petitioned for the removal of coach Anne Sage last month. While assistant coach Alanna Wren has been leading the Quakers, the Penn Athletic Department has not commented on Sage's status. Not knowing what is happening with their coach gives the winless Quakers even more worries. While last night did not leave much for the Quakers (0-7) to smile about, Jenkins' return to action -- after missing Thursday's 15-1 loss at Temple -- did inspire some hope. Jenkins, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, has either a partial or full tear of her ACL but her doctor allowed her to decide if she could play. Jenkins underwent an MRI last Thursday but the results could not reveal the severity of the tear. After taking a strength test at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania yesterday, Jenkins -- who will need surgery to repair the tear -- decided to step onto the field. "It was fine," Jenkins said. "I just have to get used to the brace." And while the junior co-captain was becoming accustomed to the new hardware on her knee, the Quakers were becoming familiar with the Notre Dame attack. The Fighting Irish (6-2) controlled the ball for nearly the first 10 minutes of the game, racing to a 4-0 advantage. "One of our pre-game goals was to come out strong and I think we did that in the opening minutes," Notre Dame coach Tracy Coyne said. After Irish attacker Kerry Callahan netted her second consecutive goal with 22:03 left in the half, however, Penn began to come to life. The Quakers contained the Irish, holding them scoreless for 13 minutes, and started to cut into the lead. Freshman midfielder Emily Foote, a Daily Pennsylvanian sportswriter, opened the scoring for Penn at 13:32. After Penn gained possession at midfield, Foote found herself with only one defender to beat. "Notre Dame's defense was good, but not good one-on-one," Foote said. Spinning past the Irish defense, Foote deposited the ball in the cage and seemed to start a roll for the Quakers, as fellow freshman Jennifer Hartman followed with a goal of her own less than one minute later to make it 4-2 Notre Dame. The charge, though, soon came to a halt, as Callahan struck again with 8:03 remaining. The Irish attacker then registered her fourth score of the night three minutes later, and Notre Dame never looked back. "At that point, we felt [Penn] had a chance to gain momentum and get back in the game, so we wanted to stop the momentum right there," Callahan said. Holding an 8-3 lead at halftime, the Irish were clearly in control of the game and Penn was in the all-too-familiar role of having to play catch-up. While the second half did not see nearly as many Notre Dame goals, the Penn attack also ran out of gas, as freshman Traci Marabella scored the Quakers' only goal of the second 30 minutes with 9:31 remaining. "I think we got some shots on goal but poor placement on our shots did us in," Wren said. Wren told her players that Irish goalie Carrie Marshall's weakness was stopping shots at hip level, but the Quakers were still not able to get enough shots past Marshall. But Penn was not the only squad at Franklin Field with scoring troubles in the second half. After Notre Dame's leading scorer, Lael O'Shaughnessy, netted her second goal at 28:43, Penn held the Irish scoreless for more than 22 minutes. In fact, Penn held O'Shaughnessy scoreless for the rest of the evening, limiting her to half her average of nearly four tallies per game. "We were going to double-team [O'Shaughnessy] whenever she got the ball, and it was really effective," Wren said. "The defense did a nice job of implementing what we wanted to implement." But unfortunately for the Quakers, the defensive heroics were not enough to keep Penn from its worst start to a season in history.
Penn basketball recruit David Klatsky will spend a year learning the Penn system behind Jordan. David Klatsky should not have much trouble adjusting to his role on the Penn men's basketball team next year. After all, he's been in this situation before. For the past three years, Klatsky has been the best tennis player at Holmdel High School and he expects to be ranked among the top singles players in New Jersey this spring. As a freshman in 1996, however, Klatsky played No. 2 singles for the Hornets and waited in the wings while his brother, then-Holmdel senior Mike Klatsky, held the top spot. Mike Klatsky is now a Penn junior and a former Quakers tennis player. In the fall, David will be joining his older brother in West Philadelphia, where he will find himself in a situation that closely resembles his freshman year of high school. Only this time, Klatsky will not be holding a racquet in his hand -- he will not have time for tennis. He will be an apprentice on a different type of court and he'll be playing behind a different Mike. Perhaps the one position in which the Penn men's basketball team needs the least improvement is point guard. Michael Jordan is a first-team All-Ivy player and the favorite for next year's Ivy Player of the Year award. But Jordan is also entering his final year at Penn. And like he did with his brother three years ago, Klatsky will spend the next year learning and adapting to the Penn system before taking over after Jordan's graduation. "Next year will be a good year for him to learn," said Mike Klatsky, who is also a member of the Penn junior varsity basketball team. "I don't think he'll get much time next year but he'll learn a lot from Jordan." It will be about more than just learning for the 5'11" guard, however. At times this past season, Penn suffered when Jordan was on the bench. Matt Langel and Lamar Plummer were often forced to play out of their natural positions and take care of the ball-handling duties. Having a second pure point guard to come off the bench will alleviate some of those problems. "We recruited David Klatsky as a point guard," Penn coach Fran Dunphy said. "David is smart enough to look at it and see that in front of him is Michael Jordan. I don't think David's coming in here saying, 'You know what, I'm going to beat out Michael Jordan and be the starting point guard.' I don't think David's like that. "He knows that his time may be limited early on. He's going to have to prove himself." According to his former coaches, Klatsky's attitude and work ethic should help him make a significant impact at the college level. "On the hardwood, he's as prepared as any freshman going into Division I," Klatsky's AAU coach John Rivera said. A four-year varsity player and three-year starter for Holmdel, Klatsky's basketball resume speaks for itself. The Hornets went 93-21 during his four years and won the New Jersey Group II State Championship the past two years. This past season, Klatsky also led Holmdel past Group III champ Parsippany to the Final Four of the New Jersey Tournament of Champions. "We've faced the best competition you can face as a high school team and David has been the leader for us the last three years," said Holmdel coach Tom Stead, who also took his team to San Diego to face the best teams on the West Coast. Holmdel held its own against this top competition and Klatsky was the main reason for its success. As the floor general, Klatsky led a Holmdel squad whose tallest player was 6'3" against bigger and more talented teams. And more often than not, the Hornets came out on top. Along the way, Klatsky was named Player of the Year for Group II, MVP of the Group II championship game and third team All-State for all groups. "David's been at the root of everything and it's been a pleasure to coach him," Stead said. "I don't know what I'm going to do next year." While Stead figures out what to do with his program, Dunphy and his staff will have the task of figuring out how the former Holmdel star will fit into the Penn system. Klatsky is the definition of a pure point guard. His coaches describe him as a very smart player who is able to get everyone involved in the offense but they also say that he needs to get stronger and to work on creating shots when the shot clock is winding down -- something that was not an issue in high school. "David Klatsky is a throwback," Rivera said. "He is in the mold of the old type of point guard." And a prototypical point guard will help the Quakers in more ways than just giving Jordan some rest. "There were a lot of times when I watched them and they had trouble breaking the press," Klatsky said. "They could have brought another point guard in to keep it under control." The Penn coaches might even take a page out of the Philadelphia 76ers' playbook and play Jordan and Klatsky together. The Sixers have had success this season after moving top scoring threat Allen Iverson to shooting guard and allowing Eric Snow to run the point so Iverson can score more. "[The Penn coaches] told me they might like to use Jordan at the two because of the way I distribute the ball and he's their main scorer," Klatsky said. "Putting him at the two might enable him to score more and not have to worry about bringing the ball up and the point guard duties." Klatsky, who only made an unofficial visit, chose Penn very early in his senior year. After visiting his brother numerous times and watching many Penn games, he felt he already knew enough about the school and the program to make the decision. And it seems like Klatsky and Penn will fit together perfectly. They even had difficulty with the same things this past season. "There was a point this year when he struggled with his foul shots," Stead said. "He just continued to stay and work on it and battle through it." Joining a team which struggled at the line all season -- the Quakers hit just 66.1 percent from the charity stripe -- Klatsky and his work ethic will be a welcome addition to the Penn lineup. And with Jordan graduating next year, the Quakers hope Klatsky will be ready to step in as the floor leader for the next few seasons.
Koko Archibong is one of four Quakers recruits to already commit to Penn. Although the Penn men's basketball team's season ended less than two weeks ago, hopes are already high for next year. The hype surrounding the incoming freshman class has planted visions of a Quaker dynasty in the minds of Penn fans. The Class of 2003 -- touted as one of the best Penn recruiting classes in 20 years -- is certainly one of the largest in recent memory. Four recruits have already been accepted to the University through the early decision process and have reserved their places in next year's class. Two others have verbally committed to the Quakers and their status will become official in a few weeks. The four admitted and officially committed recruits are: Koko Archibong, a 6'7" swingman from Pasadena, Calif.; Andrew Coates, a 6'8" power forward from Seattle; David Klatsky, a 5'11" point guard from Holmdel, N.J.; and Ugonna Onyekwe, a 6'8" power forward from Nigeria currently attending Mercersburg (Pa.) Academy. Also expected to matriculate next fall are guards Duane King from Kentucky and Harold Bailey from Connecticut. The Quakers coaching staff is prohibited from commenting on these players until they officially commit to Penn. "We didn't work any harder this year recruiting than we did last year," Penn coach Fran Dunphy said. "Last year, Dan Solomito was the only freshman we got. This year, we have four, five, possibly six coming in." While Dunphy did not approach recruiting any differently this year, the Quakers have reaped numerous rewards from the interest their prospects showed in Penn. "Koko Archibong recruited us as much as we recruited him," Dunphy said. "That's the deal in this game. You've got to have a sense of what this is about. He had it, he's coming and we're grateful for that." Archibong, who led the Polytechnic School with 16.7 points per game this season, recently had the chance to scout the Quakers in person for the first time. He was in the stands at Key Arena in Seattle for Penn's first-round loss to Florida in the NCAA Tournament. Prior to that, he had only seen tapes of Penn games. Standing among the roughly two dozen Penn students outside Key Arena prior to the game, Archibong was impressed with the passion of the fans, many of whom were covered in red and blue body paint. "This is pretty phat," Archibong said when asked what he thought about the students who had made the trip to Seattle during spring break. Once inside the arena, Archibong -- who had traveled up the coast from his Southern California home -- eagerly participated in chants of "Let's go Quakers!" While Archibong will be one of the recipients of those cheers next year, it remains to be seen just how much playing time he will see as a freshman. Dunphy does not put much pressure on freshmen to perform immediately but acknowledges that each will have a chance to get minutes next year. "All of them have an opportunity to get significant time next year," Dunphy said. "What's significant? Is it 25 to 30 minutes? Probably not. Is it 10 to 20 minutes? Yes. Is it different for one guy than another guy? Yes. Does it depend on the guys we have coming back? Yes." Archibong could be Penn's future starting small forward but he will have a hard time getting minutes at the three spot next year. Frank Brown will be returning for a fifth year and Solomito may be ready to see more time next season. Dunphy said that Solomito could be a very important part of the rotation if he can get into top physical shape -- which he never accomplished this season. Shooting guard Matt Langel, at 6'5", could also possibly see time at small forward. This may not leave much time for the California kid who led Polytechnic to a 27-0 record before it fell to Santa Clara, 75-52, in the CIF Southern Section Division V-AA Championships and then lost again in the first round of the state playoffs. Archibong, however, believes he can add a feature that is currently absent from the Penn lineup. "I'm more of a slashing type of player and it doesn't seem like a lot of the [Penn] players do that," Archibong said. "I think that I can add some motion to the offense and open up things for the shooters outside and for Geoff [Owens] inside." Now that his high school career is over, Archibong is hard at work preparing for next season with the Quakers. Observers have rated Archibong as an extremely athletic player who still needs to refine his overall game. "He is a pretty good defender. He is a great defensive rebounder, and he has a pretty good mid-range jumper," said Polytechnic coach Brad Hall, who believes Archibong needs to get stronger to make an impact as a Division I player. "He is really focused on preparing for next year," Hall added. "He is getting bigger everyday." Currently, Archibong works on his game five days a week and lifts three times per week. He plans on starting his running program in the near future. Archibong's conditioning will be essential if he is to make a successful leap from the small school division -- in which Polytechnic plays -- to competitive Division I basketball. While playing against these small schools, Archibong dominated. He was named the Panthers' team MVP and Player of the Year for his area. Archibong has also honed his skills in Los Angeles summer leagues against many future Division I players. Archibong realizes that college basketball will be a major adjustment, but he is eager to help the Quakers. "I hope I can bring something to the team that can help, but there are a lot of great players on the team," Archibong said. "I'm glad I'll be a part of it." Penn guard Michael Jordan knows that Archibong is excited about joining the team. Jordan hosted Archibong on his recruiting trip and kept in touch with him via e-mail during the season. Jordan and Solomito also went out to dinner with Archibong in Seattle. "I've never seen him play," Jordan said. "But he seemed like a real nice guy and a good person." The Quakers faithful only hope that Archibong turns nasty once the Ivy season rolls around.
Eight members of the 12th-ranked Quakers squad qualified for NCAAs, which begin today at Penn State. No one ever said that March Madness only applied to basketball. In fact, the Penn wrestling team has its own "Elite Eight" in the NCAA Championships. The tournament begins today and runs through Saturday at Penn State. After storming through the competition last weekend at Army for their fourth straight Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association title, the Quakers qualified wrestlers in every weight class except 174 and 184 lbs. The win at EIWAs pushed Penn to 12th in the latest national polls, its highest rank ever. And along with the overall team success, 149-lb. senior Brett Matter and 197-lb. senior Andrei Rodzianko enter the tournament with legitimate chances of winning national titles. Rodzianko is undefeated after 20 matches this year and is currently ranked third in the nation. He destroyed the competition at EIWAs en route to winning the Most Outstanding Wrestler award. On December 30 at the prestigious Midlands Open, Rodzianko stunned defending NCAA champ Lee Fullhart of Iowa in the semifinals and beat Iowa State's Zachery Thompson in the finals to win. Matter, ranked fourth, brought home the third Easterns title of his Penn career. Although he sat out all of last year with a knee injury, Matter has won Eastern titles in every season he has competed. In addition to these two title contenders, the Quakers will be represented by sophomore Justin Bravo (125 lbs.), junior Jason Nagle (133 lbs.), senior Mark Piotrowsky (141 lbs.), sophomore Yoshi Nakamura (157 lbs.), sophomore Rick Springman (165 lbs.) and junior heavyweight Bandele Adeniyi-Bada. While these wrestlers may not be the favorites to win, they can earn All-American status by placing in the top eight of their respective weight classes. Springman lost in the first round in last year's NCAAs, while both Piotrowsky and Rodzianko won two matches before exiting. The highlight for Penn at last year's tournament, held at Cleveland State, was then-senior Brandon Slay's second-place finish in the 167-lb. weight class. Slay powered Penn to a 27th-place finish overall, and the Quakers should improve on that showing this year. Adeniyi-Bada, who was the top seed at Easterns, earned a wild card berth to the NCAAs after losing his semifinal match. Regardless, he is just happy to make the trip. "I think I deserve to go, because I think I can make more noise there than half the guys wrestling in this [EIWA] tournament," Adeniyi-Bada said. The Cinderella story of the weekend belonged to Nagle. He did not even start for Penn until a few weeks back and pulled off a shocking victory at the Eastern championships from the No. 7 seed. Nagle will be returning to his old stomping ground as he transferred from Penn State after his freshman season. "I came in as a transfer with a 3-20 record and now I'm the Eastern champion," Nagle said. "It's not the final step but it's an important step."
Penn Basketball · Ivy League champs 1998-99 It began on a November evening in the Palestra with a close loss to a perennial hoops power, and it ended four months later on the opposite side of the country with a defeat at the hands of the same team that crushed the Quakers' Tournament hopes five years ago. But within the span of that short winter season, the Penn men's basketball team provided its fans with a year they will not soon forget -- a season of highs and lows, of expectation and disappointment, of midseason heartbreak and eventual euphoria. It was not the best season in Penn history or even in this decade, but 1998-99 was a memorable one. It was the year the Ivy title made its way back to Philadelphia, and the Quakers made their way back to the Big Dance. The Quakers accomplished what many had already anticipated, and in the process of reaching the expectation, they gave more than what they were asked. A near-sweep of the Big Five, an 11-game winning streak, two 1,000-point scorers, chants of SOL-O-MI-TO, a wired jaw, a barrage of three-pointers and a trip to Seattle. In short, the '98-'99 Quakers made even the least significant games fun to watch. But most importantly, they cut down the net in the house of their biggest rival and brought the Ivy League championship back to the University of Pennsylvania. When the season began, everyone knew this veteran Penn team was talented. While the three-time defending league champions from Princeton had lost three starters to graduation, the second-place Quakers returned the core of their team. For the first time in four years, Penn seemed to have the upper hand in the rivalry between the two teams that have accounted for the last 11 league titles. Penn welcomed back four starters, along with center Geoff Owens, who missed all of last season with a medical condition. Big things were expected from this team, and as the season began, big things were delivered. Senior forwards Paul Romanczuk and Jed Ryan and junior guard Michael Jordan were named tri-captains of the squad that opened its schedule with No. 8 Kansas at the Palestra. The near-capacity crowd of rowdy fans had witnessed a league championship in football three days earlier and was pumped to see Penn do likewise on the court. Penn held Kansas to 25.9 percent shooting and only 19 points in the first half -- the lowest scoring half ever for Jayhawks coach Roy Williams -- but in the end the Quakers could not hold the lead. Penn had a chance to win until the final minute, before ultimately falling 61-56. The schedule would not get much easier, as No. 6 Temple was next in line. This time, the Quakers would not let the game slip away, as they sent the Owls home with their first loss to Penn since 1982. Although Penn led for most of the first half, the Quakers went into halftime down by five. But they came storming back in the second stanza before taking the Owls to overtime and pulling out a 73-70 victory. Jordan scored 22 points, including two free throws with 5.8 seconds left to ice the victory. As the final buzzer sounded, fans stormed the court and it appeared to be the start of a very special season. After blowing out Lehigh in their next game, however, the Quakers came crashing back to Earth. A 16-point loss at Penn State was followed by a lackluster performance in the ECAC Holiday Festival. Penn emerged from Madison Square Garden with a close win and a close loss against two teams it should have beaten easily. But when the holidays ended, Penn got down to business. A win at Lafayette on January 5 sparked a month-long winning streak that saw the Quakers start playing like the league champs everyone expected to see. They swept three Ivy road weekends and pulled off four more non-league victories, including wins over city rivals La Salle, St. Joe's and Drexel. Against the Dragons on January 21, Romanczuk became the 26th Quaker to score 1,000 points in his career. On February 6, Penn blew out Harvard at the Palestra to improve to 11-0 in 1999. The Quakers were riding high coming into their February 9 match-up with Princeton. And they were certainly feeling great after the first half of that Princeton game, as they embarrassed the Tigers with a 29-0 run en route to a 33-9 lead at the break. With Princeton stuck at three points for 12 minutes, Palestra fans taunted the Tigers with cries of "you have three points!" It was one of the most dominating halves of basketball in Penn history, but so was the second half -- only this time Penn was not the dominant one. The Tigers pulled off the fourth largest comeback in NCAA history to win 50-49 when Matt Langel's 12-foot jumper bounced off the rim in the closing seconds. Penn was stunned, devastated, drained, embarrassed and befuddled. Fans sat in their seats in disbelief, and Penn players emerged from the locker room with tears in their eyes. It turned out to be the best possible wake-up call. The Quakers were now even more focused on their mission. They ran the table for the remainder of the Ivy season, while Princeton fell to both Harvard and Yale. On February 13 at Yale, Ryan nailed a career-high seven three-pointers, while Jordan joined Romanczuk in the 1,000 point club. The Quakers' only worry came when Owens broke his jaw diving for a loose ball during a close first half at Dartmouth. But he simply slapped a band-aid on the wound and got right back in the game, helping Penn dominate in a 33-point romp. He would only miss one game -- a loss to Villanova that came two hours after surgery on his jaw. Displaying a heart with a size that matches his 6'11" frame, the center played the rest of the season with his mouth wired shut. With Owens playing through the pain, the Quakers went to Princeton on March 2 with a chance to win both the outright Ivy title and redemption from the Palestra collapse. They took full advantage of that chance. After leading by just three at the half, the Quakers ran away with the game. All five starters scored in double figures as Penn handed Princeton its worst ever loss at Jadwin Gym in a 73-48 debacle. More importantly, the Quakers earned the coveted Tournament berth and avoided a one-game playoff with the Tigers. The Penn fans took over the Jadwin court, and the Quakers cut down the net to celebrate the first postseason berth for every player on the team. It was a moment that no one who witnessed will ever forget -- especially the 12 men in the red and blue uniforms. The season ended at the NCAA Tournament in Seattle with a loss to Florida. Ryan hit six three-pointers in the first half as the Quakers built an early lead, but the game became another second-half collapse for Penn. It was not the way the Quakers wanted to end the season, but it does not detract from what they accomplished in 1998-99. The four seniors finally got their rings, the Quakers know how it feels to be champions and a new banner will be raised in the Palestra. Because this year, the Ivy title came home.
The Penn men's basketball team will have to wait until Sunday for Tourney details. At 3 p.m. yesterday, Geoff Owens walked out of the locker room for a shoot-around before practice. A few of his teammates had already filtered onto the court, where Penn women's basketball player Diana Caramanico was also working out. It didn't take long before Owens became the center of attention. A team trainer presented him with headgear that resembled a 1930s-era leather football helmet. Matt Langel sat beneath the basket, yelling for Owens to try on the helmet. Jed Ryan, who had been shooting at the other end of the court, turned to see what the commotion was about. "Put it on, Geoff. It'll be funny," a laughing Frank Brown hollered from the sideline. But the big man, realizing his teammates were teasing him, would have no part of it. Shaking his head, Owens tried his hardest to sternly voice -- despite having his jaw wired shut -- his opposition to wearing the helmet. Some protective gear, however, might not be a bad idea. In addition to his broken jaw, Owens recently sustained a cut above his eye after Princeton forward Gabe Lewullis elbowed him on Tuesday. "It's been a bad week for my face but I guess it's better than my knees or ankle," Owens said. "I can deal with being ugly." Owens' jaw is almost healed enough to have the wires removed but they will remain in place as long as the Quakers stay alive in the NCAAs and continue playing. And Penn's second season is about to begin. "We have a brand new season that starts Sunday once we find out our seeding," Penn guard Michael Jordan said. "We'll start working on what that team does well and start scouting. It's time to get back to work." After having Wednesday off, the Quakers went back to practice yesterday for the first time since cutting down the Jadwin Gymnasium net. But for the first time all year, the Quakers have no control over the rest of their season. Even after falling behind Princeton in the standings after the February 9 loss, the Penn players remained adamant about the fact that they still controlled their own destiny. Now, however, the Red and Blue's destiny rests in the hands of the NCAA Selection Committee, which will determine where and when the Quakers will play next. The Quakers could end up at any of the eight first-round venues: Boston; Orlando, Fla.; New Orleans; Denver; Seattle, Wash.; Milwaukee; Indianapolis; or Charlotte, N.C. Penn coach Fran Dunphy and many of the Quakers have no preference on where the committee sends them. A few, however, have their sights set on certain destinations. "I don't have any preference, but [Josh] Sanger stressed that he wanted to go to Charlotte because that's his hometown," Jordan said. "I'll go with Sanger. Charlotte would be nice so Sanger can see his family." Before Sanger can get together with his family, though, he will gather with his teammates to find out where the Quakers will be going for spring break. After practice on Sunday, the Penn players and coaches will gather in the James Dunning Coaches Center to watch the selection show at 6:30 p.m. While the Quakers will not know their seed until that time, most expect a 12 or 13 seed. If Penn does earn a 12 or 13 and is placed in the East Region, Sanger will likely get his wish of playing in front of his hometown crowd. This will be Dunphy's fourth trip to the Big Dance. His past Ivy champion Quakers squads have been seeded as high as 11 and as low as 15 in the NCAAs. In 1993, the 14th-seeded Quakers -- led by junior Barry Pierce and sophomores Matt Maloney and Jerome Allen -- narrowly lost to third-seeded UMass, 54-50. In 1994, the same cast returned to the tournament as a No. 11 seed. Penn beat Nebraska in the first round before falling in the second round to Florida, an eventual Final Four team. The following year, the 12th-seeded Quakers lost a first-round game to Alabama and Antonio McDyess, 91-85, in overtime. Dunphy believes that this current crop of Quakers also has a chance to make some noise in the Tournament and possibly pull off a few upsets. "I think, in all honesty, there's as much potential for this team to win games in the NCAA as there was for any other team we had," Dunphy said. As the Quakers have proven this season in games with Kansas, Temple and Villanova, they can compete with higher-ranked opponents when they play at the top of their games. "I think our chances are good. We have that balanced attack you need, so they just can't focus on one person," Jordan said. "If we come to play, we'll be all right." And if the Quakers are successful, Owens may not be able to open his mouth for a few more weeks.
The Penn men's basketball team is focused on the tournament as the Ivy League handed out its awards. It's March and college basketball fans around the country know exactly what that means. And if the Madness is contagious, this campus has definitely caught the bug. The Jadwin net has been cut down, the Ivy championship is back in Philadelphia and the Quakers are headed to the Big Dance. · But unlike Penn's last trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Quakers do not have the Ivy League Player of the Year on their side. That is because the honor has gone to Princeton guard Brian Earl. Throughout the season, Earl and Penn's Michael Jordan have been considered the favorites for the award. But even though Jordan kept Earl out of the game for much of Tuesday night, the award will now be placed on Earl's shelf. It is unclear, however, if the voting was done before or after Tuesday's game. Ballots were released to the eight Ivy League coaches on Monday and were not due until noon yesterday. Coaches, therefore, could have turned in the ballots at any time during that interval. For the Quakers, however, individual awards mean nothing compared to the award they won by beating Princeton. "I'm sure Brian Earl would trade his Player of the Year for an Ivy League championship," Penn guard Matt Langel said. "I don't get to see what Brian does every game. I only get to see Mike and I know that Mike's a great player. "In our minds, he's probably the best player in our league." · Trivia: What is the largest margin of defeat for Princeton in its history at Jadwin Gym? (Answer below). · Although he did not win the league's highest honor, Jordan was named to the All-Ivy first team for the second year in a row. The junior was joined on the first team by teammate Paul Romanczuk. Langel and center Geoff Owens received honorable mention. "Mike and Paul being first team is great for us," Langel said. "For Geoff and I to be mentioned is nice as well." Forward Jed Ryan, who led the Quakers with 15 points against Princeton and is one of the best outside shooters in the Ivy League, was the only Penn starter not to be honored by the league's postseason awards. "I think Jed plays a huge part in what we do and he probably should be in there somewhere but that's something we can't control," Langel said. · Now that the Quakers have earned an invitation to the NCAA Tournament, they must wait to see where they will be playing next. Most Penn players expect a seed between 10 and 13. The Red and Blue will gather in the James Dunning Coaches Center to watch the selection show on Sunday. Although the Quakers could end up at any of the eight first round sites, the two Eastern sites -- Charlotte , N.C., and Boston -- seem to be the most likely destinations. Sophomore forward Josh Sanger is hoping for his hometown Charlotte, while Ryan, who has family in New England, would like to go to Boston. "We've played near Boston a lot over my four years, so we'll be comfortable there," Ryan said. Most Quakers, however, have no preference. "There's a lot of advantages to any of the places," Owens said "There's a lot to consider so I'm just going to remain undecided on this one." · Trivia Answer: That's right, Penn fans. Tuesday's 25-point win by the Quakers was the most lopsided Princeton home loss since Jadwin opened in 1969. · Penn's return to the NCAAs has propelled the Quakers into the national media spotlight. Tuesday night's drubbing of Princeton was the lead story on the World Wide Web sites for both ESPN and CNNSI. It also landed them a prime spot on ESPN's SportsCenter, which showed an interview with Owens and his bruised and battered face. Unable to open his jaw, which has been wired shut, Owens spoke as clearly as possible. ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, however, took the chance to impersonate Owens while introducing the next set of highlights. "It's too easy," Owens said. "It's easy humor to make fun of the guy who can't talk but it's better having them make fun of me than not being on there."
With Penn celebrating Ivy League championships in both football and men's basketball this year, Quakers fans have become accustomed to their teams finishing on top. Winning the Ivy title in baseball, however, may be a bit more difficult for the Red and Blue. While the Quakers were favored to finish near or at the top on the gridiron and the court, the competition on the diamond will be somewhat harsher. Penn and Cornell will probably compete for second in the Lou Gehrig Division, while Harvard should win the Red Rolfe Division and the entire Ivy League yet again. Here is a team-by-team breakdown, in predicted order of finish. Lou Gehrig Division To get to the NCAA Tournament last year, Harvard -- the winner of the Red Rolfe division -- had to get through Lou Gehrig division champion Princeton. The Tigers finished 25-14 overall and 13-7 in the Ivy League. The Tigers will look to outfielder Max Krance, who hit .411 to garner Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors, and fellow sophomore Andrew Hanson, who plays both first and third base. Both were second team All-Ivy players as freshmen. Returning relief pitcher Howard Horn was also named to the second team last year. One Tiger that Penn fans will not be looking forward to seeing is pitcher Chris Young. The basketball center will also pitch for Old Nassau. "In our division, Princeton is the team to beat because they have pitching," Penn coach Bob Seddon said. · In 1998, Cornell took second in the Gehrig division behind Princeton. Finishing with an overall record of 18-18-1, the Big Red split their four-game season series with Penn. Junior Craig Mauro hit .370 for Cornell last season and should be a big contributor this season. Juniors John Osgood and Doug Williamson return to anchor the Big Red pitching staff. Last year, Williamson was the only Big Red pitcher to have an earned run average under 5.00, recording a season mark of 4.93. · For Columbia, things should be looking up in 1999. After finishing 11-30 and 5-15 in the Ivy League, the Lions have plenty of room for improvement. First-year head coach Mikio Aoki will be the one the Lions hope can lead them from the depths of the Gehrig division. Like the Quakers, though, Columbia is not as experienced as most of the league. But with some strong recruits, the Lions may be a contender in future seasons. Red Rolfe Division One again Harvard will be the favorite to take the Ivy title. Last season, the Crimson dominated the Ancient Eight while compiling a 36-12 overall record and finishing the season ranked 24th in the Associated Press poll. Unfortunately for the rest of the league, the Crimson look to be just as tough this season. Harvard will return 21 lettermen in 1999 in its quest for a third straight Ivy title. Despite losing center fielder Brian Ralph -- the 1997 Ivy League Player of the Year -- and third team All-American David Frost, the Crimson is still a talented squad. Third baseman Hal Carey, an All-Ivy selection who hit .529 in last year's NCAA tournament, will anchor the offense for the Crimson, and Harvard's top four pitchers are all seasoned veterans. · Yale will be looking to improve upon last season's mark of 21-21. Although the Elis finished second in the Rolfe division last year, they will be expected to finish above the .500 mark in 1999. One of the keys to that improvement is returning Ivy League Player of the Year Tony Coyne. The shortstop won the triple crown by hitting .378 with and 43 runs batted in and 10 home runs in league play. Centerfielder Ben Johnstone and catcher Todd Kasper will also be expected to provide offensive firepower. Johnstone hit .381 while stealing 26 bases, and Kasper hit .395. In addition, Kasper has a rocket of an arm, throwing out 41 percent of potential base stealers. But that offense will not help the team win if the pitchers cannot get runners out. It remains to be seen if Yale's young starting rotation -- which includes four freshmen and a junior -- can be successful in the Ivies. "I probably have nine pitchers that could start," Yale coach John Stuper told The Yale Daily News. "[The starting rotation] needs to perform and chances are that one or two of them will be moved around." · The 1998 edition of the Dartmouth baseball squad won 23 games, which was the second most in school history. With the Big Green returning every position player from that team and also adding former All-American Brian Nickerson -- who missed last season with an injury -- Dartmouth could make some significant noise in the Ivy League this season. But a huge potential problem is the loss of talent from the pitching staff. The Big Green lost four starters from last season who combined for 193 of the team's 326 innings. Another huge loss is graduated senior Dan Godfrey, who had been a dominant closer for the Big Green. So while the Big Green may be able to hit the ball with the best of them, the major question right now is whether the Dartmouth pitchers can fill that tremendous void. · For the Brown Bears, it will be difficult to improve more than they did last season. Entering his third year in Providence, Brown coach Marek Drabinski has improved his win total each season. Senior captain Peter DeYoung, who can play any infield position, led the Bears with a .316 average and 49 hits last year. The Bears will have a much more experienced staff this year, returning six pitchers to the mound. Graeme Brown, who played in 1997 but sat out last year, will be another important addition to the Bears. "Brown is trying to move up in that division and they will be better," Seddon said.
Quakers point guard Michael Jordan rose above Princeton's Brian Earl when it counted most. PRINCETON, N.J. -- It was Senior Night at Princeton last night and the Tigers were saying goodbye to one of the best players to put on a Princeton jersey in recent memory. As point guard Brian Earl was being introduced to the fans at Jadwin Gymnasium for the final time, the Princeton band blasted the theme song from Superman. Several hours later, though, a defeated Earl was slumped down on the Princeton bench, while it was the Penn Quakers who felt like the supermen -- especially the one wearing No. 23 for the Red and Blue. In a showdown between the two leading candidates for Ivy League Player of the Year, Michael Jordan showed that the Ivy's best player is in fact the guy who runs the point for the Ivy's best team. The last time these players met, Earl led the charge for the Tigers as they pulled off one of the most improbable comeback victories in college basketball history. Last night, Jordan made sure that Earl would not get a chance for an encore. "I was talking to coach [Gil Jackson] a lot after that game and he was telling me how Earl was the main reason why they won that game," Jordan said. "I took that personally, especially when I was reading the DP and it said that Princeton pulled out a miracle win behind Earl? who scorched M.J. I took that kind of personally. "My teammates helped me a lot. It was a total team effort to take him out of the game." Last night, Earl seemed a far cry from the game-breaking clutch player who wore No. 10 for the Tigers on February 9 at the Palestra. Simply looking at his numbers proves that. In the first meeting between these two teams, Earl was the catalyst behind the comeback, scoring 20 points -- five above his average of 15.2 -- and hitting 4-of-6 behind the arc. By comparison, he shot just 3-of-10 from the field and 1-of-5 from three-point territory to finish last night with seven points. The numbers don't lie. But this was about more than just numbers. Penn led by three points at the break, but no one expected the Tigers to roll over in the second half. "Obviously, coming off what happened in the first game where we got tentative in the second half, we said, 'Let's not be like that anymore,'" Penn coach Fran Dunphy said. A huge part of not letting that happen was stopping Earl. Princeton's most seasoned veteran, Earl is both the Tigers' statistical and emotional leader. But last night, in the biggest game of his final season, Earl -- Princeton's fifth all-time leading scorer -- turned in an unremarkable performance. "I didn't come through as well as I would have liked and the way they guard us makes it doubly difficult for us to try to get off shots and get something going," Earl said. Much of the credit for the defense on Earl goes to Jordan, who held the Tigers floor general to only 1-of-3 shooting in the second half. But every Quaker on the court contributed to the defensive effort. "It seemed like Michael was very attentive to me tonight," Earl said. "He was all over me, and if I cut, I got knocked around a couple times. [Paul] Romanczuk took me out one time. Every time I cut, it was not only Michael hitting me but two or three other guys." The tight team defense prevented Earl from creating plays when penetrating. And with Jordan and Matt Langel getting in his face on the perimeter, Earl -- who recently broke Matt Maloney's league record for career three-pointers -- had very few open looks from the outside. Jordan had no such trouble. While he was a defensive monster on Earl, he was also able to contribute on the offensive end of the court. Despite only shooting 4-of-13, Jordan -- unlike Earl -- hit the big shots when his team needed them. Jordan's two threes were the biggest shots of the game. As time ran out in the first half, Jordan pulled up from the top of the key and buried a trey over Earl. Jordan then picked up right where he left off, nailing another three less than two minutes into the second half to spark a run that gave the Quakers control of the game. They never let up until the buzzer sounded with a 73-48 score on the board. After the game, Earl bore little resemblance to the Superman that the Princeton band had ordained him. An elated Jordan, with the cut Jadwin net hanging around his neck, had assumed that position. The roles had been reversed from February 9; Jordan can now look back on last night with pride. Because this time, it was Earl who "got scorched" by M.J. And it was Michael Jordan who made the final case for Player of the Year.
On a night when the Penn men's basketball team honored its seniors for their service to the program, it was only appropriate that the team's biggest standouts were those closest to graduation. Paul Romanczuk and Jed Ryan said goodbye to the Palestra on Saturday by carrying the Quakers to victory over a Cornell squad that was playing the game of its life and hoping to pull off an upset over the first-place Quakers. Both senior tri-captains kept the Quakers in the game by making huge plays when Penn needed them most. With the Red and Blue trailing by 10 at the half, Ryan and Romanczuk had just 20 minutes of game time before they would walk off the Palestra floor in a Penn uniform for the last time. And the two 6'7" forwards made the most of those 20 minutes. As the Quakers struggled to close the gap in the second half, Ryan took it upon himself to put Penn back in the game. Cornell had been burying three-pointers all night, so Ryan -- who ranks fourth in Penn history with 144 career treys -- decided to show off his own shooting touch. "I was impressed by that one stretch of Jed's," Penn coach Fran Dunphy said. "He just said, 'I'm taking this shot. I'm making it and here's the deal.' That was just nice to see." During that stretch Ryan nailed treys on three consecutive trips down the floor, cutting Cornell's lead from 10 points to three. Ryan went on to score 15 points in the second half and finished the night with 21. With Romanczuk scoring 20 and Michael Jordan putting 21 on the board, Saturday night was the first time since February 10, 1990 that Penn had three players score 20 points in the same game. If there ever was a night when the Quakers needed performances like this from its team leaders, it was Saturday. Throughout the season, Penn has maintained incredible balance in its scoring, with Geoff Owens -- at 9.0 points per game -- the only starter not averaging double figures. But with Owens seeing reduced time due to his fractured jaw and Matt Langel in the midst of a three-game cold spell, Penn needed its tri-captains to carry the weight of the scoring. Romanczuk and Ryan refused to end their Palestra careers with a loss. A loss by the Ivy League leaders to a mediocre Big Red squad would simply be unacceptable and the senior forwards made sure it would not happen. "Total confidence has to rush through your head when you're in that situation and I'm glad all our guys fought through it," Romanczuk said. Nobody on the floor, however, was fighting harder than Romanczuk. In addition to his 20 points, the West Chester, Pa., native pulled down 12 rebounds and displayed his usual toughness in the low post. "Romanczuk just works so hard," Cornell coach Scott Thompson said. "I love that about him." However, Thompson probably wasn't loving it as time was running out for his Cornell squad. With 11.9 seconds left in the game and Penn clinging to a 80-79 lead, Owens was at the foul line. The center sank his first attempt to increase Penn's lead to two, but he missed his second shot. Not about to give Cornell a chance to score, Romanczuk slapped the ball to Jordan, who was immediately fouled. With Penn now up two points and looking to put the game out of reach, Dunphy left Romanczuk in position to rebound and sent the other three Quakers back on defense. Jordan missed both free throws, but as the second shot bounced off the rim, Romanczuk spun around his man to the other side and grabbed the rebound in the middle of four red jerseys. It may have been the most important rebound of the season. Romanczuk passed it to Ryan, who was fouled to stop the clock. Ryan rose to the occasion just as Romanczuk had, calmly making both foul shots to ice the game for the Quakers. Seconds later, the buzzer sounded and Ryan and Romanczuk finished the last home game of their careers -- but not before they lifted their squad to a needed victory and kept Penn's one-game advantage in the Ivy League standings. "It was great for Paul and I to be able to pull it out there at the end and do some good things and get out of here with a win," Ryan said. "March Madness has struck. We almost got caught up in it and it was a great game." And a great way for Ryan and Romanczuk to celebrate Senior Night.