Yale (7-14) at Penn (4-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 8, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Palestra (8,722) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Yale 4-2, Penn 3-4. Away Record: Yale 2-10, Penn 1-9. Neutral Record: Yale 1-2, Penn 0-3. Conference Record: Yale 1-3, Penn 1-2. Series Record: Penn leads, 146-70.
GAME NOTES: A pair of Ivy League bottom-dwellers are set for a Friday night showdown, as the Penn Quakers play host to the Yale Bulldogs at The Palestra.
Yale has yet to find its rhythm this season on the way to a 7-14 overall record, as it has not won back-to-back games at any point. Since Ivy League play began on Jan. 19, the Bulldogs have lost three of four, including a 71-62 setback at Dartmouth last Saturday.
Penn is in the midst of a season-long, four-game homestand, which began with a 62-58 win over Columbia last Friday and a 71-69 loss to Cornell on Saturday to fall to 1-2 in league action. Success has been fleeting for the Quakers this season, as they've won just four of 20 games played thus far.
In 216 all-time meetings between these two programs, Penn holds a 146-70 advantage, which includes three straight wins over Yale at The Palestra.
The Bulldogs allowed Dartmouth to drain greater than 51 percent of its field goal attempts last Saturday, as they were saddled with the nine-point road loss. Yale shot a meager 35.3 percent from the field and committed a game- high 15 turnovers, and the margin of defeat would have been even greater had it not been for an outstanding 21-of-24 showing from the free-throw line. Austin Morgan was just 6-of-16 from the field, but he made all six of his foul shots en route to 20 points, while Matt Townsend tacked on 16 points and six rebounds (five offensive). Yale has been on the wrong end of many close scores, as it boasts the second-best scoring offense in the league (66.0 ppg), but its scoring margin is -1.0. Austin Morgan has had trouble finding his stroke (.358), but he is one of the nation's most accurate free-throw shooters (.909), which helps him account for 11.8 ppg. Justin Sears normally brings stability to the frontcourt with 10.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, and nearly a block per contest, but he's listed as questionable for this matchup with an ankle injury.
Penn held a double-digit lead in the second half of its clash with Cornell last week, but saw that advantage disappear down the stretch, and the Big Red connected on the game-winning bucket with 10 seconds to play to hand the Quakers the heartbreaking loss. Even though Penn shot 50 percent from the floor (including 12-of-24 from 3-point range), the team were plagued by 17 turnovers, many of which came during the second-half collapse. Patrick Lucas- Perry drained four 3-pointers off the bench and finished with a team-high 14 points. Tony Hicks and Darien Nelson-Henry netted 10 points apiece, and Miles Cartwright shot a mere 3-of-12 from the field, but managed to hand out nine assists. Penn hasn't had much luck at either end of the court this season, ranking seventh in the Ivy League in both scoring offense (62.4 ppg) and scoring defense (69.3 ppg). Fran Dougherty (13.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg) was a consistent producer early in the year, but he averaged just 4.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in two contests since missing eight games with an illness. Cartwright is the Quakers' go-to guy out on the perimeter, tallying 13.7 ppg and 3.5 apg.
Penn may not be considered one of the favorites to win the league crown this season, but it is a better team than its horrific record shows, especially at home with Dougherty back in the lineup. Expect the Quakers to bounce back against an underwhelming Yale squad.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Penn 67, Yale 65
02/08 10:30:59 ET