Penn (7-18) at Columbia (18-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 7, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Levien Gym (3,400) -- Manhattan, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Penn 6-8, Columbia 12-2. Away Record: Penn 1-10, Columbia 4-8. Neutral Record: Penn 0-0, Columbia 2-1. Conference Record: Penn 4-7, Columbia 7-5. Series Record: Penn leads, 138-86.
GAME NOTES: The University of Pennsylvania tries to win on the road for just the second time this season, as the Quakers challenge the Columbia Lions on Ivy League play at Levien Gym in Manhattan.
Penn, which defeated Monmouth in New Jersey way back in the second game of the campaign, has won just once overall in the last six outings. Since defeating Dartmouth back on Feb. 22 by a score of 74-65, the Quakers have fallen to both Brown (76-67) and Yale (70-63) at home in The Palestra.
Needless to say, with a conference mark of only 4-7 and a 7-18 record overall, Penn's season will be coming to a close next week with their traditional finale versus Princeton. The Quakers were picked to finish second in the league by the media in the preseason, but that was before the roster began to fray and dissolve at an alarming rate.
Meanwhile the Lions, who were picked to finish last in the Ivy, entered the week tied with Brown for third place in the standings with a record of 7-5. The team is an impressive 12-2 at home on the season overall, 4-1 versus the rest of the Ancient Eight. However, last weekend Columbia was out on the road and while it took out Dartmouth (84-72) on Friday, it was tripped up by Harvard (80-47) the following night.
Penn has taken five of the last six encounters with the Lions, including a 68-60 victory in Philadelphia last month. As a result, the all-time series now stands at 138-86 in favor of the Quakers.
For the first time in history, the Quakers were swept in the weekend series against Brown and Yale last week, as the host fell behind the Bulldogs in the first half and never recovered. Miles Jackson-Cartwright managed to come away with 20 points and seven assists as he played all 40 minutes for Penn, followed by Darien Nelson-Henry and Tony Hicks with 15 points apiece off the bench as the Quakers juggled the starting lineup on Senior Night.
In conference play the Quakers are generating just 65.4 ppg, yet somehow the squad is connecting on an impressive 48.0 percent from the floor, compared to just 43.1 percent for the opposition. Clearly the biggest issue for the Quakers is their meager 35-of-139 (.252) effort behind the 3-point line, with Hicks (16.5 ppg) doing the group no favors with his 8-of-42 (.190) accuracy out on the perimeter.
Just like every other team in the Ivy, Columbia was treated rather harshly by Harvard last weekend, held to only 47 points on 34.1 percent shooting from the field. The Lions were left with almost as many turnovers (14) as field goals (15) while Jeff Coby and Alex Rosenberg accounted for 11 and 10 points, respectively, the former clearing a team-best six rebounds in the setback as well.
Rosenberg, a starter in all 12 conference games this season, leads the group in scoring with 19.8 ppg in those outing, thanks in large part to his 114- of-135 shooting at the free-throw line. To put that in perspective, the rest of the roster has combined to connect on only 107 free throws in those 12 dates. Maodo Lo checks in with another 15.0 ppg which means the duo accounts for more than half the program's 65.8 ppg,.
With all of the injuries and the missing bodies from the Penn roster, the team is struggling just to get enough energy to keep up with the competition. Add to that the fact that this game is on the road and Columbia has revenge as a motivating factor and this appears to be a win waiting to happen for the Lions.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Columbia 71, Penn 63
03/07 10:32:34 ET