Seton Hall downs sluggish Men's Hoops at Meadowlands
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A cold afternoon from the field and
ineffective defense off the dribble sent Penn to another loss on
Saturday, as the Quakers closed out 2006 with a 94-85 defeat to Seton
Hall at Continental Airlines Arena.
crashing back to earth in a 80-61 loss to Virginia Tech two days
earlier, the Pirates (7-2) exploited a shaky Penn defense to go on a
13-3 run late in the first half. The Pirates scoring tear was led by
their sixth man, Larry Davis, who came off the bench to post a
career-high 27 points and 10 rebounds by game's end.
Yet the whole Seton Hall squad matched up favorably and easily shook the Quakers' defenders off their marks.
number one game key was to keep them from getting into the lane with
dribble penetration," Penn coach Glen Miller said. "That was probably
90% of their offense, so we did not do a very good job with our number
one game key."
After digging themselves into a 13-point hole at
halftime, the Quakers made a game of it in the second half - clawing
back, only to be thwarted at the brink of a lead change each time.
just over four minutes remaining, the Quakers cut the deficit to 74-70.
With two Seton Hall players already fouled out, it seemed Penn was on
the road to its second comeback win of the week. An abrupt change in
momentum, however, kept the Quakers from coming any closer.
Seton Hall's stud freshman Eugene Harvey drained a short jumper, the
Pirates intercepted a long inbound and scored two more. Harvey stripped
the next inbound pass from Penn's Tommy McMahon and finished the play
with another two points.
In a matter of 15 seconds, the Pirates extended their lead from 4 to 10 and did not look back.
came back in the second half and fought and competed, but we had to
keep the ball out of the lane and they did that time after time after
time," Miller said.
Penn forced a quick turnover on the opening
possession and struck first with senior Steve Danley muscling into the
paint for a two-point bank shot. Danley's penetration would not be a
sign of things to come, however, as the Quakers struggled to score in
the low post for the majority of the game, forcing them to settle for
Seton Hall's physical play put Penn in the bonus less than eight
minutes into the contest, but the Quakers failed to capitalize on the
scoreboard. The Red and Blue shot an abysmal 50% from the foul stripe
in the first half.
second half saw slight improvement, but Penn still finished just 14-24
from the line, as opposed to Seton Hall's nearly flawless 26-30. That
performance, coupled with a 3-of-16 night from deep, wasted strong
efforts by seniors Mark Zoller and Ibrahim Jaaber.
Just one game
after becoming the Ivy League's all-time steals leader, Jaaber broke
out on offense for the first time this season, scoring 28 of his
career-high 32 points in the second half. Jaaber's ability to get ahead
of Seton Hall's transition defense for easy lay-ins earned the praise
of the opposing coach.
"Jaaber is a tremendous player," Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez said. "He could start for anyone in the Big East."
Jaaber could not get the production he needed out of his teammates.
Overall, Penn had notched 18 assists on 29 field goals against UIC, but
had 15 on 34 against Seton Hall -- to go along with an uncharacteristic
Saturday was the second straight game Penn junior
Michael Kach did not suit up due to a nagging foot injury. Classmate
Brian Grandieri looked unbothered by his foot injury, scoring 9 points
on the afternoon.
Both will undoubtedly appreciate the 12-day
recess before the team's toughest match-up of the season: versus No. 2
North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, N.C.